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Line Of Duty ‘WILL return for a seventh series’

Line Of Duty will return for a seventh series, it has been reported.

Sources claim bosses have finally drawn up plans for new episodes of the beloved police drama after a string of secret meetings, bringing news that ‘millions of fans have been hoping for.’

It comes after fans called for a seventh series after being left ‘disappointed’ by the finale of series six in May, despite creator Jed Mercurio furious defending the show.

At last! Line Of Duty will return for a seventh series, it has been reported, after a string of secret meetings with BBC bosses

A source told The Daily Star: ‘Another series is happening. This is the news millions of fans have been hoping for.

It’s thought that details including storylines and filming dates are yet to be finalised, with the source adding: ‘A lot of stuff still needs to be agreed and it is likely to take a while. Fans will probably have to wait a few years before it airs on TV.’

MailOnline has contacted representatives for BBC for comment.

Huge news! Sources claim bosses have drawn up plans for new episodes of the beloved police drama after a string of meetings, bringing news that 'millions of fans have been hoping for

Huge news! Sources claim bosses have drawn up plans for new episodes of the beloved police drama after a string of meetings, bringing news that ‘millions of fans have been hoping for

It comes after the show’s creator Jed Mercurio continued to defend the BBC police drama after droves of fans slammed the ‘disappointing’ series six finale.

Taking to Twitter. the writer, 55, responded to critics in an impassioned post and said that it is ‘impossible’ to satisfy all viewers’ expectations.

An eye-watering 12.8million viewers tuned in to watch Line Of Duty’s sixth season conclude on Sunday night with a 56.2% share – recording the network’s highest ever overnight rating, yet some disappointed fans were left with unanswered questions.

Hitting back: It comes after the show's creator Jed Mercurio continued to defend the BBC police drama after droves of fans slammed the 'disappointing' series six finale (pictured 2019)

Hitting back: It comes after the show’s creator Jed Mercurio continued to defend the BBC police drama after droves of fans slammed the ‘disappointing’ series six finale (pictured 2019)

Responding to the fan backlash over the finale, Jed admitted that the episode ‘divided social media opinion’ yet he found a ‘a far less extreme picture’ when taking in the audience research.

He tweeted: ‘1. No one disputes the Line of Duty finale divided social media opinion but the audience research so far shows a far less extreme picture. 

‘We knew a “down” ending would rate less favourably with some viewers, however all 7 episodes varied by under 10% on average viewer score…’

Jed continued: ‘2. The research determines the episode ratings based on randomly polling viewers, rather than sites like imdb where scores can be skewed by users strongly motivated to register their immediate anger/adulation …

'Impossible': Taking to Twitter the writer responded to critics in an impassioned post and said that it is 'impossible' to satisfy all viewers' expectations (Line Of Duty stars Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar pictured in show still)

‘Impossible’: Taking to Twitter the writer responded to critics in an impassioned post and said that it is ‘impossible’ to satisfy all viewers’ expectations (Line Of Duty stars Vicky McClure, Martin Compston and Adrian Dunbar pictured in show still) 

Statement: Responding to the fan backlash over the finale, Jed admitted that the episode 'divided social media opinion' yet he found a 'a far less extreme picture' when taking in the audience research

Statement: Responding to the fan backlash over the finale, Jed admitted that the episode ‘divided social media opinion’ yet he found a ‘a far less extreme picture’ when taking in the audience research

‘3. 1000 random viewers submitted scores from 1-10 which have been used to calculate the Appreciation Index (AI) as a score out of 100. The AI for the “down” finale was only 7 points below the next lowest in Season 6 (Ep 1) …’ 

Jed concluded with: ‘4/4 These figures won’t stop the debate, of course, nor should they – that’s still all part of the experience of shared TV viewing. Thanks again for watching.’

He also clarified his statement with: ‘Some clarification on specific numbers has been requested.

‘I’m not permitted to disclose the AI figures, however for LoD they are in the top tier of the range for BBC1 drama, including for the finale, and over 50% of those polled rated the finale as either 9/10 or 10/10.’  

Clarification: He also clarified his statement with: 'Some clarification on specific numbers has been requested.'

Clarification: He also clarified his statement with: ‘Some clarification on specific numbers has been requested.’

Response: The writer also directly responded to several fans after one viewer admitted the finale 'seemed rushed' while another labelled the episode a 'let down'

Response: The writer also directly responded to several fans after one viewer admitted the finale ‘seemed rushed’ while another labelled the episode a ‘let down’

The writer also directly responded to several fans after one viewer admitted the finale ‘seemed rushed’ while another labelled the episode a ‘let down’. 

The social media user said: ‘Personally I admired the message on reflection, just felt that things like gail vella’s murder/jo’s storyline seemed rushed and would’ve preferred more focus on the characters/less plot holes.

‘Doesn’t mean it isn’t an incredible show overall though, [fingers crossed emoji] for series 7!’

To which Jed replied with: ‘Thanks for your view, Katie. It’s interesting how many of the people most critical of the finale were wanting more thrills and action. 

