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Taboo to return after first series proves one of BBC iPlayer's top rated dramas

Tom Hardy's dark period drama Taboo will return for a second series.

The show, which was devised by Hardy and his father Chips, told the story of adventurer James Keziah Delaney, long believed to be dead, who returns home to London from Africa in 1814 in order to inherit his late father's shipping empire.

The series, which was produced with US network FX, starred Hardy as Delaney and was produced by Sir Ridley Scott and written by Steven Knight, who was responsible for Locke and Peaky Blinders.

It has proved to be one of the BBC's most successful dramas ever on iPlayer.

Hardy said he was excited to continue with the story, saying: "We are grateful and excited to continue our relationship with the BBC and FX in contributing towards British drama. Fantastic news."

Knight added: "I'm thrilled that a work which pushes boundaries has been so well received and found such a large and enthusiastic audience in the US and Britain.

"We have tried to take an impressionistic, rather than figurative, approach to a narrative which we hope more accurately portrays the spirit of an extraordinary time in history.

"James Delaney will continue to explore many realities as he takes his band of misfits to a new world, thanks to FX and the BBC, partners who could not be more suited to collaborating in ground-breaking work."

There will be eight more episodes of the show and executive producer Scott, who directed Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma And Louise, and The Martian, said he is delighted people want to know what happens next in the story.

"We're thrilled...that the BBC and FX are up for more adventures with the devil Delaney and the league of the damned.

"Along with our international distributors, Sonar Entertainment, the BBC and FX have been great partners, supporting Taboo at every stage so it could be the dark, dirty brute of a drama that it is," he said.

Taboo drew a consolidated series average of 5.8 million viewers within seven days but reached an average of seven million after 28 days, with the series premiere pulling in the third highest iPlayer audience ever.

Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content, added: "Taboo has been a phenomenal success and proves overnight ratings are not the only measure of success, as the series even now continues to grow beyond live viewing.

"Launching in a new Saturday night slot on BBC One provided us with an opportunity to take risks and showcase distinctive drama; and the growing talkability of Taboo has engaged younger audiences seeing record numbers coming to iPlayer, with the availability of the box set maximising audiences even further.

"A second series can't come soon enough."

Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama said the second series of the show promised " something daring, different but equally unmissable."

The first series of Taboo will be available on BBC iPlayer until March 27.

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