Michaela Coel: I did not expect so many to identify with I May Destroy You

Michaela Coel has said she did not expect so many people to identify with her Bafta-winning series I May Destroy You.

The programme won best mini-series at Sunday’s Bafta television awards, while Coel also won in the leading actress category for her role in the hit show.

The series tells the story of a woman rebuilding her life after a sexual assault.

Speaking after the ceremony, Coel said the series “really helped me get past some troubling stuff”.

“What it enabled me to do is sort of pair something quite tragic with something quite beautiful,” she said.

She said the programme “replaced bad memories with really nice ones”.

Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards 2021 – Arrivals – London
(Ian West/PA)

Coel added that she “wasn’t expecting so many people to identify with the show, with the characters”.

“I wasn’t expecting people to feel like I had represented them and that they saw the show as a mirror unto themselves and there isn’t really a word for that feeling,” she said.

Coel said she is not planning to make another series of the programme, which first aired in June last year.

She said I May Destroy You has “been so huge it has destroyed itself”.

Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards 2021 – Arrivals – London
Michaela Coel and Kwenua Osborne arrive for the Bafta TV awards (Ian West/PA)

Coel said it is “lovely” that the BBC and HBO, who broadcast I May Destroy You, have told her to “chill out for a little bit” about deciding on her next project.

“I’m the one who’s raring to go but they’re just like, ‘Just calm down and sit down, it’s been a big thing’.

“So that’s quite nice.

“There isn’t any pressure, which is good as a creative.”

Discussing her plans for celebrating, she added: “I’m going to get some food from Deliveroo with my mum, because that’s what you do, isn’t it.”