Author Jilly Cooper reveals she may have overdone her best-seller

Riders? There’s far too much sex in it! Author Jilly Cooper, 85, reveals she may have overdone it after re-reading her best-selling book

Raunchy sex scenes were central to the ‘bonkbuster’ novels that earned her millions.

But now Jilly Cooper has revealed that she may have overdone it.

The author, 85, told how she recently re-read her best-selling book Riders and was shocked by the content.

The 1985 novel charts the fortunes and sex lives of a group of fame and money-hungry showjumping stars.

Author Jilly Cooper, 85 (pictured), told how she recently re-read her best-selling book Riders and was shocked by the content. The novel charts the fortunes and sex lives of a group of showjumping stars

‘Ah, sex scenes,’ said Miss Cooper. ‘I went back and read it – I haven’t read it for 20 years – and I must say I was horrified by the sex.

‘I mean, it’s great sex, but gosh, I knew those things. I’m 85 now and forgotten how to do it! There are a lot of things wrong with it – there’s far too much sex, really. I’m so old now I wouldn’t be able to know how to write it now.’ The book was the first in a series of romance novels known as the Rutshire Chronicles, set in the fictional English county of Rutshire. In 1993, it was turned into a TV film starring Stephanie Beacham.

The storyline centered around the handsome but dastardly Rupert Campbell-Black and his rival Jake Lovell.

But one of the more risque scenes of Riders features jockey Billy Lloyd-Foxe’s passionate embrace with a journalist named Janey.

After going for a dusk walk, the pair end up in a clinch with her being stung by nettles and him using dock leaves to woo her.

Even its original cover was too suggestive for more modern tastes. When it was released 37 years ago, it featured a man’s hand resting intimately on the seat of a woman’s jodhpurs.

Riders’ storyline centered around the handsome but dastardly Rupert Campbell-Black and his rival Jake Lovell. But one of the more risque scenes of Riders features jockey Billy Lloyd-Foxe’s passionate embrace with a journalist named Janey

But for the 30th anniversary edition in 2015, the hand was moved to the woman’s hip. Miss Cooper believes her books were so popular because they were about alluring people misbehaving, telling Graham Norton’s Audible podcast: ‘I think what people like reading about is rich, glamorous people doing naughty things.

‘That sums up the books, in a way. But also I think they do heroic things. I think I tell a good story. It’s like David and Goliath – there’s usually a character who starts off quite poor, a horse that starts off quite poor, and they do better and beat Goliath in the end.

‘Although they are bonkbusters, they do have causes – cruelty to horses, cruelty to dogs, crept into the stories.

‘So I think there is a cause and my stories end up very happy in the end.’

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