‘Fleabag’ producers are turning Matt Haig’s depression memoir ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ into a TV show

The story details how a then 24-year-old Haig battled through a mental health crisis

The producers of award-winning show Fleabag are developing a comedy drama based on ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’ – the best-selling book by Matt Haig.

Haig details how he suffered a mental health crisis around the age of 24, when he could see no way out of an illness that had suddenly consumed his entire world. The book describes how Haig worked through that crisis and learned to live again.

At the time of its release, Haig said: “I wrote this book because the oldest clichés remain the truest. Time heals. The bottom of the valley never provides the clearest view. The tunnel does have light at the end of it, even if we haven’t been able to see it… Words, just sometimes, really can set you free.”

UKTV have now confirmed that a television adaptation of the memoir is in the works, adding that it was in the “very early stages of development”.

Andy Burrows and Matt Haig

Back in November, Andy Burrows and Matt Haig teamed up for a collaborative album, ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’, also based on the book.

“He was one of those people who would just keep cropping up when I was scrolling through Twitter. He’s intriguing. I found myself agreeing with him but also being infuriated somethings. I just found him fascinating,” Burrows said after discovering and reading Haig’s memoir.

“A lot of the best songs and lyrics are feelings that we all may have, but might not know how to articulate. Whether you’re a fan of Matt Haig or not, he really puts thoughts down and arranges them in a way that really makes sense,” he added. “There is a lot of hope and optimism in his words, without being cheesy. There’s an acceptance of anxiety, whether within ourselves or as a result of what’s around us – I think we all go through that.

“At the core of it all though, there is a hope, and there is a love. He does it so tastefully, it’s helped me. It was a very uplifting experience to record these songs. I’ve tried to bring a lot of joy and colour to the music, but he’s nailed a lot of the issues that we’re all feeling.”

Meanwhile, the second season of Fleabag is set to air later this year. The hit show, which was created by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, won the award for Best TV Series at the VO5 NME Awards 2017.

The actor and writer had previously discussed her plans for another series, saying she had originally felt like the story had ended. “Then just one day I’m on a bus and just was like ‘Hold on, I think I’ve found a new way in’,” she said.

“I asked myself if Fleabag has more to say and frankly she hasn’t shut up since. Series two will be a whole new adventure, and I’m beyond thrilled to be coming back,” she later added.

Last month, the BBC  revealed that the new episodes will involve Waller-Bridge’s character “going toe to toe with the man upstairs”.

“In an unexpected twist of fate, our lost little rascal meets a Priest (Andrew Scott) who jolts her into seeing the world in a different way. Picking up a year on, there are still old wounds to unpick and new ones to dress, as the next chapter of Fleabag’s life takes her to hell and back,” the report reads.