Line Of Duty fans across the nation were left 'fuming' as the nail-biting series finale drew to a close on Sunday and the mysterious so-called fourth man was unmasked as DSU Ian Buckells

Line Of Duty fans across the nation were left ‘fuming’ as the nail-biting series finale drew to a close on Sunday and the mysterious so-called fourth man was unmasked as DSU Ian Buckells 

‘This is the problem with attempting to satisfy all viewers’ expectations. It’s just not possible, I’m afraid. Thanks very much for watching.’

While a different fan put: ‘Jed, I get the message of endemic corruption. That works for one series of six episodes. But having invested in LoD from the first episode of series one, the ending was a huge letdown.

Line Of Duty finale: How the viewing figures compare 

2021

Line Of Duty finale, May 2 (BBC One) 12.8 million

Prince Philip’s funeral, April 17 (ITV & BBC One) 13.6 million 

Harry and Meghan with Oprah Winfrey, March 8 (ITV) 11.7 million 

2020

Boris Johnson lockdown announcement, March 23 (BBC One) 14.5 million

Queen’s address to the nation, April 5 (BBC One) 14 million

Boris Johnson’s second address to the nation, May 10 (BBC One) 18.7 million

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, November 15 (ITV) 12.1 million

2019

Gavin And Stacey Christmas special (BBC One) 17.1 million viewers  

2012

Closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games (BBC One) 24.5 million

2010

The X Factor (ITV) 17.7 million

1995

Princess Diana interview with Martin Bashir (BBC One) 23 million

1966

The 1966 World Cup final (BBC and ITV joint broadcast) 32.3 million viewers

 

‘If it leads to a grand denouement with series 7, all well and good. If not, I feel cheated.’

To which Jed replied with: ‘Thanks for your view, Peter. We made the choice that showing AC-12 dismantle institutional corruption would be the “cheat”. 

‘As the audience data show, some viewers share your view but many don’t. Thanks for watching.’

This isn’t the first time Jed has defended his popular TV shows and in 2018 he said that he was annoyed at critics ‘s**gging off’ his then drama the Bodyguard after questioning the gripping series’ accuracy.  

While Jed also hit back at Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick in 2019 after she criticised Line Of Duty and said she was ‘outraged’ by the ‘level of casual and extreme corruption that was being portrayed’ in the series. 

Line Of Duty fans across the nation were left ‘fuming’ as the nail-biting series finale drew to a close on Sunday and the mysterious antagonist ‘H’ was finally unmasked.

Seasoned fans took to social media in their droves to share their frustrations as officers from the police anti-corruption unit AC-12 discovered the identity of the elusive ‘fourth man’, who had been colluding with the organised crime group (OCG), was none other than DSU Ian Buckells.

It saw the words ‘fuming’, ‘disappointing’ and ‘underwhelming’ all trend on social media in the aftermath of the show. 

And the disbelief it could be him was compounded by the way he was only caught because of his repeated mis-spelling of the word ‘definitely’ – hardly the blunder of a hardened criminal mastermind. 

The detective – widely thought until Sunday to have been just a bungling stooge – was first introduced to viewers in series one as the SIO in the case of murdered businesswoman Jackie Laverty by then Chief Superintendent Derek Hilton.

He later went on to become Detective Chief Inspector in series four before being promoted once more to Detective Superintendent in this final series.  

Sharing their disappointment on the revelation, one disgruntled Line of Duty fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Can’t believe I watched six seasons of line of Duty for Ian Buckells, the most pointless character to be the fourth man. Fuming.’

While another viewer added: ‘I’m fuming, can’t believe I waited this long for Ian Buckells to run the roost.’   

Really? Viewers were noticeable underwhelmed to learn the identity of the elusive criminal, as the series ended on an ambiguous note

Really? Viewers were noticeable underwhelmed to learn the identity of the elusive criminal, as the series ended on an ambiguous note 

And while the finale tied up many unresolved storylines, there were still some gaping plot holes and storylines left unanswered.

The sixth series of the Jed Mercurio creation also saw DI Steve Arnott, played by actor Martin, finally called in for a meeting with Occupational Health, who noted that while he had not broken the law through his excessive painkiller use, he would have to surrender his firearms licence.

However, the 60-minute episode’s end failed to offer any resolution on whether the team of DI Steve Arnott, DI Kate Fleming and Superintendent Ted Hastings would return, ending on the revelation that the team has ‘never been weaker.’ 

The mystery surrounding the identity of ‘H’ has been up for speculation since his character was first mentioned at the end of series three, which aired in 2016, and detectives at the anti-corruption unit discovered there were four officers working within the force who had links to the underground criminal network.     

Earlier this week, show lead Martin Compston and creator Jed addressed the fan backlash as they admitted they understood it wasn’t the ‘urgent ending’ viewers had hoped for. 

Martin tweeted: ‘Hey folks now the madness is slightly dying down, just want to thank everybody who reached out about last night and the series as a whole, we’ve truly been blown away by the reaction and love for the show we’re proud of it.

