Great LezBritain: Interview with “Skins” writer Ed Hime


AE: Did you contribute much to the rest of Emily and Naomi’s story,
beyond Emily’s episode?

EH: My episode was done quite early and I didn’t actually know
how the series was going to play out. We all talked about it and a few
ideas were floated around but I was unsure about how it would end as the
storylines were constantly evolving and shifting.

AE: Did you have anything to do with Naomi’s speech at the end?

EH: I didn’t write it but I loved it. It goes back to pre-Skins
to their origins years before we ever met them. For the whole
series everyone is waiting for Naomi to step up and be brave. I watched
that speech as a punter like everyone else and thought it was a
beautiful moment.

AE: What was your proudest moment as a writer on Skins?
EH: I love them on the scooter and I loved the rooftop scene,
they made that kind of magical.

AE: Did you have to work closely with Lily and Kat?
EH: I’ve only met them a couple of times. The scripts are
finished and then handed to them – it’s a totally separate process. I
visited the set a few times but you are basically a tourist, everyone is
so busy.

AE: Even though it’s separate did Lily and Kat inspire you as actresses?

EH: Absolutely, Kathryn Prescott was really good in series 3 at
giving Naomi longing looks; she has these beautiful eyes that just take
everything in. So in her episode when she’s investigating what’s going
on with Naomi and Sophia, I had her expressive eyes in mind for these
scenes. Lily has the old school movie star thing about her. She’s
mysterious and alluring and she is quite difficult to read, but really
easy to watch and so good at portraying really little things. They are
just such well drawn characters that it’s pretty easy to have someone
go: "Here are your characters do what you want with them."

AE: When you stopped writing for them, did it feel that two old friends
had left you?

EH: The process of my words coming off the page and onto the TV
show gives you a real feeling of alienation as it’s never exactly how
you imagined it and I did drive my flatmate insane by talking about them
all the time. He would just indulge me as if I was talking about my
imaginary friends. I still say "Naomily" about 50 times a day.

AE: Have you seen any of the fan fiction that’s been written about them?

Yes, it’s beautiful that they are transcending the show and in a way
they can become whatever people want them to be – though I was pretty
amazed at the amount of filth people have written!

AE: What would you envisage Naomily doing now?

EH: I love the idea of them travelling together. They’re both so
smart so I could imagine them being at uni and being one of those
awesome couples that are always together. I imagine them to be together
but who knows? It’s best to leave it to the fans and their fiction.

AE: What about Freddie being killed off? It really didn’t feel like it
was necessary for the story.

EH: Well Skins has a grand tradition of subverting its
fans expectations and I totally sympathise with everyone that was
shocked and saddened by it and I miss Freddie too!

AE: Do you think that series 4 could have done with a few more
episodes because it did seem quite rushed with a lot of ends tied up too
It would have been lovely to have written some more but we had 8
episodes from the network. No one wanted to write just 8, especially as
we had 9 characters. I think it was ended well but who knows what will
happen with the movie…

AE: What about the Skins Movie?

EH: It’s going to be awesome and Jack Thorne is writing it – but
that’s literally all I know, I’m not involved with it.

AE: You mentioned that you were working on series 5 today – what stage
are you at with this?

EH: We have a whole bunch of characters and we are just figuring
out on how we want them to fit together and what stories we want to tell
about them.

AE: Are you excited about it?

EH: Yes, very – we are in cool position now, Skins is kind
of established now and this lets us take chances and tell some pretty
untold stories. We’ve been working on it for a few months now and it’s
getting very exciting. It will air at some point next year.

AE: Are there going to be any gay characters in this series?

EH: I can’t talk about that at all, but we are going in some very
interesting and surprising directions – but I’m sorry that’s all I can

AE: Have you chosen the cast?

EH: We are casting now but you have to be 16 or 17 years old and
they are being pretty militant about it. Though you can always tell if
there is someone in their 30s trying to get in.

AE: Would you like to say anything to the readers?

EH: Thank you! It was a really terrifying privilege that meant
so much to so many people and I had a total desire to please them but
also to take the characters somewhere they wouldn’t have thought they
would go. It was a very tricky balancing act.


"Great LezBritain" authors Sarah, a Londoner, and Lee, a Glaswegian, met in a gay discotheque one bleak mid winter, eight years ago and have been shacked up together ever since. When not watching Tipping The Velvet, they find time to write, run a PR company, DJ at their own club nights and love a bit of jam on toast. Follow them on Twitter at greatlezbritain.

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