With Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio at the helm, you can see how new BBC1 drama Bodyguard attracted such an impressive cast.


The six-part drama stars Keeley Hawes as Home Secretary Julia Montague and Richard Madden as the bodyguard assigned for her protection.

Here are all the cast and characters you need to meet:

Keeley Hawes plays Julia Montague

Keeley Hawes, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Who is Julia Montague? The ambitious and powerful Home Secretary, who is assigned a new Specialist Protection Officer to keep her safe. Divorced, she lives alone in her London constituency. She is pushing forward a controversial new counter-terrorism bill (RIPA 18) which would give the security services unprecedented powers of surveillance.

Where have I seen Keeley Hawes before? Keeley Hawes has previously teamed up with showrunner Jed Mercurio to play Lindsay Denton in Line of Duty. She's also starred in The Missing and Spooks, and currently plays English expat widow Louisa Durrell in ITV's The Durrells.

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Richard Madden plays David Budd

Richard Madden, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Who is David Budd? A war veteran now working as a bodyguard for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch (RaSP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. After his experience in Helmand he is deeply mistrustful of politicians, especially those in favour of the conflict in the Middle East. But when he is assigned to protect the Home Secretary, Budd "finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs."

Where have I seen Richard Madden before? You'll probably recognise him as Robb Stark from Game of Thrones. The Scottish actor has also starred as Prince Kit in Disney's Cinderella, and Cosimo de' Medici in Medici: Masters of Florence.

Stephanie Hyam plays Chanel Dyson

Stephanie Hyam, Bodyguard

Who is Chanel Dyson? Julia Montague's resentful - and terribly posh - PR Advisor.

Where have I seen Stephanie Hyam before? Hyam appeared in Doctor Who in 2017 as Heather and has also been seen in Peaky Blinders, Sherlock and Murdered by My Boyfriend.

Luke Aitkens plays Matt Stokoe

Matt Stokoe as Luke Aikens, Bodyguard

Who is Luke Aitkens? We've seen Luke a handful of times, including when he picked Chanel up from the Home Office in a massive black 4x4. His true identity is not yet clear.

Where have I seen Matt Stokoe before? In Sky drama Jamestown he stars as James Read, with other credits including The Village and The Musketeers. He is perhaps best known for playing Alex in Misfits.

Anjli Mohindra plays Nadia Ali

Nadia in Bodyguard

Who is Nadia Ali? We first met Nadia in a train bathroom wearing a suicide vest and trying to bring herself to detonate the bomb. David talked her down and saved her from being shot to death by the armed police. Since then, police have been trying to get information from her about the terror cell she and her husband belonged to.

Where have I seen Anjli Mohindra before? The actress has starred in Bancroft, The Missing, Cucumber and Paranoid. She'll soon appear in Chris Lang's new ITV drama Dark Heart.

Gina McKee plays Anne Sampson

Gina McKee, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Who is Anne Sampson? Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, Sampson reports directly to the Home Secretary - but that doesn't necessarily mean she agrees with everything she does.

Where have I seen Gina McKee before? The actress is another former Line of Duty star, having played Jackie in the first series. She played Jamie Ortega in Missing, Henrietta Harding in Oscar-nominated movie Phantom Thread, and Caterina Sforza in The Borgias.

Pippa Haywood plays Lorraine Craddock

Pippa Haywood as CS Lorraine Craddock, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Who is Lorraine Craddock? David's boss, who assigns him to protect the Home Secretary.

Where have I seen Pippa Haywood before? Haywood is a prolific TV actor, having starred in Requiem, Porridge, Brief Encounters, Scott & Bailey, Mr Selfridge and Green Wing, to name a few.

Sophie Rundle plays Vicky Budd

Sophie Rundle, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Who is Vicky Budd? David's estranged wife and mother to their two children. They are separated due to his issues with PTSD since he returned from the war in Afghanistan and although she loves him, she is trying to move on.

Where have I seen Sophie Rundle before? The actress has had a string of TV roles, playing Lucy in The Bletchley Circle before appearing in Episodes, Happy Valley, Not Safe for Work, Dickensian, Jamestown, Brief Encounters and Peaky Blinders – as Ada Shelby.

