Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson picks out one factual inaccuracy in Bodyguard

The Former Labour MP noticed one scene in particular that wasn't true to life



However nail-bitingly tense BBC’s Bodyguard was, some viewers noticed a few factual errors that seeped into the drama. And not just pedantic notes about the finale’s London geography (seriously, how did David Budd walk from Moorgate to Gordon Square without Google Maps?).


We’re talking about inaccuracies that only a former Home Secretary might notice. Somebody like Labour’s Alan Johnson, who appeared on ITV’s This Morning to discuss the drama.

Speaking from his own experience as Home Secretary in Gordon Brown’s government, Johnson said he noticed something big out of place during one of the first episodes.

“There was one that was glaring, very early on,” he told hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. “David Budd [Richard Madden] is in the restaurant with somebody else while the Home Secretary was having a very intimate dinner. There are the two coppers plonked down at a table not eating or drinking anything.

“That wouldn’t happen – big signals are going off: we are bodyguards. What they do is blend into the background. They’re there looking like two other diners – of course they have to order food.”

However, the former MP suggested the show captured how overbearing security can be. “I got the phone call while I was on the train when Gordon Brown promoted me to Home Secretary. When I pulled into Kings Cross, there were about five police officers with dogs,” he said.

“There was a lot of protection officers. There was a team of about 10 people waiting for me. A friend was on the train with me. He said, ‘See you when you get out’, almost [like] being taken into custody. That’s part of the job.”

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 22: British Labour Party politician Alan Johnson attends a photocall during the annual Edinburgh International Book Festival at Charlotte Square Gardens on August 22, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images) TL
Former Home Secretary Alan Johnson 

But Frank Armstrong – Tony Blair’s former Head of Protection, who also appeared on This Morning – said he was unconvinced Budd would ever be allowed on the security team.

“To be a protection officer, and certainly in such an important, key position, there’s a very high level of vetting, all the checks are made, I don’t think he would have passed muster, he’d have been out early on,” he said.

He added: “I think if there is a series two, there are a couple of issues that need resolving before he can resume his protection duties. One clearly, if that [the romance] did happen, he would be off protection duties, having that relationship with the Home Secretary.

“Secondly, having the illegal firearm in his possession. We don’t always have stashed firearms in parts of our homes.

But despite those issues, Armstrong said he thought the show was “great entertainment”, but that his job wasn’t as exciting as Budd’s role.


Judging from the finale’s suicide vest, we reckon that’s a very good thing.

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