Did you spend your evenings faithfully tuning into Bodyguard every 9pm earlier this year? You weren’t alone.
The BBC series, starring Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes, raked in a staggering 6.9 million viewers on its opening night alone in August and peaked at 10.4 million audience members for its gripping season finale, making it the biggest BBC drama for a decade.
Madden, 31, even scooped the 2019 Golden Globe for best actor in a TV drama for his role as protection officer David Budd in the show. But according to the star, those hoping for a swift return for Bodyguard season 2 will be left disappointed. In fact, we might not see anything air until 2020.
While he said that a second series was ‘not an impossibility’, it would be at least a year in the works, as there needs to be a break in the timeline.
‘Budd needs a break a sort his life out,’ he said. ‘You just can’t slap a script together and throw it onto the screen. It has to be carefully thought through. First of all, what is the story?’
‘What’s the next step for a character like David Budd? The thinking is for all of us to have a break and come back to it fresh maybe in a year or so. I enjoyed playing him and I think the public liked him. We’ll get together and see what’s there.’
Madden previously said that he’d spoken to the show’s writer Jed Mercurio about the potential of Bodyguard season 2. ‘I’m having a conversation with him in about ten days or something, when I’m back in the country, and we are just going to chat through some ideas,’ he recalled at the time.
Speaking to Radio Times while the show was still airing Mercurio, who also worked on Line of Duty, explained that even the most preliminary discussions with the BBC about a second series could only begin once series one has finished.
‘You have to wait until the end because anything can happen,’ he explained. ‘Some shows do nosedive at the end, or some piece of content could become incredibly controversial and affect the way the show is seen. In the end, you have to accept that the broadcaster holds all the cards.’
He added that the decision would also depend on the availability of his main actor: ‘He’s the genuine article, a real leading man. And I think this role has put him very much in the spotlight for bigger things. So the practicality may be that we have to work round his availability, if we are lucky enough to get him back.’
The BBC are yet to officially confirm if a second series will happen but if Mercurio’s enthusiasm and the incredible ratings are anything to go by, we reckon it’s pretty likely. Fingers seriously crossed.