Line of Duty: Over 9m tune in for gripping finale

Line Of Duty’s hotly-anticipated finale scooped more than nine million viewers, making it the biggest show of the year so far.

The stars of Line of Duty. Picture: BBC
The stars of Line of Duty. Picture: BBC

The tense, final episode of the hit BBC One series attracted an average audience of 9.1 million, a 44.1% share, with a peak of 9.6 million viewers on Sunday night.

It makes the drama, on the activities of police anti-corruption unit AC-12, the most popular programme of 2019 so far, based on overnight figures.

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The figures are also the highest for a drama since Bodyguard, also created by Jed Mercurio.

The finale to that hit thriller, starring Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden, drew a higher overnight audience - of 10.4 million and a peak of 11 million in 2018, becoming the biggest TV drama since Downton Abbey.

The BBC said that Sunday night’s Line Of Duty, starring Vicky McClure, Martin Compston, Adrian Dunbar and Anna Maxwell Martin, was “the biggest overnight rating for the series ever”.

It was also “the most watched show of the night, across all channels, as well the biggest overnight rating of the year so far.”

Figures are expected to grow once consolidated numbers - programmes recorded and watched up to seven days later - are taken into account.

The show originally started on BBC Two and a sixth series has been ordered by the BBC.

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BBC director of content Charlotte Moore said: “Over the past six weeks, Line Of Duty has kept the whole nation on the edge of their seats, so it was fantastic to see such a big audience for Sunday’s finale.

“I’d like to thank all the cast, Jed Mercurio ... and the whole team at World Productions for delivering such a fantastic series.”

All five series are currently available on the BBC iPlayer.

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