Bodyguard becomes biggest new drama on British television since 2006

Jed Mercurio's latest series is a smash hit.

The majority of viewers who heard that a new Jed Mercurio series was on the way a few months back likely suspected that the Line Of Duty creator’s six-part BBC show would do well, but this is quite something.

It’s been revealed that the first episode of his explosive and nerve-racking drama, Bodyguard, clocked up a consolidated figure of 10.4 million viewers, with a 40.9% share, which is the highest launch of any new drama on UK telly for over a decade. It’s now 2018’s most successful drama series.

Bodyguard has also smashed drama debut records on BBC iPlayer, with 3 million requests to date.

“The success of Bodyguard is a tribute to the magnetism of our two leads, Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes,” remarked showrunner Mercurio in a statement. “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.”

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Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, added “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.”

Episode 4 of Bodyguard will air on BBC One this Sunday. You can catch up with the first three episodes on BBC iPlayer right now. You can also read our review of episode 1 here, episode 2 here, and episode 3 right here.

More Bodyguard news as it arrives.