John Simm wants ITV to adapt Peter James' 17 Roy Grace books

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 24 February 2021
John Simm

John Simm

'Grace' star John Simm is hoping he has a job for life ahead of his debut at detective Roy Grace in the ITV drama, as he is keen for the channel to adapt all of the 17 Peter James books the show is based on

John Simm wants ITV to adapt all 17 of Peter James' Roy Grace books for TV.

The 50-year-old star admitted it was a "manna from heaven" getting a call offering him the part of the detective on upcoming drama 'Grace', which he now hopes is a job for life, but he hadn't read the novel series beforehand because he is not a big fan of crime fiction.

He said: "It was manna from heaven to get that phone call.

"I was absolutely honoured to be asked to play Roy Grace.

"I didn't [know the novels beforehand], but I had seen them in the bestseller lists every time I went into a book shop.

"It's not a genre I would read normally.

"We all hope that we get to do more and all of these 17 books.

"Because there's plenty of source material, and it's all really, really high quality."

Novelist Peter now thinks of John's portrayal of his character Grace when he writes new books in the series, and the 'Mad Dogs' actor admitted that is a "really odd" feeling.

He said: "That's a real honour if he's thinking of me. That's really odd as well because I'm so into these books and this character that I don't think of me when I'm reading them.

"It's incredible."

But John admitted some fans of the novels will be "up in arms" over the TV adaptation.

Speaking to BANG Showbiz and other media, he said: "It's a delicate balancing act because they are two different things, a novel is not a TV show and a TV show is not a novel.

"While we're trying to be absolutely true to the source material, it's a TV show.

"Fans of the novel, some of them, will be up in arms because it won't be the characters they had in their head.

"There's nothing we as actors can do about that.

"We have to serve the script and what's in front of us. I can't really be worrying whether people who are into the novels will not like it."

The first of the 'Grace' films, 'Dead Simple' – based on the 2005 book of the same name, the first in the novel series – is expected to air on ITV next month.