Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal, a.k.a. Marianne and Connell from Normal People, have so much chemistry as co-stars that they can’t keep awat from each other for long, even if their respiratory health depends on it. (And to be clear, it does. Wear a mask, innit.) The two reunited on the red-carpet for the BAFTA TV Awards on July 31, and in trying to make a big show of how social distancing-compliant they were, the pair posed holding two sides of an extended measuring tape. I almost never turn down some good, solid prop comedy, but something seemed off in this picture. Is that really 6-feet? I held up the edge of a Sour Patch Kids Watermelon wrapper to my computer screen where the measuring tape was, marked it, and contrasted it against Daisy’s height from the top of her head down. It hit about mid-thigh. This here was a noncompliant photo op. What would Phoebe Bridgers think? Not only were Paul and Daisy too far apart for this picture to be horny, but they were too close together for it to function as a PSA.
Next, I zoomed in on a hi-res version of the pic. Holding my laptop upside down, I was able to make out the numbers running along the measuring tape from Daisy to Paul: every ten centimeters marked in red, every foot marked in a blocky black triangle/arrow. In the picture, Paul is holding the tape a few centimeters past the 90 cm/3ft mark (that’s nearly one metre, for those of you who actually watch the BAFTA TV Awards).
It would be enough to call this a case of public recklessness and leave it at that, but I didn’t want this cute photo of Daisy and Paul to become people’s visual shorthand for social distancing. To turn this oopsie into a teachable moment, I had to edit the image to illustrate what six feet apart actually looks like. The answer came from celebheights.com, which revealed that Paul Mescal is 5’11. I amended the picture so that Daisy and Paul were standing one Paul Mescal apart. This is what peak performance looks like. You’re welcome, NHS.