Normal People TV show will “expand” on the book

There will be "changes" made from Sally Rooney's original novel in the upcoming TV adaptation


Normal People‘s producer has revealed that the TV adaptation will “expand” on the material in Sally Rooney’s bestselling book of the same name – while also making “some changes” near the end of the 12-part series.


Speaking to, producer Emma Norton said, “There are some changes towards the end of the series, there are certain things that may be slightly different to the book. Oftentimes we found it necessary to expand on moments in the book.”

Explaining why the team chose to expand on Rooney’s novel, she said, “There are certain parts of the book that have a real elegance of writing [and] they’re very brief, and actually there’s a rhythm to TV storytelling where sometimes you have to allow things to breathe or you have the opportunity to spend a little more time in those moments.”

She continued: “The writers who adapted it were – Alice [Birch] particularly was wonderful at finding these little hints or suggestions of something, and expanding on it in order to give us more to play with, and I think it was really important for all of us to honour the book and not throw too many of our own ideas into it.”

Sally Rooney, author of Normal People (Getty)
Sally Rooney, author of Normal People (Getty)

However, despite some changes, the show will remain true to the novel’s focus on the two main characters, Irish teenagers, classmates and sometime-lovers Marianne and Connell (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal).

In the early stages we thought, ‘oh maybe we’ll see more of the peripheral characters or we’ll see more of their lives’,” Norton revealed. “But actually all we always want to see is Marianne and Connell. You just want to be with them all the time.”

Normal People will land as a box set on BBC Three on Sunday 26th April. The 12-part drama will also begin airing on BBC One the day afterwards, on Monday 27th April at 9pm, kicking off with two 30-minute episodes and airing weekly afterwards.

Viewers in the US will be able to watch the series from 29th April on Hulu.


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