Born on 30 November 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire, David Nicholls attended Toynbee Comprehensive school and Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, before going to the University of Bristol in 1985 to study English Literature and Drama.
Having graduated, and keen to pursue a career as an actor, he won a scholarship to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, before returning to London in 1991. There he worked in a number of bars and restaurants before finally earning an Equity card. He worked sporadically as an actor for the next eight years, appearing in plays at Battersea Arts Centre, the Finborough, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep.
A three year stint at the Royal National Theatre followed, understudying and playing small parts in, amongst others, Arcadia, Machinal, Inadmissable Evidence and The Seagull. During this period, he began to read plays and film scripts as a freelance reader, before taking a job at BBC Radio Drama as a script reader/researcher. This led to script-editing jobs at London Weekend Television and Tiger Aspect Productions.
During this period, he began to write, developing an adaptation of Sam Shepard's stage-play Simpatico with the director Matthew Warchus, an old friend from University. He also wrote his first original script, a situation comedy about frustrated waiters, Waiting, which was later optioned by the BBC.
Simpatico was turned into a feature film in 1999, starring Sharon Stone, Catherine Keener, Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte and Albert Finney. This allowed David to start writing full-time, and his first TV production followed soon afterwards; I Saw You, a one-off romantic-comedy starring Paul Rhys and Fay Ripley, which won best single play at the annual BANFF television festival. Four episodes of Cold Feet followed, and since then David has written for film and TV as well as fiction. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards and his first novel, Starter for 10 was featured on the first Richard and Judy Book Club.
In fiction, he has written the novels Starter for Ten, The Understudy and One Day. In film, Simpatico was followed by the movie version of Starter for Ten, directed by Tom Vaughan, with James MacAvoy and Rebecca Hall, and an adaptation of Blake Morrison's memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father? directed by Anand Tucker, and starring Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent and Julie Stevenson. The feature film version of One Day, directed by Lone Scherfig, with Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Romola Garai, Rafe Spall, Jodie Whittaker, Ken Stott and Patricia Clarkson.
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