Irish actor Paul Mescal wins BAFTA award for leading role in 'Normal People'

Irish actor Paul Mescal wins BAFTA award for leading role in 'Normal People'

PAUL MESCAL has been awarded with a BAFTA for his outstanding work in the BBC drama Normal People.

At just 25 years of age, the Kildare native became a household name last year as the TV adaption of Sally Rooney's second novel exploded in popularity, being binged on both sides of the Atlantic and with multiple celebrities-- such as Dua Lipa and Kim Kardashian-- expressing their love for the show.

Both Mescal and his co-star, Daisy Edgar Jones, became some of the world's biggest up-and-coming stars almost overnight as the world remained indoors during the first Covid-19 lockdown, many choosing Normal People as their poison to while away the long days, and both have been recognised with awards in the months since.

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones shot to fame through their roles in Normal People (Normal People / BBC)

Last night, the British Academy Television Awards presented Paul Mescal with the award for Leading Actor for his role as Connell in the smash-hit show; wearing a suit and a black mask, the young Irishman strode delightedly on stage to collect the award, giving a short speech where he admitted he was "fully not expecting to be here so I have no clue what I'm going to say".

The BAFTA winner thanked the staff at Hulu, as well as the BBC and Element pictures and his agent Lara.

Mescal also thanked Normal People director Lenny Abrahamson for "trusting" him with the role, and dedicated the award to his co-star Daisy Edgar Jones, who is "one of the best people I know".

"I'm probably forgetting people and I'm incredibly nervous," he admitted, before laughing nervously, thanking his parents and walking off stage with his well-deserved award.

Director Lenny Abrahamson, writing on Twitter, said the win was "wonderful news".

"So happy for the brilliant [Paul Mescal] and for all the people in front of and behind the camera who brought 'Normal people' to the screen.

"And a massive shout out to [Daisy Edgar Jones]- a total jewel in our show."