Jilly Cooper ‘thrilled to bits’ that Rishi Sunak reads her bonkbusters

PM spoke in some detail about how he enjoys the novels as they help him ‘get away from the day to day’

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 25 May 2023 11:38 BST
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Jilly Cooper has said she is “thrilled to bits” that Rishi Sunak is a fan of her bonkbuster novels.

The prime minister talked in some detail about his love of the racy books on ITV’s This Morning today (25 May).

During an interview with Alison Hammond, Sunak discussed everything from immigration and the NHS to his literature preferences.

“You need to have escapism in your life,” he said. “You need to be able to get away from the day to day... That’s a good thing.”

In response, bestselling British author Cooper told The Independent: “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.”

Cooper is famous for her raunchy novels in the Rutshire Chronicles series, which are set in glamorous and wealthy milieus.

One of Sunak’s favourites is Riders, a 1985 novel set in the world of showjumping, which follows the life of the gorgeous but badly behaved Rupert Campbell-Black and his rival Jake Lovell.

There is a lot of sex in the book. One passage reads: “Fascinated, she watched his long fingers stroking her belly, then sliding into the dark bush.”

Reacting to the This Morning interview on Twitter, one viewer wrote: “F***ing crying over Jilly Cooper dear lord.”

“Hearing that Rishi Sunak loves Jilly Cooper books is potentially one of the most surprising things I expected to hear this morning,” another posted with a sobbing emoji and a crying-laughing emoji.

Many people shared the front cover of the book Riders, which features a man’s hand placed on the right cheek of a woman’s bottom.

“Maybe we should all read Jilly Cooper novels so we can escape from Sunak’s reality?” one viewer joked.

“Aren’t Jilly Cooper books about Sunak’s reality?” added another person, alluding to Sunak’s huge wealth.

“I just puked into my tea. Is Sunak the prime minister or a randy teenager?” another user tweeted.

It recently also emerged that Sunak is a fan of Michael Buble’s music, and the much-derided Netflix show Emily in Paris.

One of Cooper’s most popular novels, Rivals, is being adapted into a Disney+ TV series. It will star an ensemble cast including David Tennant, Aidan Turner, Katherine Parkinson, Lisa McGrillis, Alex Hassell, Emily Atack and Danny Dyer.

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