More than half of Sunday night viewers tune in for Bodyguard as climax is watched by 11 million

The finale of Jed Mercurio's drama, starring Richard Madden, was the talk of Sunday night TV across the nation

Richard Madden in Bodyguard header shot

More than half of the UK viewers watching TV at 10pm on Sunday night were glued to the climax of BBC drama Bodyguard.

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A staggering 11 million people tuned in as Jed Mercurio’s thriller reached its gripping denouement, drawing a peak audience share of 55% across BBC1 and BBC1 HD.

The final instalment of the six-part drama – starring Richard Madden as Police Sergeant David Budd – was watched by an average of 10.4 million during its extended 75-minute slot from 9pm until 10:15pm, with the other major channels’ offerings dwarfed in comparison.

ITV’s period adaptation Vanity Fair was Bodyguard’s closest competitor, watched by an average of almost 2 million between 9pm and 10pm, while the darts on BBC2, Big Brother on Channel 5 and fellow reality series The Circle on Channel 4 measured their audiences in the hundreds of thousands.

And the BBC, and Mercurio, made the most of their captive audience, following Bodyguard with a teaser trailer for the writer’s other police drama, Line of Duty.

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