Ted Hastings' powerful Line of Duty finale sign off

Line of Duty fans think Ian Buckells is based on Boris Johnson

Series’ production company retweeted several viewers who made the comparison

Louis Chilton
Tuesday 04 May 2021 08:59
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Fans of Line of Duty have speculated that the character of Ian Buckells is inspired by the current prime minister, Boris Johnson.

*Spoilers follow for the Line of Duty series six finale...*

In Sunday’s (2 May) climactic episode of Line of Duty’s sixth season, it was revealed that the so-called “fourth man” once known as “H” – a criminal mole working within the upper echelons of the police – was none other than Detective Superintendent Buckells (Nigel Boyle).

The character had eluded suspicion for much of the series with his corruption being written off as incompetence. Towards the end of the episode, Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) bemoans how Buckells was allowed to “fail upwards” through the ranks of the police.

Line of Duty’s creator, Jed Mercurio, is a vocal critic of Johnson and the current Conservative government, and recently described the PM as “bent” on Twitter.

The official Twitter account for World Productions, the series’ production company, retweeted a number of posts which linked the character of Buckells to Johnson.

Among these was a tweet by former Labour communications director Alastair Campbell, which read: “’How some people can fail upwards beggars belief’ - the best @jed_mercurio troll of @BorisJohnson yet #LineOfDuty”

Another tweet shared by the company featured pictures of Buckells and Johnson, alongside the quote: “Your corruption has been mistaken for incompetence.”

“I wonder if the reason so many people are angry, is because they don’t want to acknowledge that this guy is basically Buckells?” wrote another, alongside a GIF of Johnson.

Line of Duty can be watched on BBC iPlayer.

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