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Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal to star in Normal People for BBC Three

Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal

Story by Jack Foley

RISING talents Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal are to star in new drama Normal People for BBC Three.

Oscar-nominated Lenny Abrahamson is on board to direct the series, which is an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s international literary phenomenon.

Normal People tracks the tender but complicated relationship of Marianne and Connell from the end of their school days in small-town west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College.

At school, he’s well-liked and popular, while she’s lonely, proud and intimidating. But when Connell comes to pick up his mother from her cleaning job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers – one they are determined to conceal.

A year later, they’re both studying in Dublin and Marianne has found her feet in a new social world but Connell hangs at the side lines, shy and uncertain.

Honest, smart and intoxicating, Normal People sees the pair weave in and out of each other’s lives and explores just how complicated intimacy and young love can be.

Adapted by Sally Rooney alongside writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, shooting on Normal People has already commenced and will take place in Dublin, Sligo and Italy.

The 12-part drama marks Abrahamson’s first foray into television, having previously found success on the big screen with Room, The Little Stranger and Frank. He will share directing duties with award-winning helmer Hettie McDonald (Howard’s End).

Abrahamson commented: “It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing Sally Rooney’s extraordinary novel to the screen with such a brilliant cast and crew.

“In Daisy Edgar Jones and Paul Mescal, I feel I have found two young actors who can vividly capture Marianne and Connell and bring alive the profound and beautiful relationship at the centre of the story. It’s also lovely for me to be shooting in Ireland again and telling an Irish story after shooting abroad.

“The film and TV industry here is full of talented and committed people who can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world.”

Rooney added: “As a long-time admirer of Lenny Abrahamson’s work, it’s a special privilege for me to be working alongside him on the adaptation of Normal People. I couldn’t be happier with the cast and team we’ve put together, and I’m very excited to watch them bringing new life to the story on screen.”

Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, said: “Anyone reading Normal People will have a version of Connell and Marianne in their mind’s eye but in casting Paul and Daisy, Lenny has given us a definitive version of these two young, complex characters which will resonate with us all.”

Edgar-Jones has previously starred in War Of The Worlds and Cold Feet, while Mescal is making his first television role.

Joining the cast are Sarah Greene (Dublin Murders, Rosie) and Aislín McGuckin (Outlander, The Nephew) alongside some of the most exciting young acting talent in the UK and Ireland.

Normal People will premiere on BBC Three and air on BBC One. It will air next year on the BBC and on Hulu.