‘We understand it wasn’t the ”urgent exit” ending some anticipated’: Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston addresses fans’ backlash after they lamented the ‘disappointing’ series six finale

  • In a lengthy social media post, the DI Arnott actor said he understands it wasn’t the ‘urgent ending’ some fans had hoped for
  • Martin, who didn’t confirm whether the series would return for seventh run, added he’s ‘relieved’ the finale has finally aired after months of anticipated
  • Line of Duty’s series six finale received 12.8million viewers with a 56.2% share in the overnights
  • Fans tuned in to watch the nail-biting series draw to a close – and the mysterious antagonist ‘H’ was finally unmasked as DSI Ian Buckells, played by Nigel Boyle 
  • Due to the disappointment and confusion of some of the viewers, there have been widespread calls for a seventh season to tie up loose ends 
  • Following the demands for a new season, Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer, refused to confirm or deny the possibility

Line Of Duty star Martin Compston has shared his ‘relief’ that the sixth series has come to an end, after droves of fans slammed the ‘disappointing’ finale on Sunday.

In his first social media post since the conclusion was broadcast, the actor said he understands it wasn’t the ‘urgent ending’ some fans had hoped for, but he ‘appreciated’ viewers’ support after 12.8 million tuned into the final episode.

Martin remained tight-lipped on whether Line Of Duty will return for a seventh series following the divisive finale, and only hinted that the beloved AC-12 trio and creator Jed Mercurio could get matching tattoos to celebrate the show’s ratings success.

Breaking his silence: Line Of Duty star Martin Compston has shared his ‘relief’ that the sixth series has come to an end, after droves of fans slammed the ‘disappointing’ finale on Sunday

Martin said: ‘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.

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

‘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 Wednesdays on BBC2 has just smashed every overnight drama record since they began.

‘Finally myself, Vicky, Adrian and Jed made an agreement in the inconceivable and ridiculous scenario we ever got twelve million viewers we would get ‘AC12million’ tattoos. We’ll see who’s good to their word…’

Grateful: In his first social media post since the conclusion was broadcast, the actor said he understands it wasn’t the ‘urgent ending’ some fans had hoped for

Inked? Martin was tight-lipped on whether Line Of Duty will return for a seventh series, and only hinted that the beloved AC-12 trio and creator Jed Mercurio could get matching tattoos

I’ll do it! It seemed his co-star Vicky was already on-board, as she re-tweeted his message before adding: ‘We are so grateful to you all. So much so looks like I’ll have the ink to prove it!’

It seemed his co-star Vicky was already on-board, as she re-tweeted his message before adding: ‘We are so grateful to you all. So much so looks like I’ll have the ink to prove it!’

An eye-watering 12.8million viewers tuned in to watch Line Of Duty’s sixth season conclude on Sunday night with a 56.2% share – recording the network’s highest ever overnight rating.

Fans tuned in to watch the nail-biting series draw to a close  – and the mysterious antagonist ‘H’ was finally unmasked as DSI Ian Buckells, played by Nigel Boyle.

Loyal viewers took to social media in their droves to share their frustrations as officers from the police anti-corruption unit AC-12 discovered the identity of the elusive ‘fourth man’ – leading to a demand for another series of the show. 

Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer, said of a seventh season: ‘Addictive event television, Line of Duty has kept the nation guessing for the last seven weeks, so it’s no surprise that last night’s jaw dropping finale set a ratings record…

Wow! An eye-watering 12.8million viewers tuned in to watch Line Of Duty ‘s sixth season on Sunday night with a 56.2% share – recording the network’s highest ever overnight rating 

‘Jed Mercurio is a master of his craft, and I would like to congratulate him and the entire cast and crew for delivering such an incredible drama series…

‘I’m looking forward to having a conversation with the team about where we go next and what the future of the series might be.’

The calls for another series came due to the disappointment and confusion of some of the 12.8m viewers. Star of the show Martin Compston previously said of the possibility: ‘The genuine answer is we don’t know’. 

