The BBC has announced that its adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People was the most-popular programme of 2020 on the BBC iPlayer with over 62 million streams.

The Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones-starring romantic drama saw off the challenge of shows such as Killing Eve (39,344,000 streams), MasterChef (22,206,000) and The Split (18,939,000) to take the BBC's top spot.

The first episode of Normal People was streamed 6,378,000 times in the UK. The series three opener of Killing Eve was streamed 7,398,000 times.

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones filming Normal People

Overall, there were 5.3 billion streams on the BBC iPlayer this year, a rise of 33% on the same period last year and a new record for the broadcaster.

Commenting, Dan McGolpin, Controller of BBC iPlayer, said: "It's pleasing to see the sensational adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People take top slot as the biggest series of the year and there have been other brand new drama series among the most popular, such as Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You, The Nest and The Secrets She Keeps as well as hugely popular returners like Killing Eve and The Split." 

Normal People is available to watch on the RTÉ Player.

Last month, Normal People director Lenny Abrahamson told Sunday with Miriam on RTÉ Radio 1 that he hopes to begin filming the adaptation of author Sally Rooney's first book, Conversations with Friends"early next year".

Following the breakout success of Normal PeopleDublin company Element Pictures, the BBC and streaming service Hulu are all on board once again for the new series.

"We enjoyed making Normal People so much that we are lucky to be given the opportunity to make Conversations with Friends, which is Sally Rooney's first novel," Dubliner Abrahamson told Miriam O'Callaghan.

"I am due to go into production with that early next year, kind of craziness and Covid-permitting. That would be the next one."

Conversations with Friends tells the story of two college students in Dublin and their romantic entanglements with an older married couple. Like Normal People, Conversations with Friends will consist of 12 episodes of half an hour each.

Writer Alice Birch is once again adapting Rooney's work for the screen. As with Normal People, Rooney is among the executive producers on the series.

Lenny Abrahamson on the set of Normal People

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