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Sarah Williams is a producer and screenwriter perhaps best known for co-writing the scripts to the 2005 television film Wallis & Edward and the 2007 feature film Becoming Jane. For her work adapting the novels Poppy Shakespeare and Small Island for television, Williams received two Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award nominations.

Sarah Williams
OccupationProducer, screenwriter
Years active1991–present
Known forWallis & Edward, Becoming Jane


In 1991 Williams was a producer of the parody film The Craig Ferguson Story,[1] and the following year she produced the documentary style-television series Funny Business, which starred Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Roseanne Barr and Bill Hicks. Williams worked as a co-producer in the film Up on the Roof in 1997[2], and the following year was a producer for the 1998 television film Jack and the Beanstalk.[3]

The first authorial credit of Williams was the 2005 television production Wallis & Edward, for which she wrote the script.[4][5] Williams wrote The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton, which came out in 2006.[6] After reading in 2004 Becoming Jane Austen, a 2003 biography by Jon Hunter Spence, Williams approached Ecosse Films about the possibility of adapting it into a film about Austen's early life.[7] The resulting film, Becoming Jane, was released in 2007.[7]

Williams was the screenwriter for the 2007 docudrama, Sinking of the Lusitania: Terror at Sea.[8] The following year, Williams adapted the novel Poppy Shakespeare for Channel Four television. The Guardian called her script an example of "good art,"[9] and she received a nomination for Best Television Short-Form Drama at the 2009 Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards. In 2009, Williams co-wrote the two-part television drama Small Island with Paula Milne.[10] It also received a nomination for Best Television Short-Form Drama, this time at the 2010 Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards.[11] Williams adapted a novel by Sophie Hannah into the 2012 two-part series Case Sensitive, starring Olivia Williams.[12]

In 2018 Williams wrote the three-part BBC TV series The Long Song, based on the novel by Andrea Levy, starring Tamara Lawrance, Hayley Atwell and Sir Lenny Henry.


  1. ^ "The Craig Ferguson Story". British Film Institute. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Sarah Williams – Filmography". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  3. ^ "Jack and the Beanstalk". British Film Institute. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  4. ^ Wiegand, David (February 9, 2007). "'Wallis & Edward' abdicates insight". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  5. ^ Variety staff (February 11, 2007). "Wallis & Edward". Variety. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  6. ^ "Two exciting new films for BBC FOUR this Autumn – The Secret Life of Mrs Beeton and Fear of Fanny" (Press release). BBC. May 5, 2006. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "The Art of Adaptation: Becoming Jane". The Writing Studio. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  8. ^ "Sinking of the Lusitania Cast & Crew". Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  9. ^ Ross, Benjamin (March 31, 2008). "The beauty of Poppy Shakespeare". The Guardian. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  10. ^ "Small Island: introduction" (Press release). BBC. October 14, 2009. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  11. ^ "Writers' Guild Award winners". Writers' Guild of Great Britain. November 22, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  12. ^ "Case Sensitive". ITV. June 21, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012.

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