My risqué readings are too much for today’s audience – Jilly Cooper

The author, hailed as the “Queen of the Bonkbuster” who found great success with her cheeky series of novels, is consulting on adapting her book for a new eight-part series on Disney+.

But Jilly, 85, believes viewers aren’t as raunchy as they used to be.

She said: “They are much more rigid, much more censorious. I don’t know about sex, you can’t say anything about anything. You dare not.”

But he added with a smile: “I think they still have sex.”

Jilly, a huge Disney fan, is executive producing the TV series and reading scripts while the actor is sought out to play her hero, Rupert Campbell-Black.

His novels, set in the fictional county of Rutshire, began in 1985 with Riders. Jilly has admitted that even she was surprised by all the unbridled passion in that book.

But he says that Rivals, his favorite of the series, isn’t that raunchy.

The author added, “I’m very excited to be involved, so you can ask me about the scripts. The scripts are terribly important.”

Rupert was played by Marcus Gilbert in the 1993 film version of Riders, which follows a group of show jumping stars hopping from bed to bed. In the 1988 follow-up Rivals, Rupert has become a politician in a fight with a TV boss.

Jilly has said that she was loosely based on Queen Camilla’s ex-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, with some of her friends’ traits. She said: “They were a tremendously handsome and exciting group.” But she added that the sexy stuff “was completely my invention.”

He is now writing Tackle, a soccer-based novel, though he admits: “They keep telling me to put more sex on. I’m 85. I’ve forgotten how to do it!”

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