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BBC’s Line of Duty ‘sucking diesel’ at National TV Awards

 and stars hint that there could be another series of hit BBC show

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Tommy Jessop celebrates in the awards room with the cast and crew of Line of Duty after winning the Returning Drama award at the National Television Awards

Tommy Jessop celebrates in the awards room with the cast and crew of Line of Duty after winning the Returning Drama award at the National Television Awards

PA

Laura Whitmore attending the National Television Awards 2021

Laura Whitmore attending the National Television Awards 2021

PA

Eamonn Holmes (left) and Ruth Langsford attending the National Television Awards 2021

Eamonn Holmes (left) and Ruth Langsford attending the National Television Awards 2021

PA

Olly Alexander attends the National Television Awards 2021

Olly Alexander attends the National Television Awards 2021

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Emily Atack attends the National Television Awards 2021

Emily Atack attends the National Television Awards 2021

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Ferne McCann attending the National Television Awards 2021

Ferne McCann attending the National Television Awards 2021

PA

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Tommy Jessop celebrates in the awards room with the cast and crew of Line of Duty after winning the Returning Drama award at the National Television Awards

Mother of God!

It’s taken six series, multiple big-name guest stars and record-breaking ratings but Line of Duty has finally bagged not one, but two National Television Awards.

And its triumphant stars teased that a seventh series could be on the cards.

At the glamorous gongs show in London, the popular BBC1 police procedural show, which has been filmed in Belfast since series two, was given the special recognition award for its massive success.

It was also named best returning drama, beating Call the Midwife, The Crown and Unforgotten.

Northern Ireland’s Adrian Dunbar, who plays AC-12 boss, Superintendent Ted Hastings, was shortlisted for best drama performance, along with his Line of Duty co-stars Martin Compston (DI Steve Arnott) and Vicky McClure (DI Kate Fleming). But the show’s golden trio lost out to David Tennant for his performance in ITV miniseries Des.

Dunbar and McClure were unable to attend the ceremony due to filming commitments, but Compston was on hand to collect both awards along with other cast members, including Tommy Jessop (Terry Boyle) and the series producer Simon Heath.

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A delighted Compston told the packed audience: “This means so much to us.  We started out as this wee show on a Wednesday night on BBC Two and now we’re the biggest show on television.”

Compston thanked show creator Jed Mercurio, who was also absent, and dedicated the awards to the fans, adding: “Who knows? Maybe we’ll be back again.”

Although Dunbar wasn’t able to be there, he spoke to host Joel Dommett and the guests by a live link. He said he was “ over the moon” and also thanked the “wonderful”  Mercurio, the BBC, his co-stars and the viewing public, before echoing Compston’s words: “And as Martin says, who knows? We may be back.”

Line of Duty’s series six finale, which drew in 12.8 million overnight viewers earlier this year, gave the BBC its most-watched episode of any drama since modern records began in 2002, excluding soaps.

It has been nominated for an NTA several times, losing out in 2020 to Peaky Blinders (best drama) and in 2018 to Broadchurch (best crime drama).

Over the six series it has been nominated for numerous awards including the BAFTA and has won at the IFTAs, Royal Television Society Awards (RTS), British Screenwriters’ and Crime Thrillers Award.

Elsewhere other local winners included Michael Kelpie, the Derry-born executive producer of Beat the Chasers. The ITV programme won in the best gameshow category.

The popular Netflix period drama Bridgerton, starring Derry Girls actress Nicola Coughlan and the TV adaptation of Irish writer Sally Rooney’s Normal People, lost out in the best new drama category to Channel 4’s It’s a Sin.

This Morning scooped its 15th NTA, with the gone for live magazine show while Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly won the best TV presenter prize for a 20th consecutive time. Kate Garraway won the award for authored documentary for Finding Derek while the challenge show award went to the Great British Bake-Off. 

The Bruce Forsyth entertainment award went to I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! and Coronation Street won for best serial drama.

 


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