Laura Harding, PA Deputy Entertainment Editor
Jed Mercurio has said he “does not have a plan in place” for more episodes of Line Of Duty.
However, the TV writer, who also created the ratings hit Bodyguard, offered hope to fans of the show that there could still be another instalment of the thriller, adding: “If there was a way, we’d obviously look at that seriously.”
The sixth series of the police corruption drama was a ratings juggernaut earlier this year, with the season finale drawing consolidated TV ratings of 15.24 million, making it the UK’s most-watched drama series of the 21st century so far.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey! pic.twitter.com/IpnzJ7UZpW
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) May 13, 2021
The last episode of the BBC One series saw DSU Ian Buckells, played by Nigel Boyle, unmasked as the mysterious H, the corrupt police officer at the top of a criminal conspiracy.
Since then, Mercurio has taken his writing skills to another medium, penning a graphic novel called Sleeper with the writer and actor Prasanna Puwanarajah.
Discussing what he will do next, he told BBC Breakfast: “We’re shooting a series called Trigger Point at the moment, which stars Vicky McClure playing a bomb disposal officer, and that’s a very exciting prospect, probably on screen in the early new year.
The incredible finished copies of Sleeper by @jed_mercurio and @PrasannaBanana have arrived! Stunning illustrations by @NavarroCoke.
The first in a hotly anticipated new graphic novel series, #Sleeper is a riveting work of imagination. https://t.co/v1YaQmP0WG pic.twitter.com/pZdNV1sfTa
— Simon & Schuster UK (@simonschusterUK) July 29, 2021
“And then I’m sort of taking stock about what I’m going to do next – so, lots of lots of things possibly in the pipeline, it’s a very exciting time.”
Asked if that could include Line Of Duty, he said: “I think if Line Of Duty fans propel Sleeper to the top of the bestseller charts, I think that will say that there’s a desire for more of my work, so that might motivate me.
“But currently, there are no plans to answer that question seriously.”
He added: “We’re all so thrilled by the response to season six, it did so well.
— Line of Duty (@Line_of_duty) May 7, 2021
“It’s fantastic to be part of something like that, an absolute once-in-a-lifetime experience that the cast and I really loved being part of.
“So if there was a way, we’d obviously look at that seriously, but just being honest with you, right now we don’t have a plan in place.”
Martin Compston, who plays Steve Arnott, previously revealed that he, Adrian Dunbar (Ted Hastings), McClure (Kate Fleming) and Mercurio had agreed to get “AC12million” tattoos if the show was watched by more than 12 million people – in reference to the show’s crime-busting AC-12 unit.