Bodyguard star Richard Madden posed with a pint while wearing a suicide vest to thank fans of the show for making it the BBC’s most watched drama in a decade.
A total of 10.9million viewers tuned in to watch the explosive finale of the political thriller last night.
The programme has gripped the nation in recent weeks, pulling in a bigger audience than any other show this year other than the World Cup, making the Sunday night show the focus of Monday morning conversations in workplaces across the UK.
Last night’s audience share for the finale was 55 per cent, meaning more than half of everyone in Britain watching any television just after 10pm yesterday was watching Bodyguard.
Madden posed wearing a suicide vest drinking a pint as he thanked viewers of the show for making it the BBC’s most watched in a decade
Madden (pictured as David Budd in the show) sent out a thank-you to Bodyguard viewers after 10.9million viewers tuned in for the finale last night
Madden’s character (pictured with his onscreen wife) was previously suspected of having carried out the bombing
The six-part show concluded with a revelation about the fatal explosion which killed the home secretary, played by Keeley Hawes.
It was finally revealed that female jihadist Nadia was working with criminal Luke Aitkens, who was aided by police insider CSI Lorraine Craddock.
The revelation came at the end of a tense episode which saw Army veteran and close protection officer Sergeant David Budd himself strapped into a suicide vest.
Madden posted a snap on Instagram wearing the suicide vest to reference viewers’ previously held suspicions that he was in fact behind the bomb plot.
The finale pulled in an average of 10.4million viewers on BBC One last night and for the last 15 minutes of its dramatic conclusion, there was a peak of 10.9million viewers.
The show’s success offers hope to traditional broadcasters in a time when many are turning to streaming services such as Netflix.
But millions more have yet to tune in to watch the 75-minute episode on the BBC’s catch-up service, iPlayer.
‘Agents told me to say I was white on my CV’: Bodyguard star describes her struggles as an up-and-coming British Asian actress as she reveals she did NOT want to wear a hijab for the role
By Amie Gordon
One of the stars of the biggest drama of 2018 has revealed playing a ruthless female jihadi was ’empowering’.
More than 11 million viewers were captivated by Anjli Mohindra’s portrayal of the merciless bomb maker Nadia in BBC One’s Bodyguard.
The 28-year-old British actress said while stepping into the character was empowering, she did not want to be part of the ‘Islamophobic-perpetuated narrative’ and admitted she felt ‘uncomfortable’ wearing the hijab.
By the denouement of the series, Nadia finally revealed herself to be the chief bomb maker, a chilling vortex of cold-blooded evil fed up of being dismissed as a passive wife
The 28-year-old British actress said while the role was empowering, she did not want to be part of the ‘Islamophobic-perpetuated narrative’
She has also spoken out about how she was encouraged to mark her skin colour as ‘white’ early in her career in a bid to secure acting roles.
Nadia Ali was first introduced to Bodyguard viewers as a terrified would-be suicide bomber, something of a bullied and submissive wife, controlled by her spouse.
Fans were gripped from the opening scene, when she appeared to have been coerced into a suicide bomb plot by her husband.
Having been one of the stand-out stars of Bodyguard Mohindra will next play a detective in ITV’s Dark Heart
Anjli Mohindra had audiences gripped from the off as she stepped into the role of the merciless bomb maker Nadia in BBC One’s Bodyguard
Mohindra has revealed that despite initial doubts playing the role, she eventually found it ’empowering from a feminine perspective’
But by the denouement of the series, Nadia finally revealed herself to be the chief bomb maker, a chilling vortex of cold-blooded evil fed up of being dismissed as a passive wife.
‘I built all the bombs. You all saw me as a poor oppressed Muslim woman. I am an engineer. I am a jihadi,’ she sneered in police custody.
Mohindra has revealed that despite initial doubts playing the role, she eventually found it ’empowering from a feminine perspective’.
In the role of Nadia, Anjli Mohindra (pictured in May) was portrayed as a bullied wife coerced into a suicide bomb plot by her husband
She told The Telegraph: ‘Women are constantly undermined. We have this idea that women who wear hijabs are oppressed and do so not of their own will, and that is something we need to think about and take stock of because that is absolutely not the case.’
The six-part Jed Mercurio political thriller concluded with a revelation about the fatal explosion which killed Keeley Hawes’s character.
It was finally revealed that Nadia was working with criminal Luke Aitkens, who was aided by police insider CSI Lorraine Craddock.
‘I built all the bombs. You all saw me as a poor oppressed Muslim woman. I am an engineer. I am a jihadi,’ she sneered in police custody
The revelation came at the end of a tense episode which saw Army veteran and close protection officer Sergeant David Budd, played by Richard Madden, himself strapped into a suicide vest.
