Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium Sets TV Adaptation Of Raunchy Political Novel ‘Whips’ From Boris Johnson’s Former Adviser Cleo Watson

EXCLUSIVE: It’s the steamy novel written by Boris Johnson’s former adviser that’s been the talk of Westminster. Now Whips is getting the TV treatment thanks to Andy Serkis.

The Planet of the Apes star’s production company Imaginarium Productions has won the rights to adapt Cleo Watson’s Whips following a hotly-contested auction.

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Watson served as former Prime Minister Johnson’s Deputy Chief of Staff at the height of the pandemic and she has set her debut novel in the corridors of the British establishment.

Described as House of Cards meets 50 Shades of Grey, Whips follows three female friends as they navigate the crises and controversies of the British government.

Bobby works for her local MP, Jess is a new lobby journalist, and Eva has entered 10 Downing Street as a junior adviser.

The bonkbuster has generated plenty of press attention for its preoccupation with sex, but in essence, is a story about women attempting to gain a foothold in an archaic male-dominated establishment.

Watson said adapting Whips for TV was her “wildest dreams” coming true. Imaginarium’s co-founder Jonathan Cavendish (Bridget Jones’s Diary) said the story was about female power, featuring three “bright, flawed, loyal and loveable” central characters.

The rights deal was done by Rosie Gurtovoy at PFD. Imaginarium and Watson are in the early stages of development and are assembling a team of writers.

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