Sally Rooney’s Normal People could be the last new drama due to coronavirus

The BBC‘s adaption of Sally Rooney’s Normal People could be the last new TV drama in a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down TV production.

The 12-part drama, based on the best selling second novel of 29-year-old author is set to start on April 27 on BBC One and BBC Three, and will air every Monday night  telling the coming-of-age tale of two mismatched young people who fall in love in Ireland.

Filming for the show, starring newcomer, Paul Mescal, 24, and Cold Feet’s Daisy Edgar-Jones, 21, finished before Christmas, while post-production for the show wrapped before the lockdown. 

However, the BBC has been forced to delay filming for some of their biggest shows including Peaky Blinders, Line of Duty and Call the Midwife amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken 15,464 lives and infected more than 115,000 in the UK.

The BBC's adaption of Sally Rooney's Normal People could be the last new TV drama in a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down TV production. Pictured: Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell in the BBC Three adaptation of the show

The BBC's adaption of Sally Rooney's Normal People could be the last new TV drama in a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down TV production. Pictured: Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell in the BBC Three adaptation of the show

The BBC’s adaption of Sally Rooney’s Normal People could be the last new TV drama in a long time due to the coronavirus pandemic shutting down TV production. Pictured: Daisy Edgar-Jones as Marianne and Paul Mescal as Connell in the BBC Three adaptation of the show

Normal People, left, is the second novel by the Dublin-born author

Normal People, left, is the second novel by the Dublin-born author

Normal People follows Conversations With Friends, Rooney's debut (pictured)

Normal People follows Conversations With Friends, Rooney's debut (pictured)

Normal People, left, is the second novel by the Dublin-born author after 2017’s Conversations with Friends, pictured right 

This means a slew of new shows, may take longer to air, with the national broadcaster running repeats of classic television and adding box sets to iPlayer to help viewers starve off boredom in lockdown. 

BBC Three is also in the early stages of adapting Rooney’s debut novel Conversations with Friends. The show is set in Dublin about two college students Frances and Bobbi, and the strange, unexpected connection they forge with a married couple, Melissa and Nick.

Other shows that have been delayed in the coming weeks include Life, about a  group of flat-dwellers in Manchester, starring Gavin and Stacey’s Alison Steadman.  

Sally Rooney, was dubbed the voice of a generation after she became the youngest ever author to win the prestigious Costa prize at just 27. 

Normal People follows Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) from their school days to their university years at Trinity College Dublin. Pictured, Marianne at university

Normal People follows Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) from their school days to their university years at Trinity College Dublin. Pictured, Marianne at university

Normal People follows Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) from their school days to their university years at Trinity College Dublin. Pictured, Marianne at university

Normal People follows Connell and Marianne from their school days in County Sligo to university at Trinity College Dublin. 

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. 

The trailer only offers brief snippets of interaction between Connell and Marianne but the chemistry is sizzling. Pictured, Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) in an emotional moment

The trailer only offers brief snippets of interaction between Connell and Marianne but the chemistry is sizzling. Pictured, Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) in an emotional moment

The trailer only offers brief snippets of interaction between Connell and Marianne but the chemistry is sizzling. Pictured, Marianne (Daisy Edgar Jones) in an emotional moment

The show looks set to make stars of its two leads. Edgar Jones appeared in Cold Feet and War of the Worlds while this is Mescal's first TV role. Pictured, Mescal as Connell

The show looks set to make stars of its two leads. Edgar Jones appeared in Cold Feet and War of the Worlds while this is Mescal's first TV role. Pictured, Mescal as Connell

The show looks set to make stars of its two leads. Edgar Jones appeared in Cold Feet and War of the Worlds while this is Mescal’s first TV role. Pictured, Mescal as Connell

The novel, released in 2018, became a New York Times and international best-seller. In 2019 the title beat Michelle Obama’s Becoming to be named Book of the Year at the annual British Book Awards.  

 Filming took place in Dublin, Sligo and Italy with Oscar nominated director Lenny Abrahamson (Room, The Little Stranger, Frank) and award-winning director Hettie McDonald (Howard’s End) sharing the directorial duties.        

The novel sold 500,000 copies in the UK.