- 08 Jun 21
The 25-year-old Kildare-born actor scooped up the award on Sunday night (June 6).
Paul Mescal has won the BAFTA TV award for playing Connell Waldron in the BBC/Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney's novel Normal People.
The Irish actor won in a category that included John Boyega (Small Axe), Josh O'Connor (The Crown), Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You), Shaun Parkes (Small Axe) and Waleed Zuaiter (Baghdad Central).
The series was a huge success when it premiered in April 2020, and made instant stars of its two leads, Daisy Edgar Jones and Mescal himself.
"I was fully not expecting to be here, so I have no clue what I am going to say," Mescal said in his acceptance speech. "I want to thank everyone at Hulu and the BBC. I want to thank every at Element. I want to thank Lenny (Abrahamson) for trusting me with this."
Mescal continued on to dedicate the award to Edgar-Jones, saying: "Daisy...is the best scene partner and one of the best people that I know."
In a Q+A before the ceremony with the other nominees, Mescal explained how he and Edgar-Jones spent a week with director Lenny Abrahamson before they began filming the series, saying: "I think it was more so kind of a chance for me and Daisy to meet, see each other.
"But we had done a chemistry read before it, so I think there was a kind of understanding that we would work together well and I could not have asked for a better partner for that show."
Elsewhere, Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You took home the prize for best miniseries, and the actress and writer also took home the Leading Actress award, beating out Edgar Jones, Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) and Letitia Wright (Small Axe).