Mohindra told The Telegraph that she had initial doubts about the role, in particular Nadia wearing a hijab, which she ‘did not feel was completely necessary [because] the same message could have been made without it.’
The actress added she was wary about dangerous fictional clichés and stereotypes surrounding ethnic minority characters and did not simply want to be part of the ‘Islamophobic-perpetuated narrative’.
Writing for Stylist, she revealed how her skin colour had since become ‘a national talking point’ – a departure from her school days when she would attempt to conceal her ethnicity.
She wrote: ‘I was encouraged to put ‘White’ as my ethnicity on Spotlight, the acting database, because it was the only way to get in the casting room for parts to which I felt closest; your average British Adolescent.’
But things have already come a long way thanks to her starring role in the hit BBC Sunday night drama which enjoyed the highest launch figure for any new drama across all UK channels since 2006.
Bodyguard pulled in an average of 10.4million viewers on BBC One last night.
For the last 15 minutes of its dramatic conclusion, there was a peak of 10.9million viewers and an audience share of 55 per cent.
This means more than half of everyone in Britain watching any television shortly after 10pm yesterday was watching Bodyguard.
The audience reached its peak – 11 million – in its final five minutes.
Mohindra added: ‘My skin colour has become a national talking point because I played an Islamic suicide bomber in the most-watched TV drama in over a decade.’
Mohindra’s first major TV role was as Rani Chandra in CBBC’s The Sarah Jane Adventures between 2008-2011.
The 28-year-old from Nottingham has since had supporting roles in several television dramas including Channel 4’s Cucumber, Paranoid (Netflix) and BBC Two’s The Boy with The Topknot.
Having been one of the stand-out stars of Bodyguard, she will next play a detective in ITV’s Dark Heart.
Twitter goes into meltdown after nail-biting Bodyguard finale reveals the bomb conspiracy mastermind
By Natalie Corner
Bodyguard viewers were left on the edges of their seats in the ‘gripping’ finale of BBC One’s Bodyguard – as the plot delivered a ‘bombshell’ twist.
Fans watched in horror as it was revealed it was David Budd’s own boss Chief Superintendent Lorraine Craddock who played a key role in Julia Montague’s death, before the final twist was revealed.
It was a double blow for Budd as the true identity of the female train bomber from the first episode, Nadia, who he believed he had saved, as the bombmaker who attempted to murder his own children, a twist that made one viewer joke they’d ‘fainted 15 times’ during the big reveal.
‘Omg. Now that’s what you call a twist in the story!’ one tweeted.
Another wrote: ‘What a bombshell! Not one single person could have guessed who the bomber was.’
‘I have never been so on edge in my life,’ a third posted.
Viewers watched as Craddock had been delivering information to Luke Akins, an organised crime boss against the RIPA-18 bill led by the home secretary, which enabled him to execute the bomb attack in which she perished in the third episode.
Fan theories had also been rife that the Home Secretary wasn’t actually dead, especially as viewers weren’t shown her demise on screen – but they were left ‘fuming’ that she had been killed after all.
LURED INTO A BOMB TRAP
Richard Madden’s Budd had been hot on the heels of crime boss Luke Akin, after learning that he had supplied his former army comrade Andrew Apstead with the weapons used in the first assassination attempt of Julia Montague, played by Keeley Hawes.
He was lured into a trap set up by Montague’s former PR advisor Chanel Dyson and ended up being punched unconscious and kidnapped – waking up with a suicide vest strapped to his chest with a dead man’s switch taped to his thumb.
Meanwhile SO15 officers DCI Deepak Sharma and DS Lousie Rayburn were left seething when they learned of Budd’s connection to Apstead and were out for his blood.
They caught up with Budd in the middle of London and he tried in vain to convince his fellow officers that he had been set up, with his estranged wife Vicky making a strong case for innocence.
He was able to give vital information that proved he’d been set up, using the blank bullets from his gun that Akins had switched out and left fingerprints on – with Vicky confirming that her ex had tried to take his own life.
Fan theories had also been rife that the Home Secretary wasn’t actually dead, especially as viewers weren’t shown her demise on screen – but they were left disappointed she didn’t turn up in the finale
Budd had a set a booby trap for the security service knowing that the cagey boss Stephen Hunter-Dunn was monitoring their radio contact – and his suspect Richard Longcross was doused in a painful liquid.
It was enough to convince Commander Anne Sampson and DCI Sharma to help Budd and he was given the chance to deactivate the bomb.
Eventually in what some viewers called one of the most tense scenes they’d ever seen, Budd removed his thumb from the switch and cut the wires.
But many fans were unhappy with how the events unfolded, saying it was ‘unbelievable’.
