Line of Duty boss Jed Mercurio considers killing off AC-12: “It’s never far from my thoughts”

No one is safe in BBC One's acclaimed crime thriller.

Line of Duty character portrait collage

BBC One’s wildly popular thriller Line of Duty has never shied away from killing off key characters and creator Jed Mercurio has confirmed that even the central AC-12 trio aren’t safe from its life or death scenarios.

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The series returns to television this weekend after a pandemic-related delay, with a tough new case revolving around DCI Joanne Davidson (Trainspotting’s Kelly Macdonald) and an unsolved murder.

Fans are excited to see Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) and Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) back in action, but would be wise not to get too attached – after all, anything can happen in Mercurio’s shady world of “bent coppers”.

Speaking to RadioTimes.com and other press ahead of the series six premiere, the acclaimed screenwriter was asked whether he has been tempted to kill off any of the three most prominent AC-12 members.

“It’s never far from my thoughts, honestly,” he revealed. “I think we all get on brilliantly and everybody knows we are serving something bigger than ourselves which is Line Of Duty.”

He continued: “One of things about the show is nobody is safe. It keeps the audience on the edge of their seat so I know it would be a sad day, but all the main cast realise it could be possible. We’re mates, we talk about it, we joke about it. It’s something no-one would relish but everybody would understand.”

Line of Duty began life on BBC Two, but its popularity grew so immense that it was bumped up to BBC One five years later, drawing a whopping 13 million viewers to its most recent finale.

Fans of the show should be sure to check out our upcoming Script to Screen event, in which Mercurio will be in conversation with RadioTimes.com‘s Drama Editor Eleanor Bley Griffiths, discussing his stellar screenwriting career. Tickets are available to purchase now.

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Line of Duty returns to BBC One on Sunday 21st March. Take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or check out what else is on with our TV Guide.