Bodyguard finale smashes UK drama records | Ratings/Measurement | News | Rapid TV News
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The concluding episode of UK smash hit drama Bodyguard for the BBC has become the country’s most-watched episode of any drama series across all channels since current records began in 2002.
Bodyguard 18Sep2018

Written and executive produced by Jed Mercurio and produced by ITV Studios company World Productions for BBC One, Bodyguard told the fictional story of David Budd (Richard Madden; Game Of Thrones), a heroic but volatile war veteran working as a specialist protection officer for the royalty and Special Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police. When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes; Line of Duty, The Durrells, The Missing), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs.

Episode one received a consolidated figure of 10.4 million viewers, with a 40.9% share on BBC One, the highest launch figure for any new drama across all UK channels in a decade. 28-day 4-screen consolidated figures have now revealed that the finale was watched by an audience of 17.1 million people. This is the largest audience recorded for a UK TV programme outside of sporting and national events since 2010. Measured using the previous standard 28-day consolidated method, the figure for Bodyguard's finale (15.9 million) would still remain the highest number for an episode of a drama series since current records began in 2002.

Figures were measured using BARB’s updated 4-screen 28-day measure, which was introduced in August 2018 and includes viewing through TVs, as well as online non-TV devices. The drama has also become the BBC iPlayer’s most successful box set ever, where it currently has over 38 million requests. The full series remains on BBC iPlayer exclusively in the UK as a box set.

Commenting on the record ratings, Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, said: “Bodyguard continues to smash records and thrill new audiences everyday via the boxset, which is available exclusively on BBC iPlayer for the next five months.” 

Added Simon Heath, World Productions CEO and creative director: “A big thank you to the BBC for their terrific support and to everyone who watched Bodyguard either live or on catch up. We’re hugely grateful.”

The drama is set for global exposure after Netflix agreed to pick up the programme. The series will premiere to the leading SVOD service’s members globally - outside of the UK and Ireland and China - from 24 October 2018.