Baby Cow, film and television company has acquired Zadie Smith’s new novel Swing Time, from Katie Haines at The Agency in association with Georgia Garrett at Rogers, Coleridge & White Ltd. Smith will adapt herself, with Nick Laird, for television.

Swing Time marks Baby Cow’s first significant acquisition since Christine Langan, ex-head of BBC Films, took over as CEO this month.

Langan says: “Zadie Smith is the voice of a generation and Swing Time is a thrillingly ambitious story of friendship, rivalry and fame. We’re delighted and honoured at Baby Cow to be developing such a unique project and we can’t wait to share it with TV audiences everywhere.”

The novel, has received fantastic reviews. Zadie Smith says: “I am absolutely delighted at the prospect of working with Baby Cow on an adaptation of Swing Time. Their extraordinary track record in both drama and comedy I have always admired from afar and it’s a thrill for me to get the chance to collaborate with Steve Coogan and Christine Langan.”

Swing Time is described as an ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from north west London to West Africa, from the multi-award-winning author of White Teeth and On Beauty.

Two brown girls dream of being dancers – but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten, either…

Dazzlingly energetic and deeply human, Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. Moving from North-West London to West Africa, it is an exuberant dance to the music of time.

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty and NW. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has twice been listed as one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists. She has won the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award among many others, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Swing Time is her fifth novel.

Baby Cow was established in 1999 by award winning comedy creators Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, Baby Cow Productions has long had an enviable reputation for nurturing new British comedy talent. In early 2016 Henry Normal left to pursue other creative endeavors and BBC Worldwide became majority shareholders. Christine Langan, ex-Head of BBC Films, took over as CEO in November.


Swing Time can be purchased from the following outlets:

Amazon | Good Reads | Penguin Random House | Barnes & Noble