BBC One’s 'Bodyguard' is the biggest TV drama in a decade

Sam Ashurst

The BBC’s bonkers Bodyguard packs pretty much everything telly addicts want to see into one series.

Sex, violence, action, superb acting and mad twists. So, it should come as no surprise that it’s been an instant monster hit for the Beeb.

Episode one received a consolidated figure of 10.4 million viewers, with a 40.9% share.

That makes it the most successful launch for any new drama across all UK channels since 2006.

Bodyguard tells the story of David Budd (Madden), a heroic but volatile war veteran working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch (RaSP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service.

When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, could he become her biggest threat?

It’s a premise that’s electrified audiences, and the team behind the production is proud of their success.

Responding to the announcement, Bodyguard’s showrunner Jed Mercurio, said: “The success of Bodyguard is a tribute to the magnetism of our two leads, Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes. I’m exceedingly grateful to World Productions and to the BBC who have supported the project throughout production, and to the viewers who’ve responded with such enthusiasm.”

Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: “I’m thrilled with the response to BBC One’s new Sunday night drama Bodyguard, the figures are extraordinary and all credit to the mastermind creator and writer Jed Mercurio who is surprising the audience at every turn.”

Simon Heath, CEO & Creative Director of World Productions, said: “We’re all delighted. These figures reflect how Jed’s terrific scripts in combination with Richard and Keeley’s brilliant performances made Bodyguard appointment to view TV”.

Bodyguard continues on BBC One this Sunday at 9pm, with the first three episodes available on iPlayer.

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