Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Jilly Cooper, 86, says she’s ‘forgotten’ how to write sex scenes

Novelist is known for her steamy output

Louis Chilton
Friday 27 October 2023 07:58 BST
Comments
Rishi Sunak reveals he's a 'fan' of popular romance novelist: 'You need escapism in your life'

Jilly Cooper, queen of the bonkbuster, has claimed that she has “forgotten” how to write sex scenes.

The 86-year-old novelist, a favourite writer of UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, is renowned for her racy literary content.

However, in an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine, Cooper admitted that she now struggles to conceive original ideas for steamy sequences.

“I’m 86 now and have forgotten how to do it!”, she told the outlet. “It’s quite difficult to write sex scenes – you can’t go on finding ways to do it differently.”

While some of Cooper’s previous novels have been set in the worlds of polo and show jumping, her forthcoming novelTackle! takes place in the sphere of professional football.

The book focuses on an aristocrat called Rupert Campbell-Black, who becomes chairman of a football club. According to the publishers, other characters include “the club’s ravishing and adorable secretary Tember West”, a “sassy press officer” and “glamorous Wags”, all of whose sexual advances the protagonist must navigate.

During an appearance on the ITV chat show This Morning earlier this year, the prime minister opened up about his love of Cooper’s fiction, claiming that he turns to her writing for “escapism”.

“She’s done lots of different books,” he told host Alison Hammond. “That’s the set of books that I like. They are good. You need to have escapism in your life. And that’s a good thing. So whether it’s whatever TV you watch, whatever you’re reading, it’s good to be able to get away from your day-to-day and then just go into a totally different place.”

Sunak listed a number of his favourite works written by Cooper: Riders, Rivals, Polo, The Man Who Made Husbands Jealous and Appassionata.

Novelist Jilly Cooper in 2019 (Getty Images)

Cooper subsequently commented on Sunak’s support to The Independent, remarking that she was “thrilled to bits” with the shoutout from the Tory politician.

The Rutshire Chronicles author said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to bits. It is always a joy as an author when someone says they like your books. I’m so honoured that lovely Rishi Sunak has had time to read them.”

Rivals, one of Cooper’s most well known novels, is currently being adapted into a TV series, which will be released on Disney+. The project stars David Tennant, Aidan Turner, Katherine Parkinson, Lisa McGrillis, Alex Hassell, Emily Atack and Danny Dyer.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in