Line Of Duty has become the biggest TV show of 2019 with more than 7 million people tuning in to watch the police drama, according to the BBC.
The Jed Mercurio procedural returned on Sunday night and recorded the highest ratings for an episode in the show’s history, and the largest on any channel this year.
Overnight figures show that an average of 7.8 million viewers watched the drama unfold on BBC One, with a peak of 8 million for the first instalment of series five, which welcomed new cast members Stephen Graham and Rochenda Sandall.
The show has enjoyed a boost of 2.8 million overnight viewership from the launch of the last series, when 5.4 million watched the work of AC-12.
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According to the BBC, only the FA cup coverage from January 25 this year was more popular with younger viewers than the latest episode of Line Of Duty, which enjoyed a 38% overall audience share last night.
The figures follow the ratings success of Mercurio drama Bodyguard. The final episode of the gripping BBC thriller had a huge television audience of 14.3 million.
Viewers tuning in to Line Of Duty saw a brutal attack on PC Maneet Bindra, played by Maya Sondhi, in which the officer had her throat slashed. The episode centred on an investigation into an ambush of a truck carrying heroin by a gang wearing balaclavas.
Martin Compston, who plays DS Steve Arnott, Vicky McClure as DS Kate Fleming and Adrian Dunbar in the role of Superintendent Ted Hastings also returned to dramatic duty in the BBC One series.
Graham plays criminal John Corbett, and Sandall takes the role of Lisa McQueen.
Reporting by PA