The revelation the bent copper colluding with the organised crime groups (OCGs), was actually DSI Ian Buckells infuriated many seasoned Line Of Duty fans.

Bombshell: It was at least revealed that the so-called fourth man was actually DSU Ian Buckells, who had been originally imprisoned after appearing to have been framed by Davidson

Really? Viewers were noticeable underwhelmed to learn the identity of the elusive criminal, as the series ended on an ambiguous note 

An even longer wait: Like many shows, series six was hit by several delays due to the Covid pandemic, with filming in Belfast halted back in March 2020, just days before the UK was plunged into lockdown

Fans shared their  frustrations as officers of the police anti-corruption unit AC-12 discovered the identity of the elusive ‘fourth man’

Line Of Duty finale: How the viewing figures compare 

2021

Line Of Duty finale, May 2 (BBC One) 12.8 million

Prince Philip’s funeral, April 17 (ITV & BBC One) 13.6 million 

Harry and Meghan with Oprah Winfrey, March 8 (ITV) 11.7 million 

2020

Boris Johnson lockdown announcement, March 23 (BBC One) 14.5 million

Queen’s address to the nation, April 5 (BBC One) 14 million

Boris Johnson’s second address to the nation, May 10 (BBC One) 18.7 million

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!, November 15 (ITV) 12.1 million

2019

Gavin And Stacey Christmas special (BBC One) 17.1 million viewers  

2012

Closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games (BBC One) 24.5 million

2010

The X Factor (ITV) 17.7 million

1995

Princess Diana interview with Martin Bashir (BBC One) 23 million

1966

The 1966 World Cup final (BBC and ITV joint broadcast) 32.3 million viewers

 

It saw the words ‘fuming’, ‘disappointing’ and ‘underwhelming’ all trend on social media in the aftermath of the show. 

And the disbelief it could be him was compounded by the way he was only caught because of his repeated mis-spelling of the word ‘definitely’ – hardly the blunder of a hardened criminal mastermind. 

The detective – widely thought until Sunday to have been just a bungling stooge – was first introduced to viewers in series one as the SIO in the case of murdered businesswoman Jackie Laverty by then Chief Superintendent Derek Hilton.

He later went on to become Detective Chief Inspector in series four before being promoted once more to Detective Superintendent in this final series. 

Sharing their disappointment on the revelation, one disgruntled Line of Duty fan wrote on Twitter: ‘Can’t believe I watched six seasons of line of Duty for Ian Buckells, the most pointless character to be the fourth man. Fuming.’

While another viewer added: ‘I’m fuming, can’t believe I waited this long for Ian Buckells to run the roost.’   

And while the finale tied up many unresolved storylines, there were still some gaping plot holes and storylines left unanswered.

The sixth series of the Jed Mercurio creation also saw DI Steve Arnott, played by actor Martin, finally called in for a meeting with Occupational Health, who noted that while he had not broken the law through his excessive painkiller use, he would have to surrender his firearms licence.

However, the 60-minute episode’s end failed to offer any resolution on whether the team of DI Steve Arnott, DI Kate Fleming and Superintendent Ted Hastings would return, ending on the revelation that the team has ‘never been weaker.’ 

The mystery surrounding the identity of ‘H’ has been up for speculation since his character was first mentioned at the end of series three, which aired in 2016, and detectives at the anti-corruption unit discovered there were four officers working within the force who had links to the underground criminal network.    

Like many shows, series six was hit by several delays due to the Covid pandemic, with filming in Belfast halted back in March 2020, just days before the UK was plunged into lockdown.

Production was finally able to resume in September that year with strict safety guidelines, including the use of studio sets as opposed to real locations, regular testing measures.

Filming for series six finally wrapped in November, with bosses later confirming it would be seven episodes as opposed to the usual six.

Anticipated: Given the show’s record-breaking viewership, fans hoped that the finale would answer all their burning questions, including the identity of the elusive ‘H’

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