BBC receives hundreds of complaints for Paul Mescal blunder

The Normal People star has been nominated for an Academy Award (Picture: Stephane Cardinale-Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)

A BBC blunder that saw Irish Oscar nominee Paul Mescal labelled as ‘British’ resulted in the broadcaster being hit with over 600 complaints.

Last week the national broadcaster issued an apology after getting a major fact about the Aftersun actor wrong.

Now, it’s been revealed that there were 605 complaints about the error, as reported by Deadline.

After being announced as one of the nominees for the upcoming Academy Awards, the 26-year-old from Maynooth was acknowledged in the BBC coverage, but his nationality was listed incorrectly.

In text appearing on screen, the BBC reported: ‘2023 Oscar nominations: British actors Paul Mescal and Bill Nighy are nominated for leading role.’

BBC apologised for the mistake shortly afterwards, in a statement that read: ‘In text running across the screen we reported that Paul Mescal was one of two British actors who had been nominated for an Oscar for a leading role.’

Frankie Corio stars as Paul’s on-screen daughter in Aftersun (Picture: Moviestore/Shutterstock)

‘The text should have said that Paul Mescal is Irish. We apologise for the mistake.’

While BBC is monitored by Ofcom, it also takes on complaints directly.

However, audiences can then complain to Ofcom if they believe a breach of the Broadcasting Code has been made.

Born in Maynooth, it wasn’t the first time 26-year-old Paul had wrongly been called British.

Paul won a Bafta in 2021 for his role in Normal People (Picture: David M. Benett/Getty Images)

After starring in the television adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel Normal People in 2020, a tweet clarifying his nationality became the most liked post in his home country that year.

Simply tweeting ‘I’m Irish’ after outlets including The Guardian called him British following his Emmy nomination for the series, the post picked up more than 130,000 likes as well as more than 12,000 retweets and more than 1,600 replies.

That year he was also nominated for the Best Actor Award at the BAFTAS, which he won.

Next month Paul will again be competing for an international nod for his first starring role in a feature film, after his nomination in the Actor in a Leading Role category for Aftersun.

He will be going up against Austin Butler (Elvis), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Bill Nighy (Living) and fellow Irishman Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin) in the category. has contacted the BBC, Ofcom and representatives for Paul Mescal for comment.

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