Line of Duty crowned the most-watched UK TV drama of the 21st century

Line of Duty
(Image credit: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill)

Millions tuned in to the latest series of Line of Duty!

Line of Duty has officially been named the UK’s most-watched drama series of the century, after a whopping 15.24 million viewers tuned into the highly anticipated season six finale.

The season six finale aired last month, and viewing figures at the time were recorded as 12.8 million.

Line of Duty Season 6

Line of Duty series 6 has smashed TV viewing figures (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC/World Productions/Steffan Hill/Geraint Williams)

However, new data has now included those who watched on demand within a week of its initial air date.

Making TV history

Line of Duty has now taken over ITV’s Heartbeat which once drew in an impressive 15.16 million viewers.

It is now the highest-rated drama since a 1999 episode of Touch of Frost which brought in 15.83 million viewers.

The season six finale of Line of Duty caused quite the buzz on social media.

Fans were desperate to find out who 'H' was after years of speculating who could be responsible for corruption within Central Police.

It had the nation talking as everyone tried to piece together the puzzle.

Celebrating in style

After reaching the 12 million milestone, it was revealed by Steve Arnott actor Martin Compston that they planned to get matching tattoos to celebrate!

He wrote: "Finally myself, Vicky Adrian and Jed made an agreement in the inconceivable and ridiculous scenario we ever got twelve million viewers we would get 'AC12million' tattoos..."

Despite the huge success in the drama category, the police procedural drama hasn't quite taken over some of the bigger TV series over the past few years.

The Great British Bake Off achieved 15.9 million in October 2016.

BBC soap EastEnders also saw 16.4 million in February 2010.

Meanwhile, beloved comedy series Gavin & Stacey hit 17.1 million in December 2019, and singing competition The X Factor reached 17.7 million viewers in December 2010.

Could anyone manage to take over these major players? Only time will tell!

Seasons 1 - 6 of Line of Duty is available on demand via BBC iPlayer.

Lucy Buglass
Senior Staff Writer

Lucy joined the team in 2021, where she writes series guides for must-watch programmes, reviews and the latest TV news. Originally from Northumberland, she graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Film Studies and moved to London to begin a career writing about entertainment.

She is a Rotten Tomatoes approved film critic and has a huge passion for cinema. She especially loves horror, thriller and anything crime-related. Her favourite TV programmes include Inside No 9, American Horror Story, Stranger Things and Black Mirror but she is also partial to a quiz show or a bit of Say Yes to the Dress