WATCH VIDEO: Kildare's Normal People star Paul Mescal sits for Sky's Portrait Artist of the Year tonight

Programme airs Wednesday, November 18

Leader reporter


Leader reporter


Kildare actor Paul Mescal, star of Normal People, is tonight's celebrity sitter for the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year television programme.

The Maynooth man eschewed his newly-found fashion icon status for the sitting - he posed for magazine GQ during the summer wearing a €10,000 Hermes jumper teamed with Kildare GAA shorts - instead wearing black jeans, a white t-shirt and a silver chain reminiscent of his character Connell's famous necklace.

His arrival caused quite the stir among the portrait painters - one even saying “my friends are going to be so jealous”.  

Mescal agreed with host Stephen Mangan that the phenomenal success of Normal People had changed his life, "but I think it will become clearer in a couple of months when everything goes back to a little bit of normal".

The actor recently landed his debut film role, to star opposite Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson and Peter Sarsgaard in Maggie Gyllenhaal's adaptation of Elena Ferrente's novel The Lost Daughter. He will also star in a present-day adaptation of the opera Carmen, which is due to start filming in Australia next year - a role which will show off the Kildare man's impressive vocal skills.

Now in its seventh series, Portrait Artist of the Year sees aspiring artists compete against each other to impress celebrity subjects and judges to be crowned the winner.

This series will see 24 celebrity sitters from the worlds of stage, screen, sport and music become the subject for the painters.

Sitting this year are: Pam Hogg (Fashion Designer), Ray Blk (Musician), James Nesbitt (Actor), Katie Piper (Model/TV Presenter), Robert Rinder (TV Personality), Don Letts (Film Director/Musician), Fay Ripley (Actor), Ncuti Gatwa (Actor), Lady Anne Glenconner; Mirren Mack (Actor), Sir Trevor McDonald, The Vivienne (TV Personality), Paul Mescal (Actor), Sian Clifford (Actor), Eddie Marsan (Actor), Deborah James (Radio Presenter), Eamonn Walker (Actor), Melanie Sykes (TV Presenter), David Haig (Actor), Jane Horrocks (Actor), Kwame Kwei Armah (Actor), Katherine Grainger (Sports Personality), Fred Sirieix (TV Personality).

Paul Mescal’s episode of Portrait Artist of the Year airs tonight at 8pm on Sky Arts and NOW TV.