BBC One’s political thriller Bodyguard ended with its highest overnight audience of the series, concluding with an average of 10.4 million viewers/47.8 per cent share, and a peak of 11.0 million viewers.
This makes Bodyguard the #1 non-World Cup programme of the year across all channels. It also means the episode is the biggest drama across all channels since 2011, and the biggest BBC drama since 2008.
Bodyguard, written and created by Jed Mercurio, and made by World Productions for BBC One, additionally attracted the highest young audience for any drama on any channel during 2018, with the finale attracting 1.3 million 16-34 year olds (42.3 per cent share).
On BBC iPlayer, Bodyguard has broken records with episode one being the biggest episode of any programme ever on iPlayer with 7.3 million requests so far. The series currently has over 24.2 million requests across all six episodes, while the series finale helped drive BBC iPlayer’s biggest ever day of over 12.6 million requests on Sunday 23 September. Bodyguard will remain on BBC iPlayer exclusively in the UK as a box set for the next six months.
“The finale of Bodyguard gripped the nation and has got everyone talking with a staggering peak audience of 11 million on BBC One in a display of masterful storytelling from Jed Mercurio; while episode one is already the biggest ever episode on iPlayer and still growing,” commented Charlotte Moore, Director BBC Content.
“I’m completely stunned by the exceptional response to Bodyguard which reflects the star quality of our brilliant cast led by Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes and our outstanding crew led by producers Priscilla Parish and Eric Coulter and directors Thomas Vincent and John Strickland,” added Mercurio.
“At a time when we’re told that linear TV is dying, it’s been thrilling to see the number of viewers flocking to watch Bodyguard live,” declared Simon Heath, CEO & Creative Director of World Productions. “We’re so grateful for all their support.”