It is over? However, the 60-minute episode's end failed to offer any resolution on whether the team of DI Steve Arnott, DI Kate Fleming and Superintendent Ted Hastings would return, ending on the revelation that the team has 'never been weaker'

It is over? However, the 60-minute episode’s end failed to offer any resolution on whether the team of DI Steve Arnott, DI Kate Fleming and Superintendent Ted Hastings would return, ending on the revelation that the team has ‘never been weaker’ 

‘Fully understand it wasn’t the ”urgent exit” type ending some anticipated but we appreciate you sticking with us.

‘Felt many emotions from excitement and anxiety at the hype to relief that it’s over. Now I just feel immense pride our show that started on Wednesdays on BBC2 has just smashed every overnight drama record since they began.

‘Finally myself, Vicky, Adrian and Jed made an agreement in the inconceivable and ridiculous scenario we ever got twelve million viewers we would get ‘AC12million’ tattoos. We’ll see who’s good to their word…’

It seemed his co-star Vicky was already on-board, as she re-tweeted his message before adding: ‘We are so grateful to you all. So much so looks like I’ll have the ink to prove it!’

Creator Jed also offered his own thanks to fans after re-tweeting an article detailing the show’s record-breaking viewership, but has also kept mum on whether Line Of Duty could return to screens.

He wrote: ‘We’re honoured and flattered by the viewing figures for#LineofDuty6

Inked? Martin was tight-lipped on whether Line Of Duty will return for a seventh series, and only hinted that the beloved AC-12 trio and creator Jed Mercurio could get matching tattoos

Inked? Martin was tight-lipped on whether Line Of Duty will return for a seventh series, and only hinted that the beloved AC-12 trio and creator Jed Mercurio could get matching tattoos

‘We knew attempting to explore the real nature of corruption in our society wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but we do sincerely thank you all for watching. It’s been our privilege to share your Sunday nights.’ 

Sunday’s season finale proved to be a ratings hit for the BBC, with 12.8 million viewers tuning in for the broadcast.

The huge and impressive numbers comfortably beating Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, which drew 11.4 viewers when it aired in March.  

BBC bosses are yet to confirm whether the show will return, despite an average of 13 millions viewers tuning in for the latest series, which faced multiple delays due to the Covid pandemic.  

I'll do it! It seemed his co-star Vicky was already on-board, as she re-tweeted his message before adding: 'We are so grateful to you all. So much so looks like I'll have the ink to prove it!'

I’ll do it! It seemed his co-star Vicky was already on-board, as she re-tweeted his message before adding: ‘We are so grateful to you all. So much so looks like I’ll have the ink to prove it!’

Important: Creator Jed also offered his own thanks to fans after re-tweeting an article detailing the show's record-breaking viewership

Important: Creator Jed also offered his own thanks to fans after re-tweeting an article detailing the show’s record-breaking viewership

But in March Jed admitted that he ‘doesn’t know’ if there will be a series seven and it isn’t ‘guaranteed’ due to the coronavirus crisis. 

Speaking to The Radio Times he said: ‘We don’t know. Since probably season four, we’ve been talking to the BBC about the realistic longevity of the series.

‘I’ve experienced broadcasters pulling the plug while we were still developing a storyline –Bodies and Cardiac Arrest both ended prematurely on the BBC. So it’s an ongoing discussion, is all I can say.’

Jed added that due to the Covid pandemic things ‘aren’t guaranteed’, he continued: ‘We’re in a situation where it’s not entirely clear that there will be a seventh series. We would hope there could be.’

Although he added that the ‘BBC remains very supportive’ and that ‘conversations have been very reassuring’ ahead of a formal commission.  

Anticipated: Given the show's record-breaking viewership, fans hoped that the finale would answer all their burning questions, including the identity of the elusive 'H'

Anticipated: Given the show’s record-breaking viewership, fans hoped that the finale would answer all their burning questions, including the identity of the elusive ‘H’

MOTHER OF GOD! WAS THAT IT? VIEWERS LEFT ‘FUMING’ AFTER MINOR CHARACTER BUCKELLS IS UNVEILED AS THE FOURTH MAN… 

Line of Duty fans across the nation were left underwhelmed and disappointed by the identity of mysterious antagonist ‘H’.

Loyal viewers took to social media in their droves to share their frustrations as officers from the police anti-corruption unit AC-12 discovered the identity of the elusive ‘fourth man’.

But the revelation the bent copper colluding with the organised crime groups (OCGs), was actually DSI Ian Buckells infuriated many seasoned Line Of Duty fans.

It saw the words ‘fuming’, ‘disappointing’ and ‘underwhelming’ all trend on social media in the aftermath of the show.

And the disbelief it could be him was compounded by the way he was only caught because of his repeated mis-spelling of the word ‘definitely’ – hardly the blunder of a hardened criminal mastermind.

The detective – widely thought until last night to have been just a bungling stooge – was first introduced to viewers in series one as the SIO in the case of murdered businesswoman Jackie Laverty by then Chief Superintendent Derek Hilton.

He later went on to become Detective Chief Inspector in series four before being promoted once more to Detective Superintendent in this final series. 

Sharing their disappointment on the revelation, one disgruntled Line of Duty fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Can’t believe I watched six seasons of line of Duty for Ian Buckells, the most pointless character to be the fourth man. Fuming.’

While another viewer added: ‘Buckells, the most pointless character’.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk