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Line of Duty's creator Jed Mercurio has confessed he gave fans a huge hint as to who H was in the very first season of the show.
Fans of the programme were left furious after it was revealed "the fourth man" was dim-witted copper DS Ian Buckells, who is played by Nigel Boyle, in Sunday night's finale episode.
Now, speaking on the Obsessed with… Line of Duty podcast alongside former Dot Cottan actor Craig Parkinson, 55 year old Jed has explained that he made the decision to make Buckells the rotten apple at the heart of police corruption all the way back in the first season of the series.
He explained that the significant clue loyal fans missed was that Buckells allowed the caddy to talk to Tommy Hunter, portrayed by Brian McCardie, in the back of a van alone, highlighting that he was a bent police officer.
"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," Jed said.
The TV writer also slammed speculation that AC-12 member Chloe Bishop could be the daughter of Tony Gates from the first series.
Craig said: “If I hear the theory once more that Chloe is Lennie James’ Tony Gates’ daughter, I’m going to have a hissy fit. I’ve thrown enough Reg 15’s out on Twitter to last me a lifetime."
While there were several other hints about H throughout the series, many were left underwhelmed by the season finale, including Piers Morgan.
The former Good Morning Britain host initially shared his excitement on Twitter ahead of the much-anticipated episode.
Sharing a snap of the three main characters, he tweeted: "Can’t wait for Line of Duty. Just utterly superb television, brilliantly created & driven by @jedmercurio and superbly acted, especially by @VickyMcClure @martincompston #AdrianDunbar” alongside four applause emojis.
After having watched the episode, however, he was left feeling bemused along with the rest of the nation.
The 56 year old wrote: “Definately a tad underwhelming. #LineofDutyFinale.” [sic]
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Piers included the fatal spelling error which gave away the identity of the infamous ‘H’ in his tweet as a pun, while commenting on the show, however many followers missed the reference.
One user wrote: “Wait, did PM just make a spelling mistake after having spent a career of calling out such errors on Twitter …”
Another agreed: “That’s at least 2 spelling mistakes I’ve seen from you today mate! Are you OK???” [sic]
Line of Duty
Those who did understand the tweet agreed with his sentiment, asking for another season to improve on the finale, which received mixed reviews online.
A third user added: “I don’t know if that’s partly the point to keep viewers annoyed & anxious for more but I know what you mean.”
Meanwhile, one follower wrote: “Totally underwhelming but realistic. If there was institutionalised corruption then the public certainly wouldn't know about it. Everything would be done to stop it becoming public. That's why the ending is true to real life.”
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