Richard Ayoade to narrate Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything | Bestselling pop science book to be turned into an animation

Richard Ayoade to narrate Bill Bryson’s Short History of Nearly Everything

Bestselling pop science book to be turned into an animation

Richard Ayoade is to narrate an animated version of Bill Bryson’s popular science book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.

The  bestseller is being adapted into a TV series by The Simpsons  showrunner Josh Weinstein and Jason Hazeley, the comedy writer whose credits include Cunk On Earth, the Paddington movies and the Ladybird Books For Grown-Ups.

Weinstein said: ‘Should aliens ever land on Earth, Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything is the only guide they'll need to understand humans, our foibles and our knowledge of our planet... and to make fun of us.

‘And if they can't read any of the 50 languages it's been translated to, they're invited to watch the mind-blowingly funny animated series we've based on it.’

Hazeley added: ‘Bill’s writing is so clear, so clever and so funny that adapting it for the screen is a sky-scraping joyous  undertaking. And a chance for me to have a 135th go at understanding quantum theory.’

Bryson’s book, which has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, is being adapted by production companies Altitude and Brouhaha Entertainment with the help of animation specialists Framestore, who also previously worked on the Paddington movies.

The author said: ‘I feel very lucky to have such a gifted and  distinguished group of creative talents turning my words into screen magic.’

The series has not yet been publicly attached to any broadcaster or platform, but promises to ‘span centuries and continents, time and space, the abstract and the real, the crazy and the obvious… in a way that only animation can’.

Will Clarke of Altitude said: 'Bill’s brilliant mind expands beyond the hugely impressive number of books he’s sold and is arguably a global brand in its own right.

‘We know from broadcasters and streamers that audiences are hungry to explore and learn more about our universe whilst being entertained and our series – which we envisage as a long-running entertainment franchise - is the perfect way to deliver that.’

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Published: 12 Feb 2024

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