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RTÉ received 37 informal complaints about first two episodes of Normal People

The episodes were broadcast last Tuesday night on RTÉ 1.

Main characters Marianne and Connell in the TV adaptation of Normal People.
Main characters Marianne and Connell in the TV adaptation of Normal People.
Image: BBC

THERE WERE 37 pieces of negative feedback sent from members of the public to RTÉ about the first two episodes of new TV show Normal People.

The 12-part series is about two teenagers from Sligo and is based on the novel under the same name by Irish writer Sally Rooney. The first two episodes were aired on RTÉ 1 last Tuesday night.

The programme contains a number of sex scenes, although none in the first episode, between the two main characters Marianne and Connell – played by actors Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal. 

RTÉ said it has received no formal complaints in relation to Normal People, however it did receive some “feedback”.

“We received 37 pieces of feedback from the public, made before and after broadcast, expressing unhappiness and disappointment with the content of the episode,” a spokesperson for RTÉ said.

“It is worth noting that there was a hugely positive response from our viewers on social media,” they added. 

In a discussion on RTÉ radio’s Liveline with Joe Duffy on Thursday, some listeners debated the morality of the show.

It has received a five-star review from The Guardian and has been generally well received by viewers online. 

However, some Liveline listeners called to express their discomfort watching the main characters together and some argued it was setting a poor example for teenagers. 

One caller called Tommy said: “It’s morally wrong, it’s fornication, it’s the national broadcaster promoting fornication.”

Another caller Mary said she imagined it was “something you would expect to see in a porno movie”. 

One woman, Molly, called in to praise Normal People, saying it “portrayed two people in love of an age consenting”. 

I don’t understand where these guys are coming from, in this day and age we’ve moved along from the word fornication.

The show is being broadcast on the BBC in the UK, Hulu in the US and RTÉ here. The next episode in the series will be aired on RTÉ 1 next Tuesday, 5 May at 10.15pm. 

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