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Lucky artists will get to paint Normal People star Paul Mescal for new Sky Arts show

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FANS of actor Paul Mescal will see the heartthrob in a new light — with his clothes on.

The 24-year-old, a Primetime Emmy Award nominee for his role as Connell in the raunchy BBC drama Normal People, is sitting for Portrait Artist Of The Year.

He is among 24 celebs posing for the Sky Arts show, which starts on October 14 and has a £10,000 first prize.

Others taking part include actor James Nesbitt, broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald, First Dates host Fred Sirieix, TV presenter Katie Piper and actress Jane Horrocks.

The handsome Irishman recently joked that he now daren’t show any skin while out and about, as he doesn’t want to cause an accident.

Speaking during a televised chat in the US, he said: “The worst decision I made after the show was when I was running along the canal.

“It was too hot and I took my top off. Somebody nearly came over the top of their bike because they were screaming.

“I would have felt very guilty if they had been injured.”

Known for its long and intense sex scenes, Normal People titillated the nation when it was aired at the height of lockdown in April, with millions of viewers hooked on the tumultuous romance between Paul’s character Connell Waldron and Marianne Sheridan, played by Daisy Edgar-Jones.

The 12-part series, based on Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel, quickly became BBC Three’s most watched show ever, and even the neck chain that Connell wore gained fame, with its own Facebook page. It later raised more than £60,000 in a charity auction.

But breakout star revealed that the behind-the-scenes reality was anything but sexy — packed with awkward moments, uncomfortable “modesty pouches” and even mortifying fart noises.

He recalled: “On the Friday of the first week, me and Daisy had to do a day of sex scenes and we were covered in this gel called Egyptian Magic. It’s basically fake sweat.

“We had to switch positions and our bodies were in close contact. When we separated it made a really loud fart noise.”

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