I met David Nichols right before Starter for Ten was released.
He was talking with my aunt about scripting an Australian/UK long-distance romance dramedy in the style of "Cold Feet" (which he wrote).
The collaboration never eventuated and Nichols used some of his ideas for "Aftersun" and my aunt left Channel Ten who would produce the show (they did eventually launch a similar themed drama, which was short-live, and for the life of me I can't remember what it was called.)
Anyway, Nicholls was a pretty nice guy who seemed humbled by his success. "Starter for Ten" really was an experiment for him and he had always thought of himself as a TV writer and not a novelist. With the subsequent success of "Starter for Ten", and the film, and then "One Day", Nicholls strikes me as a man who's sort of fallen into success without really having had to develop his talent. He's a marketable commodity now (like our chief) and anything with his name on it's going to draw the attention of Hollywood regardless of actual quality.
I haven't read "One Day", and I though "Starter for Ten" was very readable, but insular; it's as if Nicholls can describe his stories of youth and awkwardness in a way in which we can relate purely on a sympathetic level, but he lacks the skill to be able to really draw us in to his characters and let us as the reader experience their humanity as our own.
Maybe that's what people prefer these days. To keep distance. To be aware of the human stain without having to feel it's texture.