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How the real star of BBC’s hit submarine drama Vigil is a Renault car hogging the screen

Drive! Drive! Drive! How the real star of BBC’s hit submarine drama Vigil is a Renault car hogging the screen for more than 12 minutes

  • Renault Megane hatchback is on screen for seven per cent of Vigil’s running time
  • The £25,000 car has been seen in a high-speed chase and at a murder site  
  • The car’s visibility has led to suggestions of product placement in the BBC show 


The star of BBC drama Vigil is award-winning, dependable and family friendly… but for many viewers, it’s not Suranne Jones.

They have instead been transfixed by the regular appearances of a Renault Megane hatchback during the series about a murder on a nuclear submarine, in which Ms Jones plays Detective Chief Inspector Amy Silva.

In the first three episodes, totalling 175 minutes 26 seconds, the vehicle was on screen for 12 mins 17 secs – or seven per cent of the running time. 

Viewers been transfixed by the regular appearances of a Renault Megane hatchback in BBC’s Vigil

Driven by Detective Constable Kirsten Longacre, played by Game Of Thrones actress Rose Leslie, the £25,000 car has been seen in a high-speed chase and at a murder site.

It appears less prominently in other scenes, such as in the third episode when it could be spotted through a window behind DC Longacre as she talked to MI5 officers.

The frequency with which the car – and Renault’s logo – has been seen even led one viewer to question whether there was a product placement deal in place.

The series sees DCI Silva (Suranne Jones) winched on to a Trident submarine to investigate the murder of Craig Burke

The series sees DCI Silva (Suranne Jones) winched on to a Trident submarine to investigate the murder of Craig Burke

The suspicions were fuelled by DCI Silva’s appearance in another Renault for 1 min 40 secs.

BBC rules prohibit the Corporation from charging for product placement on its programmes, but Vigil is in fact made by ITV-owned World Productions and distributed by ITV Studios. 

The series, which sees DCI Silva winched on to a Trident submarine to investigate the murder of Craig Burke, played by Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston, has attracted more than ten million viewers.

The frequency with which the car ¿ and Renault¿s logo ¿ has been seen has resulted in suggestions of product placement

The frequency with which the car – and Renault’s logo – has been seen has resulted in suggestions of product placement

Created by Jed Mercurio – whose previous credits include Line Of Duty and The Bodyguard – the six-parter centres on the mysterious disappearance of a fishing trawler, and an inquiry that puts the police on a collision course with the Royal Navy and security services. 

It continues tonight on BBC1. 

The BBC declined to comment.   

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