Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio reveals he hinted who H was in season one

5 May 2021, 08:55 | Updated: 5 May 2021, 15:46

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Jed Mercurio dropped a huge hint that Buckells was H in the first season of the show...

**Warning: major Line of Duty series six spoilers below**

Line of Duty's creator Jed Mercurio has told fans that he dropped a hint at H's identity all the way back in season one.

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On Sunday night, a whopping 12.8million people tuned in to see 'The Fourth Man' finally be unmasked - and it was revealed that it was Ian Buckells.

Speaking on the Obsessed with… Line of Duty podcast, Jed revealed that he planted a very subtle clue early on in the show.

H was finally unmasked as Buckells over the weekend
H was finally unmasked as Buckells over the weekend. Picture: BBC

In the very first season, Buckells let OCG member Dot Cottan talk to criminal boss Tommy Hunter in the back of a van alone - which hinted that he was dodgy.

He said: "It was really about the heritage of the series, going all the way back to season one, where Dot Cottan says, 'Oh, can I just have a quick word with Tommy Hunter in the back of the van?' and Buckells goes, 'Yeah, alright'. OK, like, really, is that what you should be doing? Of course, not."

Speaking about his decision to make Buckells H, Jed said: "It was always really important to me that it was someone who had been in season one, someone who had been there the whole time.

"We did introduce some characters late, so Thurwell came in late, we went back to Fairbank, who’d appeared in season three, we had the Chief Constable, who had obviously been there since season one.

"But then I don’t think he would have been a satisfying candidate because he had been absent for so long, it would feel like we’d just brought him back in to pin it on him."

Line of Duty's season finale was met with mixed reviews from viewers, with many disappointed that there was no major twist in the episode.

The Line of Duty season finale was met with criticism from some viewers
The Line of Duty season finale was met with criticism from some viewers. Picture: BBC

Martin Compston, who played Steve Arnott, subsequently responded to the criticism on Twitter, saying: "Hey folks now the madness is slightly dying down just want to thank everybody who reached out about last night and the series as a whole, we've truly been blown away by the reaction and love for the show we're proud of it.

"Felt many emotions from excitement and anxiety at the hype to relief that it's over. Now I just feel immense pride our show that started on Wednesday's on BBC2 has just smashed every overnight drama record since they began.

"Fully understand it wasn't the 'urgent exit' type ending some anticipated but we appreciate you sticking with us."

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