Bodyguard goes out with a BANG as finale is the most-watched show of the year!

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(Image credit: BBC/World Productions/Sophie Mutevelian)

Even Strictly Come Dancing was no match for a bloodied David Budd

The Bodyguard finale was the most watched show of the year, pulling in an astonishing 10.4 million viewers as David Budd chased down Julia Montague’s killers.

Audiences have been captivated by the thriller, starring Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden, so it’s little surprise that it scored the highest rating of 2018 – excluding World Cup footy.

Even Strictly Come Dancing was no match for the Jed Mercurio drama as the Saturday night entertainment show trailed behind with 9 million viewers.

Keeley Hawes as Julia in Bodyguard

Viewers became gripped to find out what happened to Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes)

The fantastically tense Bodyguard finale peaked at 11 million viewers as David Budd fought against the odds to find the truth.

And Broadcast reports that Bodyguard scored the biggest drama audience figure for seven years! The last drama to score a higher overnight figure was a Downton Abbey episode back in 2011.

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The final episode of Bodyguard was the most watched drama in overnight figures since Downton Abbey way back in 2011!

The last episode didn't win universal critical acclaim, however, with Bryony Gordon in the Daily Telegraph writing: “Watching the final episode unfold felt a bit like witnessing a grade-A student open up their envelope on exam results day to find a string of Bs.”

But The Daily Mail’s Jan Moir was more positives: “There is a fine line between great drama and absurdity, and there were moments when Bodyguard and its bloodied Caped Crusader nearly fell into total farce. Yet it never did.

“The tense scenes managed to be both gripping and touching as this wounded man struggled on with his quest for the truth. Who had killed his beloved Lavender?”

It’s yet to be announced whether there will be a second series of Bodyguard, although it seems highly likely there will be given the enormous ratings.

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!