Mescal hailed the “life-changing” impact the BBC hit series had on him after he won best leading actor while Coel dedicated her lead actress win to the intimacy coordinator of her sexual consent drama.
Gongs were handed out during Sunday’s ceremony which took place in front of a live but socially distanced audience of nominees at Television Centre in west London.
Diversity’s Black Lives Matter routine on Britain’s Got Talent won best must-see moment, the only Bafta award voted for by the public.
Sky Arts series Life & Rhymes was the surprise winner of the entertainment programme gong, beating Saturday night staples Strictly Come Dancing, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and The Masked Singer.
Meanwhile Casualty was named best soap or continuing drama, just days after the BBC announced its spin-off show Holby City will end next year.
The medical drama defeated Coronation Street, EastEnders and Hollyoaks.
Amid snubs and surprises, there was disappointment for royal drama The Crown, which had been nominated for four prizes but left empty handed.
Catherine Zeta-Jones presented the Bafta for best single drama, awarded to BBC One’s Sitting In Limbo. Meanwhile Sky Atlantic’s Save Me Too won best drama series on the night.
Full list of 2021 Bafta winners
Comedy Entertainment Programme: The Big Narstie Show
Current Affairs: America’s War On Abortion, Exposure
Daytime: The Great House Giveaway
Drama Series: Save Me Too
Entertainment Performance: Romesh Ranganathan, The Ranganation
Entertainment Programme: Life & Rhymes
Factual Series: Once Upon A Time In Iraq
Features: Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace
Female Performance In A Comedy Programme: Aimee Lou Wood - Sex Education
International: Welcome To Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville)
Leading Actor: Paul Mescal, Normal People
Leading Actress: Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You
Male Performance In A Comedy Programme: Charlie Cooper, This Country
Mini-series: I May Destroy You
News Coverage: Sky News, Inside Idlib
Reality & Constructed Factual: The School That Tried To End Racism
Scripted Comedy: Inside No 9
Short-form Programme: They Saw The Sun First
Single Documentary: Locked In: Breaking The Silence, Storyville
Single Drama: Sitting In Limbo
Soap & Continuing Drama: Casualty
Specialist Factual: The Surgeon’s Cut
Live Event: Springwatch 2020
Sport: England v West Indies Test cricket
Supporting Actor: Malachi Kirby - Small Axe
Supporting Actress: Rakie Ayola - Anthony
Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment: Britain’s Got Talent, Diversity