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Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio reveals particularly rude line cut from series 1

The Line of Duty boss said the insult was "so rude we needed permission from a BBC executive"

Line of Duty insult

Many telly fans have been rewatching Line of Duty from the start since BBC One started repeating the popular crime series and we’ve been learning more and more about the series thanks to tweets from show boss Jed Mercurio.


Last night Mercurio revealed that, in series one episode five, a word was cut from the final version because it was considered so rude that permission was needed from a BBC Executive – approval which never came.

The word was uttered by Detective Constable Nigel Morton – the character played by Neil Morrissey – shortly after he had spat at Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), an incident that Mercurio referred to as a particularly “pre-COVID moment”.

Writing on Twitter, Mercurio said, “After the spit, Neil Morrissey’s character called Kate Fleming a word so rude we needed permission from a BBC executive.

“After weeks without ever getting a reply, we had no choice but to cut it from the final version.”

Quite what the word was remains a mystery, but fans took to Mercurio’s replies to take guesses at what the insult in question might have been.

One viewer wrote, “I heard it rhymes with Hunt?” while another added, “Shame! Love a good BBC C-bomb shocker!”

Referring to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a third fan of the show (the DVD boxset of which is available on Amazon) joked, “I think we’d find the spit more offensive than whatever the word was now!”

Despite the rudeness of Morrissey’s character, Ted Hastings actor Adrian Dunbar recently revealed that he’d love to see his former co-star back in the role.

Speaking during the RadioTimes.com live Q&A following the repeat of the first episode of the show, Dunbar said, “I really think that Nigel, Neil’s character, should come back – I’ve been advocating for that to see if we can get Nigel back.”

Morrissey was part of the cast of the popular crime drama during the first season, with his character having close ties to Tony Gates (Lennie James).

He made further appearances in the show during subsequent series – and was last seen in series three, during which he had been unsuccessfully blackmailed by Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (Craig Parkinson).


Line of Duty is available to stream on BBC iPlayer or you can order the DVD boxset on Amazon. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide