With a criminally good storyline, a Game of Thrones-style bravado when it comes to killing off major characters and a promotion to BBC1, Line of Duty is one of the most talked-about dramas of the year.
But when the Bafta TV Award nominees were announced earlier this month, the police procedural thriller earned just one nomination, while big budget Netflix drama The Crown swept the board and ITV drama The Durrells nudged Line of Duty out of the Best Drama nominations.
Daniel Mays, who played protagonist Sergeant Danny Waldron in series three (below), was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category, but Vicky McClure, Martin Compston, Adrian Dunbar and Keeley Hawes all missed out.
Did this small haul sadden Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio?
“I think that’s putting it a bit strongly,” the writer said in the latest issue of Radio Times magazine. “I’m pretty philosophical about awards. I’m disappointed that some of the great performances haven’t been recognised, although I’m thrilled about Daniel.”
Mercurio puts this down to the abundance of rival dramas.
“There are so many great dramas that it’s hard to narrow them down, whereas there are other years when you look at the nominations and think: ‘God, I wish I’d been nominated then, we’d have walked it.'”
Frankly, though, Mercurio is undeterred by his show’s lack of award nominations.
“I take the view that it’s just opinion. These things are decided by juries of however many people, who happen to be free at that time,” he said.
“I’m much happier, frankly, with the cold hard facts of viewing figures than being carried along by people’s opinions.”
Mercurio hopes that the hot ratings for this series – with consolidated viewing figures topping 7.5 million – will persuade the BBC to commission a sixth series in addition to the fifth already agreed.
Read the full interview with Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio, along with a chat with Ted Hastings actor Adrian Dunbar, in the latest issue of Radio Times, available in shops and online from Tuesday 25 April