Line of Duty gets two more series

BBC2 marks its 50th anniversary by putting in two orders for Jed Mercurio's cop thriller plus a raft of documentary series on war in Afghanistan, foster parents and 20,000 years of women's history

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Line of Duty gets two more series
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After capturing the attention of the telly-viewing public last month, Line of Duty has been rewarded with not one but two more series. 

Starring Martin Compston and Vicky McClure as DS Steve Arnott and DC Kate Fleming, the most recent series of Jed Mercurio's cop thriller saw Keeley Hawes put in an acclaimed performance as DI Lindsay Denton - chief suspect in a fatal police ambush. The trio were joined by Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings and Mark Bonnar as complicit Deputy Chief Constable Mike Dryden. 

“We’re profoundly grateful to the fans who not only watched Line Of Duty but also made it such a talking point, and to BBC Two for this rare and immensely flattering opportunity," said Mercurio.

"For series three and four, I can promise two explosive new cases for AC-12, new guest stars as police officers investigated for corruption, further twists and turns from the loose ends of series two, and maybe even some surprise reappearances...”

Viewers will be hoping one of those will be from Hawes whose character was last seen serving a life sentence for her role in the crime. However, details of dodgy "Dot" Cottan's involvement were revealed to viewers during the series finale and his indictment could, theoretically, result in her release from prison

Controller of BBC drama, Ben Stephenson, described the two-series order "the easiest decision I have made," while executive producer, Simon Heath, added, "it's a great chance to go deeper into the murky world of AC-12." 

The news coincides with the 50th anniversary of BBC2 and is one of several new commissions announced by acting controller, Adam Barker.

Paul Whitehouse will bring his Radio 4 comedy Nurse to the channel for a four-part TV series following Esther Coles’ Community Psychiatric Nurse into the homes of her patients, many of whom are played by Whitehouse himself.

A raft of documentary series have also been unveiled. Amanda Foreman will present The World Made By Women, a new four-part series exploring 20,000 years of women's history while an accompanying collection of documentaries looking at suffragettes, Joan of Arc and the women of Ancient Egypt will be fronted by Amanda Vickery, Helen Castor and Joann Fletcher.

Beyond Human will see physicist Helen Czerski and biologist Patrick Aryee look into the world of animal senses, while four-part series Foster Parents will uncover different types of foster care and the services that support them, and War in Afghanistan will mark the withdrawal of British troops and examine the legacy of the Afghan conflict.