BBC One has commissioned an all-new adaption of ER Braithwaite’s celebrated autobiographical novel, To Sir With Love.
The book was previously turned into a hit film by Shogun author James Clavell and starred Sidney Poitier and Lulu whose title song became a number-1 hit.
Adapted by Hanif Kureishi, the BBC version will be closer to the original novel which tells the story of Guyanese engineer Ricky Braithwaite who is de-mobbed from the RAF only to find that Britain has turned its back on the black men and women who fought alongside them in the war.
Unable to find any other work, Braithwaite takes a teaching job at a secondary school in the tough East End of London were he finds class of unruly white working class kids who test him to his limits.
But in the space of one year, their lives are transformed under his guidance, and his own future is turned upside down when he falls in love with a white fellow-teacher.
Kureishi said: “ER Brathwaite’s To Sir With Love, written and set in London’s East End at the end of the 1950s, is a moving, tough and informative story about an intelligent man whose only hope of work – since he is black – is to become a teacher.
“As a young man in the 1960s, TSWL was the only novel I was aware of which dealt with the subject of race in Britain, and I hope this dramatisation provides a vivid portrayal, particularly for the young, of how Britain has changed since then, and how it has remained the same.”