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Normal People drives BBC Three to its best week on iPlayer

Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne in Normal People (BBC/Element/Enda Bowe/PA)
Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne in Normal People (BBC/Element/Enda Bowe/PA)

Normal People has driven BBC Three to its best week for programme requests on the iPlayer, doubling a record set following the release of Killing Eve series one.

BBC Three earned more than 21.8 million requests in the seven-day period after the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel became available on Sunday April 26.

The programme received 16.2 million requests in its first week, with nearly five million from 16 to 34-year-olds.

Normal People
Paul Mescal as Connell and Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne (Enda Bowe/BBC/PA)

Of all the requests for BBC Three programmes on iPlayer, Normal People makes up more than 70% of the total, according to the BBC.

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

It has been co-written by Rooney and Alice Birch and was directed by Lenny Abrahamson, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2015 for Room, and Hettie Macdonald, who directed the mini-series Howards End.

The previous record for BBC Three was 10.8 million total requests in a week, following the release of the first series of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Killing Eve in 2018.

Fiona Campbell, controller of BBC Three, said: “We’re delighted that Normal People has been such a success and so many people have come to iPlayer to watch it.

“From the initial read-through, the phenomenal thought and preparation the directors put into everything from the aesthetics, locations through to the costumes, we felt this piece would always be incredibly unique and it’s clear the audience thinks so too.

“It’s a modern masterpiece which has helped in catapulting the careers of two brilliant young actors and we’re looking forward to bringing more drama to BBC Three in the future.”

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC drama, and Rose Garnett, director of BBC films, said: “BBC audiences have been bewitched by the story of Connell and Marianne, just as we were after reading the transcript of Sally’s extraordinary novel.

“Taking Normal People from script to screen has been an incredible experience and we’re overwhelmed by the response.

“Lead writers Sally and Alice, directors Lenny and Hettie, all the team at Element Pictures and of course Daisy and Paul should all be so proud of what has been achieved.”

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