The UK's FilmFour has optioned How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, Toby Young's best-selling account of his time in New York on upmarket magazine Vanity Fair.

Young will write the screenplay and act as associate producer on the project, which charts how the British journalist was fired after faux pas such as asking celebrities about their sexual orientation. He once hired a strip-o-gram to come to the office on Take Our Daughters to Work Day.

"This is the ultimate revenge on my former employers," said Young. "I fully expect to be admitted to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2004 clutching an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay."

The book, published in the UK by Little Brown, has been on the UK best-seller list for 22 weeks.

UK newspaper The Independent on Sunday called it "a funny, authentic and compelling examination of a media world obsessed with celebrity".

Elinor Day, deputy head of production at FilmFour, will oversee the project. The deal was brokered by Emma Parry, Youngs' agent at Carlisle & Company, Andrew Hildebrand, director of business affairs for FilmFour, and David Brook, Channel 4's director of strategy and development.

"We're thrilled," said FilmFour chief Paul Webster. "With his acerbic wit, Toby Young is the natural successor to Billy Wilder and I A L Diamond."