Shubham Saraf plays Tahir Mahmood

Tahir Mahmood in Bodyguard, BBC Pictures

Who is Tahir Mahmood? When Julia's PR advisor is shown the door, her replacement Tahir steps in to fill the void. He's good at his job and early on wins his boss's approval – but will he see off the sabotage attempts from Julia's jealous minion Rob Macdonald?

Where have I seen Shubham Saraf before? Prior to Bodyguard, Shubham has appeared in Fresh Meat, Honour and the Cut. He has also played Ophelia at Shakespeare's Globe earlier this year.

Vincent Franklin plays Mike Travis

Vincent Franklin, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Who is Mike Travis? Minister of State for Counter-Terrorism, Mike works closely with the Home Secretary - but he starts to become resentful and suspicious of her movements when he is excluded from her private meetings.

Where have I seen Vincent Franklin before? Recent roles have included Chris Parsons in Doc Martin, Prendergast in Decline and Fall, Andy Shepherd in Happy Valley, and Henry Best in Banana and Cucumber. He played Stewart Pearson in The Thick of It.

Stuart Bowman plays Stephen Hunter-Dunn

Stuart Bowman, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Who is Stephen Hunter-Dunn? Director General of the Security Service (MI-5), Hunter-Dunn’s private meetings with the Home Secretary start to raise suspicions among Julia's colleagues. He is also a bitter rival of Anne Sampson's.

Where have I seen Stuart Bowman before? You're most likely to recognise him as the loyal Alexandre Bontemps in Versailles. He's also appeared in The Musketeers and Gary Tank Commander.

Nicholas Gleaves plays Roger Penhaligon

Nicholas Gleaves as Roger Penhaligon, Bodyguard (BBC, EH)

Who is Roger Penhaligon? Chief Whip and ex-husband of Julia Montague. They are on extremely acrimonious terms, both professionally and personally. Roger accuses Julia of mounting a secret leadership bid against the current Prime Minister.

Where have I seen Nicholas Gleaves before? Gleaves plays Duncan Radfield in Coronation Street, but he is also known for Scott & Bailey, Waterloo Road and kids show The Queen's Nose.

Paul Ready plays Rob MacDonald

Rob MacDonald plays aide Paul Ready in Bodyguard

Who is Rob MacDonald? Special Advisor to Home Secretary Julia Montague. He has a bit of a crush on his boss but comes across as slimy and insincere.

Where have I seen Paul Ready before? Recent roles have included Harry Goodsir in The Terror, Kevin in Motherland, DI Felix Kane in Cuffs and Benji Robertson in The Tunnel.

Tom Brooke plays Andy Apsted

Andy Apstead in Bodyguard, BBC

Who is Andy Apsted? An ex-soldier who fought alongside David Budd. He is angry and disillusioned with the political class who sent him to the Middle East.

Where have I seen Tom Brooke before? You may remember him as Fiore from the TV series Preacher. He'll soon be back on our screens in Chris Lang's upcoming drama Dark Heart, as DS Rick Johnson.

Ash Tandon plays DCI Deepak Sharma

Ash Tandon plays DCI Deepak Sharma in Bodyguard

Who is DCI Deepak Sharma? The officer investigating a string of related terror attacks. He's very suspicious of David Budd.

Where have I seen Ash Tandon before? You may recently have spotted him in Coronation Street, as PC Daullah. Tandon has also made appearances in The Good Karma Hospital, Ordinary Lies and Doctors.

Nina Toussaint-White plays DS Louise Rayburn

Nina Toussaint-White plays DS Louise Rayburn in Bodyguard

Who is DS Louise Rayburn? Deepak's second in command in this investigation. She is more sympathetic to David Budd than he is, and is prepared to listen to his thoughts.

Where have I seen Nina Toussaint-White before? The actress played Angie in Emmerdale, and Syd in EastEnders. Her other credits include GameFace, Uncle and Holby City, and she'll soon be appearing in international sci-fi drama The Feed.

David Westhead plays the Prime Minister

David Westhead plays the Prime Minister in Bodyguard

Who is the Prime Minister? He may be the leader the country, but the Tory Prime Minister has so far been a marginal figure in the drama. Julia Montague was most likely plotting a leadership bid against him.

Where have I seen David Westhead before? Recent roles have included Neil Read in W1A, Alexander in Lovesick and Tony Blair's minder in Reg.


This article was originally published in August 2018

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