Line of Duty is officially the BBC’s most watched drama

It seems that all anyone can talk about right now is Line of Duty. The BBC series has become essential Sunday night viewing, to the point that it’s now officially the BBC’s most-viewed drama ever.

Line of Duty
BBC Pictures

With series 6 of the popular crime drama currently airing (but about to come to a close – the last episode airs this Sunday at 9pm) the show’s popularity has doubled over the last year, with viewing figures showing the first episode of the sixth series broke BBC records with an all-time high audience figure of 9.56 million tuning in to watch.

Line of Duty
BBC Pictures

So what’s it all about? Line of Duty is famously full of police-related acronyms, but the only one you really need to know is AC-12 – that’s the anti-corruption unit that investigates wrongdoings within the police force. Our three main characters, Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) and DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) all work within this unit, which tells you enough about what to expect from the six season-strong series (that’s there’s a lot of ‘bent coppers’ – a favourite saying of Ted Hastings and LOD fans).

Line of Duty
BBC Pictures

Speaking of memorable moments while shooting the latest season, Vicky McClure said: ‘I am the class clown on this job. We have a laugh every day as we either forget our lines, fluff them or say something stupid.’

Adrian Dunbar said: ‘Ted is put through the wringer [this season]; particularly towards the end. But there have been funny moments too. In one of the interviews, I had to say ‘a bunch of racist thugs’ but I got it wrong and said ‘a bunch of racist slugs’ which got a big laugh from the crew. I hope that survives on a bloopers reel somewhere so we can all see it!’

Line of Duty
BBC Pictures

And Martin Compston said: ‘The biggest thing for me was when we started [filming last] year, I had just come off the job called The Nest and I had a few topless scenes in the show. I was probably in the best shape of my life…

‘Then lockdown happened – we all ate too much, drank too much. When I came back to the UK and had to quarantine, I asked our lovely costume designer to leave Steve’s suits in my room so I could try them on as they were all tailored. That was a really tough day – I was bursting out of everything!’

Watch the finale of Line of Duty S6 this Sunday at 9pm on BBC One or catch up on BBC iPlayer.