First trailer for BBC adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People paints picture of fractured relationship

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Viewers are given a voyeuristic look into a fractured relationship in the first trailer for the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People.

The 12-part BBC series stars Cold Feet actress Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal in his first television role as Connell.

In the one-minute teaser, Connell picks up the phone to Marianne as images of the pair locked in an intimate embrace flash across the screen.

“I keep thinking how nice it was to see you,” she says haltingly.

“And I was thinking that I have missed having you in my life. And maybe it would be nice to have you in it again.

“I know we haven’t done the whole friendship thing… but I was wondering if we could.”

Normal People follows the relationship between Marianne and Connell from the end of their school days in a small town in the west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College.

At school, he’s popular and clever while she’s bullied and excluded for being intimidating and different, but the pair establish a connection when Connell arrives to pick up his mother from her cleaning job at Marianne’s house.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Paul Mescal as Connell (BBC/Element/Enda Bowe/PA)</figcaption>
Paul Mescal as Connell (BBC/Element/Enda Bowe/PA)

When they are both studying in Dublin, the dynamic between them shifts as Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell struggles to feel at home.

Images of their burgeoning relationship accompany the tense phone exchange.

Rooney, who has penned the adaptation alongside writers Alice Birch and Mark O’Rowe, was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2018.

Normal People won Irish Novel of the Year at the 2018 Irish Book Awards and was named 2019’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards.

Normal People will be available on BBC Three later this year.