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How Normal People was inspired by a true story 

Did you enjoy the BBC Three show? 

normal people marianne
Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
May 6, 2020
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Viewers have been obsessed with BBC's new show Normal People. The 12-part series, which was adapted from Sally Rooney's bestselling novel of the same name, follows the relationship between Connell and Marianne from their teenage years - but is the tale based on a true story? 

WATCH: Trailer for Normal People

While Connell and Marianne are fictional, Sally has previously revealed that plenty of the novel is based on her own experiences growing up. Speaking to The Guardian, she explained: "I think a large part of it was that it was being a teenager, which I didn’t enjoy. But I don’t respond to authority very well. I fundamentally don’t agree with accepting authority that you haven’t agreed to in some way. As a funnel – as a way of making children into adults – I don’t think it’s good practice." This certainly sounds like Marianne, who alienates herself from her schoolmates by struggling to deal with authority at school. 

READ: Normal People star Daisy Edgar-Jones' boyfriend: all you need to know about Tom Varey

normal people daisy joanne

Like Marianne, author Sally Rooney went to Trinity College

Like the characters in the show, Sally also attended Trinity College in Dublin where, like Marianne, she made her most important friendships. Speaking to News Statesman, she said that they are "the friendships that have mainly been the big friendships of my life". She joined the debating society, where she explained: "That was the first time that I’d had friendships that revolved around the conceptual, political discussion." The TV adaptation of the novel has become a massive hit for BBC Three, becoming the new record holder for the most-watched show on the network, which was previously held by Killing Eve. 

READ: Normal People star Paul Mescal reveals what happened to Connell's chain necklace

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The TV show adaptation of Sally's bestselling novel has been a huge success

Speaking about knowing that Daisy Edgar-Jones would get the part of Marianne after auditioning with her, Paul Mescoe told Variety: "It’s very difficult to quantify why that is. This sounds odd, but it felt like Paul and Marianne were talking to each other rather than me and Daisy acting to each other if that makes sense. It just felt quite natural and easy." 

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