Work on Normal People earns Bruff man Bulfin an Emmy nod

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LIMERICK television producer Tommy Bulfin, said he was “absolutely thrilled” after news broke that the Irish-based television series Normal People, on which he was executive producer, was nominated for four US Emmy Awards.

Bulfin, who hails from the hurling heartland of Bruff, is performing well on the television field, in his wider role as commissioning editor for BBC Drama, and includes Peaky Blinders, EastEnders, and corrupt cop show Line of Duty on his impressive CV.

Normal People became a worldwide hit during the Coronavirus lockdown and its cast and crew are now challenging Hollywood A Listers on the US television awards circuit.

From his home in Shepard’s Bush, London, Bulfin, 38, told the Limerick Post he and his BBC colleagues “are absolutely delighted for the Normal People team”.

“In what was a highly competitive field this year, it’s a real testament to their talent and hard work that they have been recognised by the Emmys, and we wish them the very best of luck,” he continued.

Normal People’s Paul Mescal is nominated as lead actor in a limited series or movie in recognition of his portrayal of the male lead character Connell, while Oscar-nominated Director, Lenny Abrahamson has been recognised for outstanding directing for a limited series, for Episode Five.

Sally Rooney and Alice Birch have both been nominated for outstanding writing.

The series has also been nominated for outstanding casting in a limited series, movie or special for Louise Kiely.

Bulfin, who graduated from Mary Immaculate College with a BA in Media and English, exclusively revealed he and his team at the Beeb “have commissioned and are working with the same team on adapting Sally’s first novel, Conversations With Friends”.

“It was a total joy to work with Lenny, Sally, Alice and the Element team on Normal People and a real pleasure to see how many people took Marianne and Connell to their hearts, and we are very excited to continue working with the team on the production of Sally’s first novel, Conversations With Friends,” Bulfin added.

Paul Mescal’s co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones sadly missed out for a nomination, but has achieved global fame as a result of her efforts in the lead female role.

Mescal is up against stiff competition in Hugh Jackman (Bad Education), Mark Ruffalo (I Know This Much is True) and Jeremy Irons, in HBO’s dystopian epic (Watchmen).

The nominations ceremony for the biggest night in US television was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Normal People, which aired on BBC Three, BBC 1 and RTÉ, has smashed downloading records in the UK generating over 23 million download requests and hits, and it has been sold all the major European television markets, America, Canada, Latin America and Asia.

Produced by Element Productions, Ireland’s largest television and film production company, the programme follows the two main characters Connell and Marianna as their relationship blossoms and changes from when they are teenagers in County Sligo to when they both travel to the ‘big smoke’ in Dublin to study at Trinity College Dublin.

The Emmys are regarded as the biggest awards night in US television. This year’s ceremony, the 72nd Emmys, will be presented by US talkshow host, actor and comedian, Jimmy Kimmel, on September 20.