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Bodyguard: Will there be a second season of Richard Madden thriller?

Everything you need to know about plans for series two of the BBC One thriller starring Richard Madden

Richard Madden in Bodyguard header shot
Published: Monday, 20th September 2021 at 5:45 pm

Bodyguard’s series one finale became the most-watched BBC drama since records began in 2002 – and now fans are keen to know whether the BAFTA-winning thriller is coming back for a second series on BBC One.

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Although Richard Madden is being kept busy with his new role in Marvel's Eternals, there are still rumours that he'll reprise his role as bodyguard David Budd.

In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com back in May 2021, Paul Ready, who played the villainous Rob in Bodyguard, said that he'd definitely say yes if asked to appear in a second season.

Addressing the rumours, he said: "I loved playing that character. I love playing kind of ambiguous, slightly shady characters like that.

"Yeah, it Bodyguard came back and they wanted to write that character again, I'd definitely do it. I thought it was great fun. It was great fun to play.

"Jed [Mercurio] is a brilliant writer and obviously, I've just been hooked on Line of Duty. I couldn't have imagined how much it would capture the audience's imagination. They really went for it. A hugely popular show.

"People would see me on the tube at the time and they'd go, 'I'm watching Bodyguard, don't tell me! You're that guy but don't tell me whether you did it,' and I loved that."

Here’s everything you need to know.

Will there be a season 2 of Bodyguard?

David Budd in Bodyguard

The Sun reported in 2021 that the BBC would be making a second series of Bodyguard, with Richard Madden set to return as scarred war veteran and protection officer David Budd.

"Mercurio has always been too preoccupied with Line of Duty to apply himself to Bodyguard II, and after the show’s success, Madden was snapped up by Hollywood," a source told the publication. "Now with both men available, the creative process has kicked off and the BBC are thrilled it could materialise within the next two years."

While the BBC has not yet officially renewed Bodyguard for a second series, writer Jed Mercurio and lead actor Richard Madden are certainly keen for season two to happen.

Mercurio told RadioTimes.com in 2018 that he would “absolutely” do a second series, but if the following quotes from Madden are anything to go by, it’s going to be a while before the thriller returns to our screens…

“We’ve been talking about it and I spoke to Jed [Mercurio, the writer] about a month after the show had finished airing over in the UK and we sat and decided let’s give it at least a year while we work out how to do something better,” said Madden at an event in LA organised by Netflix, which streams the show internationally.

"We're in talks. We're going through the logistics of it," Mercurio told a keynote session at the Banff World Media Festival in June 2019. But, he added, the BBC has not yet officially green-lit a second series – and "there's no real update now".

Is Bodyguard on Netflix or iPlayer?

All six episodes of Bodyguard series one are currently available to watch on Netflix.

It is not available on BBC iPlayer.

What would Bodyguard season 2 be about?

Bodyguard series finale, BBC Pictures

In the closing scenes of series one, Budd finally agrees to go to therapy for his PTSD – and series star Madden reckons the war veteran needs a break, revealing that a second season could be set up to two years in the future.

“A couple of things,” said Madden. “You cannot jump into it. David Budd definitely needs a vacation after that. He’s not going to go back to work, is he?

“And also he’s the most famous man in London because of what happens at the end of episode six. He couldn’t just go straight back into work.

“And me and Jed both agree that there’s something much more interesting in, ‘Let’s catch up with him 18 months later, two years later after this has happened and say, 'Where is he now? What’s happened to him?'"

Who would star in Bodyguard season 2?

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 28/08/2018 - Programme Name: Bodyguard - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. Ep 3) - Picture Shows: *STRICTLY NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, TUESDAY 28TH AUGUST, 2018* David Budd (RICHARD MADDEN) - (C) World Productions - Photographer: Sophie Mutevelian TL

**WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SERIES ONE**

If Bodyguard is renewed by the BBC, Madden – who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Budd – will almost certainly reprise his role, given the aforementioned discussions between him and writer Jed Mercurio about the future of his character.

Keeley Hawes, whose Home Secretary Julia Montague was infamously killed off half-way though the first series, is very unlikely to return for obvious reasons, as is Pippa Haywood, who played Budd's corrupt SO15 boss Lorraine Craddock.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com at the National Television Awards, Haywood said of her involvement in series two: "You know what, there's a lot of mystery around season one so there'll be a lot of mystery around season two," Tandon said. "Discussions are ongoing aren't they... We'll have to wait and see…

"No spoilers... But I think we can probably count me out."

DCI Sharma actor Ash Tandon, meanwhile, told iNews: “The way the ratings have been, I’d love to be in the second series if it happens. We have to wait and see”.

And BBC journalists are already bidding for cameos in Bodyguard series two, after Andrew Marr, Laura Kuenssberg, Sophie Raworth and Simon McCoy were among those to feature in the first run.

What happened in Bodyguard season one?

16103015-high_res-bodyguard

The six-part political thriller tells the story of bodyguard David Budd, who is assigned to protect controversial British home secretary Julia Montague.

Budd is a war veteran and is deeply mistrustful of politicians, especially those who support the conflict in the Middle East. So, when he is tasked with protecting the Home Secretary, Budd finds himself “torn between his duty and his beliefs”.

At first the focus of series one is on whether Budd can reconcile his personal views with his duty to protect Montague – however as the series plays out it soon becomes clear that the question of Budd’s loyalties is just the tip of the iceberg, and the show delves into themes such as terrorism and corruption in the police and secret services.

Here are a few links to our episode recaps and reviews from throughout the series…

Bodyguard season 1 episode summaries and reviews

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

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