Two Rivers Media has acquired the film and TV rights to Chums, the new book by Simon Kuper, which has just entered the top 10 of The Sunday Times Bestseller list.

Chums is the inside story of how a group of well-connected young Tories at Oxford University went on to conquer Britain.  It reveals how this tiny caste of elite British society rose from privilege and public school to dominate and shape contemporary Britain.

Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, David Cameron, George Osborne, Theresa May, Dominic Cummings, Daniel Hannan, Jacob Rees-Mogg: Oxford has produced most of the prominent Conservative politicians of our time. Many walked straight out of the world of student debates onto the national stage and brought their university politics with them. Eleven of the 15 postwar British prime ministers went to Oxford. This narrowest of talent pools has shaped the modern country. In Chums, Simon Kuper traces how the rarefied and privileged atmosphere of Oxford University – and the friendships and worldviews it created – helped give us today’s Britain.

Alan Clements, Managing Director, Two Rivers Media, says: “We have all heard tales of the infamous Bullingdon Club and witnessed the influence of Cameron, Johnson, May, Gove, Mogg et al, in the tumultuous decade for British society, which they have largely overseen. What makes Chums such an interesting book is its all-encompassing look at this era of Oxford University students and their alma mater, written by someone who was actually there. With a diversity of voices, some who revere the success of this influential group of policy makers and some who revile them.  We are very excited to be prepping it as a major unscripted box set.”

A journalist writing for the Financial Times, Kuper is also a leading writer on football and  has penned titles such as Soccernomics, Barca: The Rise and Fall of the Club that Built Modern Football and The Football Men: Up Close with the Giants of the Modern Game. It was his book Football Against the Enemy, which in 1994 won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. He also wrote The Happy Traitor, a biography of the British KGB agent George Blake. Chums is Simon Kuper’s seventh book.

Simon Kuper adds: “I’m delighted to be working with Two Rivers to turn this into a documentary series. I’d love this story to be told on screen.”

Two Rivers Media has also recently acquired the film and TV rights to The Goldenacre, a literary thriller by Philip Miller and Tanya Byrne’s Afterlove. Tanya Byrne’s fourth novel for a young adult audience.

The rights to Chums were bought by Two Rivers Media from Gorden Wise at Curtis Brown.

Jon Creamer

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