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Line of Duty beats Bodyguard as it gets STUNNING viewing figures

Line of Duty series 5, Steve, Ted and Kate
(Image credit: BBC/World Productions)

Blimey! Line of Duty smashes Bodyguard and becomes the biggest show of 2019! Contains Line of Duty spoilers!

Line of Duty exploded back onto our screens last night, not only becoming the most watched show of the year so far, but also getting its best ever overnight viewing figure.

The action-packed opener even outgunned the opening episode of 2018 megahit Bodyguard, which was also penned by Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio.

A whopping 7.8 million people tuned in to the BBC1 thriller on Sunday evening, compared to the 6.8 million opening figure for the first episode of Bodyguard last August, according to Broadcast.


Sorry ma'am, we've been beaten by Line of Duty!

These numbers will only improve once catch-up figures are included. Could Line of Duty remain the biggest show of the year?

The ratings are mighty impressive for a drama that is now into its fifth series. Last night’s opener saw a typically tangled tale, with AC-12 called into action when a gang hijacked a load of drugs and shot dead three police officers.

[Who's Who guide to the new series]

The gang is run by John Corbett (Stephen Graham), with Lisa McQueen (Rochenda Sandall) as his deputy – the question posed was whether either of them are acting on behalf of the police or are they simple crooks?

Meanwhile, Ted (Adrian Dunbar) reckons they’ve finally cracked who “H” was, the corrupt police mastermind who's been causing so much carnage. But Steve (Martin Compston) and Kate (Vicky McClure) are wondering whether they’ve really unmasked “H?”

Line of Duty Ted

Ted reckons they've nailed who "H" was, but have they? In a huge twist could Ted be "H"? Although couldn't he have come up with a better codename, given the fact his surname is Hastings?!

The six-part drama then is already shaping up to be another corker. Meanwhile, over on ITV Victoria pulled in a respectable 3.1 million viewers and Coronation Street – unusually on a Sunday evening – managed 4.8 million.

Line of Duty continues on BBC1.

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 on 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 on 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!