Skip to main content

Who is Chief Constable Philip Osborne in 'Line of Duty'? Is he H?!

Philip Obsorne Line of Duty
Owen Teale as Philip Osborne in Line of Duty. (Image credit: BBC)

Chief Constable Philip Osborne first appeared in Line of Duty Season 1, where he was Chief Inspector at the time. Fans were shocked as he returned in season 6 episode 2, after being absent from the series since the first season. 

Since he's been away from our screens for a while, you may need a refresher on who is character is and what he was involved with previously. Here's everything you need to know. Contains spoilers!

Who is Chief Constable Philip Osborne?

Philip Osborne was first seen in Line of Duty's pilot episode A Disastrous Affair, where he was Chief Inspector and the leader of the Counter Terrorism Unit of Central Police at the time. It was here where he was first seen clashing with DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), who refused to take part in a cover up within the department, after members of the team mistakenly gunned down Kareem Ali in a failed raid.

Osborne tells Arnott he's "finished", which sees him moving to AC-12 where he works for the rest of the series. His relationship with Arnott remains frosty as he returns in the season finale, where he attends the inquest into the shooting of Kareem Ali. Despite Arnott testifying, none of the police officers involved were prosecuted for their actions.

Chief Constable Philip Osbourne's return in Season 6

When Osborne returns in Line of Duty Season 6, he is now Chief Constable and is reintroduced in episode 2 where he's seen giving a brief statement about Ali in archive footage. As officers watch this footage, Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) says it's an "outrage" that he's been made Chief Constable, which is the first time we're aware of his promotion.

Unaired footage reveals Gail Vella interrogated him about figures which came directly from Central Police, but he refuses to answer her, with Vella being held back by officers so she can't follow him.

In episode 4, Hastings is delivered a bombshell when DCC Andrea Wise reveals that Osborne intends to dramatically restructure the police force. She reveals that AC-3 will be merged with AC-12 and AC-9 to create a single department, which Hastings is furious about and accuses Osborne of being "a bare faced liar, promoted to our highest office".

This decision sees the unpleasant return of DCS Patricia Carmichael in episode five, who Osborne has selected as the officer to head up the new department as well as Operation Lighthouse. In agreement with Osborne, she shuts down the surveillance teams watching Ryan Pilkington, Joanne Davidson and Terry Boyle, arguing that it's using too much of the budget.

Episode 5 strongly points to Osborne potentially being the elusive fourth "H" as it's revealed he was involved in the apparently corrupt investigation of Lawrence Christopher’s murder.

Owen Teale

Owen Teale at the season 6 premiere of Game of Thrones (Image credit: Getty Images)

Who plays Chief Constable Philip Osborne?

Philip Osborne is played by Welsh actor Owen Teale, who is known for his role as Alliser Thorne in HBO series Game of Thrones, a character he played between 2011 - 2016. He has also starred in dramas such as Torchwood, A Discovery of Witches and The Pembrokeshire Murders