Throughout all six seasons of Line of Duty, Ted Hastings has become known for many things, including his commitment to the law, honesty and integrity, but perhaps his most popular trait of all is his ability to conjure up some truly brilliant sayings.


In the sixth season of the show, which recently came to a close, the gaffer was in as good form as ever, reworking some old favourites and adding some brand new one-liners to the mix right up to the final episode.

We've picked out some of his best sayings from throughout the seven-episode run – and, Mother of God, there are some all-time classics in amongst them for sure.

Read on for our pick of the best Ted-isms of Line of Duty season six – all of which have been delivered expertly by Adrian Dunbar.

"Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey!"

If you were to poll fans to find their favourite Ted-ism of the series, there's a good chance this would come out on top. A variation of the more restrained "Jesus, Mary and Joseph", the gaffer made the proclamation during the long interrogation scene with Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) in episode six. After one too many "no comment" responses from Jo, he lost his cool and responded, "Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey, can we just move this thing along before it drives us all round the b****y bend?"

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"The name's Hastings, ma'am. I'm the epitome of an old battle."

Throughout the show's six seasons, Ted has often remarked that his surname resembles the famous battle, and the best example of this came during a tense exchange with DCC Andrea Wise in episode three. After being told to forget about his ongoing chase to find the identity of 'H' because "this isn't about old battle" he brilliantly responded, "The name's Hastings, ma'am. I'm the epitome of an old battle."

"When did we stop caring about honesty and integrity?"

In the following episode, Andrea Wise was once again on the receiving end of one of Ted's barbs. This time around there was no clever wordplay involved though – just a passionate plea from a man who insists on doing things to the "letter of the law". After being informed that the force's anti-corruption units were set to be merged following an order from Chief Constable Philip Osborne, he let fly, "God, give me strength, a barefaced liar promoted to our highest office! What has happened to us? When did we stop caring about honesty and integrity?" There can be few moments that sum the man up better than this.

Adrian Dunbar as Superintendent Ted Hastings in Line of Duty

"We will be left holding a sprat when we should have been holding a mackerel."

Another all-time classic from Ted this series came in the dramatic episode five, when he was explaining his reasoning for keeping Ryan Pilkington embedded within the Murder Investigations Team, even after AC-12 were fully aware that he was bent. "We will be left holding a sprat when we should have been holding a mackerel," he said. In other words, Ryan could have helped lead them to an even bigger fish.

"If I see a bent copper I only know one way and that's full-throttle."

Another one from episode five, this remark came during an exchange with PCC Rohan Sindwhani towards the beginning of the episode, shortly after he had informed Ted that he would be resigning his post. Sindwanhi said he had been fighting the merger of the AC units and that Ted hadn't made it easy, acting like a bull in a china shop, with Ted responding, "I appreciate that, Sir, but you know me, if I see a bent copper I only know one way and that's full-throttle."

"You two look like you've lost the shilling and found the penny."

Ted's wise-cracking continued right up until the final episode, with this remark being offered to Kate and Steve just after AC-12 had been informed about H's identity by Chloe, and shortly before they disclosed to Ted that they were aware of his giving money to Steph Corbett.

"No one makes mugs of AC-12"

While the season six finale might not have been unanimously well-received by any stretch, we imagine there were a few fans cheering in their living rooms when Ted delivered this line to Ian Buckells, shortly after he had been exposed as 'the Fourth Man'. Earlier in the interview, Buckells had claimed that he had "made total mugs out of you lot", but when AC-12 reveal that they have truly got their man – and that he will be ineligible for immunity from prosecution and witness protection – Ted triumphantly shuts Buckells down with this killer line. No one makes mugs of AC-12, indeed!

"I'm interested in one thing and one thing only, and that's bent coppers."

There can be few lines that are more synonymous with Ted Hastings than his repeated claim that he is interested in one thing and one thing only, and we didn't have to wait long to hear it this season, with the famous phrase appearing in the second episode. Naturally, fans of the show all reacted in the same way to the line – with jubilant celebration.

"Mother of God"

It would probably be easier to count the episodes in which Ted doesn't say Mother of God, but there have been some excellent deliveries of the line during this series – none better than when he first received the file that revealed Jo Davidson's mystery relative in episode four.

"Now we’re sucking diesel!"

If you had a Ted Hastings bingo card, this is another saying that would be bound to feature, and he was at it again in season six. An utterance of this line is as sure a sign as any that AC-12 are onto something, so let's hope we'll still be hearing more of it one in the future.


Line of Duty concludes on Sundays at 9pm on BBC One. Take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or check out our TV Guide to see what’s on TV this week.