Why Keeley Hawes' 'Bodyguard' will be your next BBC addiction

Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden star in BBC’s upcoming political drama ‘Bodyguard.’
Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden star in BBC’s upcoming political drama ‘Bodyguard.’

Tipped to be the most talked about BBC drama of the year, Bodyguard is less than a week away from launching.

Starring Keeley Hawes (The Durrells, The Missing, Line of Duty) and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, Ibiza, Lady Chatterley’s Lover) Bodyguard promises to be a thrilling political drama set in contemporary London.

Here’s all you need to know about the six-part series and why we think it’ll be your next BBC drama addiction…

It’s created by the writer of Line of Duty

Line of Duty (BBC Pictures)
Line of Duty (BBC Pictures)

If you loved Line of Duty then you’re absolutely going to want to tune into Bodyguard. Not to be confused with the 1992 Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner movie, Bodyguard is a BBC series created and written by Jed Mercurio, the writer of 23 episodes of fellow hit BBC series Line of Duty.

Mercurio told The Guardian that while comparisons are inevitable, Bodyguard stands out alone and offers something truly unique. He describes the series as, “A political thriller seemed like relatively fresh territory. There aren’t a lot of political dramas on TV, and those that are tend to be American.

Plus, the idea of doing it from the viewpoint of a police protection officer seemed really interesting, and gave an opportunity to create real jeopardy,” he explained.

It stars a future James Bond contender

Richard Madden attending Bodyguard screening (PA Images).
Richard Madden attending Bodyguard screening (PA Images).

Move over Idris Elba, as Bodyguard’s Richard Madden is also a contender to play the next 007. Recommended by none other than Mercurio himself, he described Madden as a “fantastic actor” and regarding playing Bond “If there are certain signature roles out there in the world, certain brand leading roles, then I couldn’t think of a better candidate!”

Madden stars in Bodyguard as married father-of-two and war veteran David Budd, who takes on a new role as the Home Secretary’s Personal Protection Officer. Highly trained and excellent at his job, he is nonetheless a tortured soul, and his war experiences directly contradict the war policies of the Home Secretary – played by Keeley Hawes.

It explores contemporary political issues

Bodyguard airs end of August on BBC One.
Bodyguard airs end of August on BBC One.

Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes) must make excruciatingly tough decisions on war and self defence policies throughout Bodyguard. Many of these echo contemporary political issues that the current government face.

From terrorist threats to assassination attempts to impending war, Montague must navigate these murky waters and serve as the official spokesperson on national news.

And Budd’s (Madden) character’s PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is fully explored and the effects it has had on his crumbling family life.

It includes a ‘will they, won’t they’ sexual tension storyline

Hawes as Home Secretary in Bodyguard (BBC Pictures).
Hawes as Home Secretary in Bodyguard (BBC Pictures).

The tension between Montague and Budd is impossible to ignore. The uptight Home Secretary is abrasive and dismissive towards Budd in the first episode, but gradually the two form a trust and even the beginnings of a flirtation.

And the actors chemistry is undeniable, which was probably helped by the fact that they worked together years ago when they starred in the 2000 movie Complicity.

Madden said at Bodyguard screening Q&A of working with Hawes again: “I love working with Keeley. We really get on which is actually quite a shame because I spend most of the time in Bodyguard not getting on with her.

But we do have quite a laugh, because in a job like this there aren’t a lot of giggles. It’s very intense while filming so it’s good we can fool around when the cameras are off,” he said.

It stars a well-prepared Keeley Hawes

Keeley Hawes at the premiere of Bodyguard (BBC Pictures).
Keeley Hawes at the premiere of Bodyguard (BBC Pictures).

Hawes, one of Britain’s most celebrated television actresses, may have worked with both Madden and Mercurio before, but she says she still throughly prepared for the intimidating role of playing Home Secretary.

She explained, “Politicians speak in a very different way. I realised that as I was YouTubing the hell out of all of them, from the beginning of time. They don’t have conversations with people, they just tell you what they want you to know. And that is a very, very different thing.

And I have lots of those sorts of things, I have lots of statements to camera, I have lots of debates, I go on the Andrew Marr Show, and I tell him what I think,” she said at the show’s screening.

Bodyguard starts with a double bill on Sunday 26 August at 9pm on BBC1.

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