Kirstie Swain has come a long way since her stint doing work experience on the Berwickshire News while in high school - a six part comedy drama Pure for which she wrote the script is about to air on Channel 4.
While she enjoyed her spell on her local paper - Kirstie was brought up in Ayton - and went on to work as a journalist in Glasgow for a year, she soon realised she preferred “making things up” to writing news.
And ‘making things up’ has certainly proved to be Kirstie’s forte. She has worked as a scriptwriter on episodes of Eastenders and Holby City and was awarded a six month residency to become new writer in residence with BBC Scotland Drama after winning the prestigious Frank Deasy Award.
Now Pure, a novel written by Rose Bretécher and adapted for screen by Kirstie, is scheduled to start on Channel 4 on Wednesday, January 30, at 10pm.
Kirstie’s script is described as a ‘painfully human, sharply observed, and outrageously funny adaptation of Rose Bretécher’s acclaimed book’.
It is a moving, warm and truthful exploration of one young woman’s search for herself and her struggle with mental illness. The heroine, Marnie, suffers from a form of obsessive compulsive disorder, nicknamed ‘pure O’. The story follows her as she leaves university in Scotland and heads to London.
“Kirstie’s scripts truly crackle with her searingly honest portrayal of the high points and horrors of being young,” said Beth Willis, head of drama at Channel 4 who is delighted to welcome Kirstie to their team of writers. “They are endlessly witty, wise and wonderful.”
Kirstie admits: “I’ve always been an obsessive-worrier and over-thinker. Or maybe it’s the other way round.
“It runs through me like a stick of rock. While I don’t suffer from Rose’s exact condition, Pure resonated so deeply with me because I can absolutely relate to the experience of being an outer calm and an inner cyclone.”