With the security services closing in and preview photos hinting at an ominous finale to BBC’s Bodyguard, it looks like David Budd’s number could soon be up.
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However, some fans noticed Budd’s digits had already been revealed, in episode five when Richard Madden’s PPO gave out his phone number (07700900431) to Chanel Dyson – the shady former assistant to home secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes).
And turns out eager viewers actually noted it down…
07700900431 Just incase any of you ladies OR gents forgot or missed taking David's number entered into your phone's ???? #Bodyguard
— Sully (@Sulsters_inc) September 16, 2018
But what happened when they rung? Nothing. That’s because the number is one of the 20,000 fake combinations designated by broadcasting regulator Ofcom for use in TV, radio and film (see the full list here).
The not-in-use combinations include numbers for different areas around the UK as well as those for mobile phones.
That means that however much you want to pass on a message, your favourite TV characters won’t answer you back…
damn didn’t work back to drawing board pic.twitter.com/m1AYeruVOp
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) September 16, 2018
Occasionally screen characters accidentally use real numbers, such as the one in Jim Carey film Bruce Almighty. Callers who were expecting to have a chin wag with God were instead connected to a sandwich shop manager from Salford.
In short: if you call a number from a TV show, whether David Budd’s or God’s, you’re not going to reach who you want. Well, they’re not going to give out their real numbers on TV, are they?
Bodyguard concludes on Sunday at 9pm on BBC1