The first-look images from the BBC's upcoming adaptation of best-selling Mayo author Sally Rooney's novel Normal People have been released.

The highly-anticipated 12-part relationship drama from the BBC stars British actress Daisy Edgar Jones (War of the Worlds, Cold Feet) in the role of Marianne, and Kildare newcomer Paul Mescal in his first television role as Connell.

Daisy Edgar Jones as Marianne

The series charts Marianne and Connell's complicated relationship "from the end of their school days in small-town west of Ireland to their undergraduate years at Trinity College".

Paul Mescal in his first television role as Connell

It is described as "an exquisite and compulsive modern love story about how two people can profoundly impact each other's lives".

Marianne in a still from Normal People

The first-look images show Marianne and Connell in various scenes, from their school years to their time at university.

The images show the characters in various locations

At school Connell is popular, while Marianne is excluded for being different and intimidating. But once they begin studying in Dublin, the tables are turned as Marianne finds her feet while Connell struggles to feel at home.

Connell struggles to feel at home at university

Oscar-nominated Room director Lenny Abrahamson and Howard's End's Hettie McDonald are sharing the directorial duties on the series, which will air on BBC Three and BBC One next year.

Normal People to air on the BBC next year

Rooney, who is executive producer on the series, has adapted her novel for the screen alongside playwright and director Mark O'Rowe (The Delinquent Season) and Alice Birch (Lady Macbeth).

Author Sally Rooney co-wrote the screen adaptation

Normal People is produced by Dublin company Element Pictures, which previously worked with Abrahamson on Room, Frank and last year's The Little Stranger. The cast also includes Sarah Greene (Dublin Murders, Rosie), Seán Doyle (Metal Heart, Fair City) and Aislín McGuckin (Outlander, The Nephew).

Paul Mescal and Seán Doyle in Normal People

Since its publication in 2018, Normal People has won Novel of the Year at both the Irish Book Awards and the British Book Awards. In January, Rooney won the Costa Novel Award. She was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2018.

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