They said there was ‘no way’ the Metropolitan Police would let a man armed with explosives to be let through the streets of London – and they mocked the fact officers believed he would try to blow himself up because he ‘was suicidal’.
BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth teases The Bodyguard’s Julia Montague may still be ALIVE
By Emily Chan and Natalie Corner
BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth teased that The Bodyguard’s Julia Montague is still alive, after sharing a snippet of her script before the finale.
The broadcaster, 50, makes a cameo in the first three episodes of the hit BBC drama, playing herself, and appeared again in the last episode.
She added fuel to the suggestions the drama’s Home Secretary, played by Keeley Hawes, is not actually dead, tweeting: ‘I’ve just found my script for the final episode of #Bodyguard ! Julia Montague is….. #nospoilers’
BBC newsreader Sophie Raworth has teased viewers that The Bodyguard’s Julia Montague is still alive, ahead of tonight’s finale
Sophie, who has a cameo in the finale, gave little away with the snippet of the script she shared on Twitter, but teased fans by tweeting: ‘Julia Monatague is…..’
The snippet of her script gave little away, with her first line reading: ‘Vicki, thank you. Just to remind you, today’s events follow…’
Speculation had mounted over over whether Julia was actually dead, after a bomb exploded while she was giving a speech at St Matthews’ College.
Keeley also set tongues wagging after she herself tweeted on Thursday: ‘Is Julia Montague alive?’
The death of Keeley’s character Julia Montague (above with bodyguard David Budd, played by Richard Madden) was announced in episode four of the programme, but viewers weren’t shown her demise on screen
Meanwhile, a sneak peek of Bodyguard’s hotly-anticipated finale points to yet another imminent twist in the race to solve the mystery behind Julia Montague’s murder.
A clip which aired at the end of BBC’s Newsnight on Thursday suggested one of their own is about to come under suspicion – Commander Anne Sampson, the Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Unit.
She appeared incredibly uncomfortable about a new line of investigation into an organised crime leader, Luke Akins, and wasn’t pleased that her SO15 officer DCI Deepak Sharma has been taking orders from Montague’s police protection officer – and secret lover – David Budd.
Keeley also set tongues wagging after she tweeted on Thursday: ‘Is Julia Montague alive?’
It has led to speculation that she could be the one behind the Home Secretary’s murder.
The show’s creator, Jed Mercurio, has also admitted ahead of the final episode that he isn’t opposed to telling a ‘few judicious lies’ to keep fans guessing right to the end of the gripping drama.
He told the Sun: ‘The thing is, I don’t really feel a great responsibility to tell the truth, so it doesn’t really matter what I say.
Meanwhile, creator of the BBC hit drama Bodyguard, Jed Mercurio has admitted that he isn’t opposed to telling a ‘few judicious lies’ to keep fans of the show guessing about the outcome
‘I tell the truth where it’s the ethical thing to do, but in terms of entertainment there’s a certain fun and a certain enjoyment that can be added to the experience by a few judicious lies.’
Referring to his other popular TV series Line of Duty, Mecurio said that he and Keeley – who took a starring role in the police thriller in the third series – had lied before about her appearance and ‘may well lie again’.
Fan theories were rife that the Home Secretary wasn’t actually dead, especially as viewers weren’t shown her demise on screen.
In the new clip DCI Sharma explained that they have been exploring a new line of inquiry to try and solve the conspiracy.
Bodyguard David Budd (played by Richard Madden) will be seen covered in blood in the final episode as the drama reaches its conclusion and the truth about the conspiracy will be revealed
Commander Sampson, the Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command who reported directly to Montague, is clearly blindsided by the information which seemed to implicate her in the attack.
She was clearly unprepared for the information and admonished Sharma for not keeping her in the loop about Luke Akins: ‘Why wasn’t I informed earlier about this new line of inquiry? Who initiated it?!’
Sharma replied: ‘I am acting on information from David Budd.’
Mercurio deftly avoided probing questions about Montague’s state during an appearance on ITV’s This Morning on Wednesday but dropped a big hint about the social media conspiracy theories.
Asked about speculation that Julia’s name refers to Shakespearean character Juliet and whether the Home Secretary will really be alive after the fateful explosion and her death was all a ruse, he alluded to an ‘occasional grain of truth’.
He also defended critics of the hit BBC drama who have claimed it’s not realistic, during an appearance on Thursday’s Newsnight.
‘I don’t mind people saying its drama and it’s not meant to be realistic.
‘But what we have going on is an editorial brief to go out and find people who criticise the show’s accuracy, we went through a rigorous and meticulous process with lots of advisors who came with excellent credentials.
‘What annoys me is when a journalist finds someone who doesn’t have the right credentials but enjoys having the platform of s****ing off the programme.
‘I just wanted to set the record straight on that.’