Line Of Duty biggest show of 2019 so far with more than 11m viewers

The police procedural which now stars Liverpool’s Stephen Graham has been a huge hit with viewers.

Line Of Duty has become the biggest show of 2019 so far, with more than 11 million people tuning in for the first episode of the new series.

Jed Mercurio’s police drama returned on March 31 and recorded the highest ratings for an episode in its history, and the largest on any channel this year.

Kirby born actor Stephen Graham joined the show and his debut appearance was aired in the first episode.

The This Is England star joins the crime drama for its fifth series as the manhunt for corrupt senior police officer H.

The Liverpool actor joins the cast as villain John Corbett, part of the organised criminal group being investigated by anti-corruption unit AC-12 in the upcoming episodes.

He said: “There was one bit when we’d just committed a robbery and we shot off, and we were actually driving through the streets of Belfast with our balaclavas and machine guns in the car and we realised we better get back to set.

“So that was quite funny, but wouldn’t have been too funny if people had seen! “It was all a lot of fun; it was a lovely environment to work in.”

The BBC said the episode received a four-screen consolidated audience – which includes televisions and online devices -) of 11.4 million.

It is the BBC’s biggest drama since last year’s terrorism thriller Bodyguard, which was also created by Mercurio.

The episode also performed strongly with younger viewers, with 1.5 million 16 to 34-year-olds watching.

It was the second biggest audience in the demographic for a programme this year, beaten only by Luther’s 1.6 million launch.

The fifth series of Line Of Duty – which stars Martin Compston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar and Stephen Graham – continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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