The six-part drama, which stars Game Of Thrones alum Richard Madden and Line Of Duty‘s Keeley Hawes, opened with 6.7M (35%) overnight viewers for its first episode and remained steady at 6.4M (30%) for its second episode.
The World Productions thriller is set in and around the corridors of power and tells the story of a heroic but volatile war veteran assigned to protect the Home Secretary whose politics run contrary to his own.
Rudd, writing in the Sunday Times, said Hawes portrayal of Home Secretary was “fierce” and “unapologetic”. “She has the hard side you need to smash a glass ceiling, but is able to turn on a personable, credible approach where necessary,” she added.
Mercurio responded by thanking Rudd for an “interesting” and “thought provoking” article. “Maybe she’ll honour us with a cameo appearance if we get a second series,” tweeted the Line of Duty creator. Mercurio, during press for the show, said that he would like the show to continue, potentially with Madden’s bodyguard character looking after various other important people.
Madden plays David Budd who is now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary, Julia Montague (Hawes), whose politics stand for everything he despises, Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, is he actually her biggest threat?
Mercurio wrote and is exec producing the project with Simon Heath for World Productions and Elizabeth Kilgarriff for BBC One. Thomas Vincent and John Strickland are directing. Further cast include Gina McKee (Line Of Duty) Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders), Vincent Franklin (Happy Valley), Pippa Haywood (Scott & Bailey), Stuart Bowman (Versailles) and Paul Ready (The Terror).
Rudd added that she “loves a good drama”. “You may think that, after relentless years of working in politics, the last thing I would want to watch would be political drama or a show about terrorists. One of my friends, a doctor, tells me there’s nothing she finds less relaxing than watching a medical drama, with every incorrect tracheotomy or wrong symptom deeply irritating to her.
“I could pretend the same applied to me: that I turn my nose up at unrealistic shows, preferring documentaries and foreign films. But the truth is that I love a good drama. Watching Mission: Impossible — Fallout in the cinema or Doctor Foster on television is when I’m happiest. In fact, my favourite show, as for half the country, is Game of Thrones. So the added benefit of the gorgeously talented Richard Madden (formerly Robb Stark in Game of Thrones) playing the male protagonist meant I was pretty much guaranteed to watch Bodyguard, no matter what the subject.”