There’s no doubt that Bodyguard was a huge hit for the BBC – it peaked at 11 million viewers and was the best-performing drama on all channels since 2011.

We’re expecting BBC One - and the show's current home, Netflix - to be keen to replicate that success with a second series of the tense thriller about a specialist protection officer caught up in a deadly conspiracy.

We look at the big questions: what will happen next? Will David Budd be back? And how long do we have to wait to find out?

Is there a season 2 of Bodyguard?

Producer Simon Heath has said he is “confident” that season 2 will happen.

He told Metro in March 2021: “Bodyguard is a big beast to put back together. I’m reasonably confident we will see it in due course.”

But after three years since the first series, fans are entitled to feel disappointed that the series has taken so long to get off the ground – particularly when Richard Madden told Digital Spy back in 2019 that he was in talks about the second series.

Keeley Hawes in BBC's Bodyguard BBC/Netflix

What will happen next?

Writer Jed Mercurio is known for keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to series plans – it’s what makes his shows so thrilling – but he has given a few clues about what we can expect next.

He told the Radio Times that we might see David Budd acting as a specialist protection officer for a member of the Royal Family or a foreign dignitary, with a new cast joining a handful of established characters just like his hit show Line of Duty.

“We certainly weren’t the first to rotate casts in that way,” Jed said. “But Line of Duty established that it works very well. And audiences understand the concept.

"There are things in place in series one that we can exploit dramatically further down the line. But I haven’t done a lot of forward planning because it can be too disheartening if the series isn’t recommissioned.”

Richard Madden as David Budd in BBC's Bodyguard BBC/Netflix

Jed also added that he hadn’t deliberately set up many storyline threads in series one.

He told Digital Spy: "You just don't know, so it ends up being something that is best done, in my view, retrospectively. If you find yourself in the fortunate position where you've got a second series, or a third, or whatever it is, and there is stuff from the past that can serve a function, then I think that's the best way to do it.

"I think the problem with putting things in a first season that have no relevance to the first season is that you can end up making something quite difficult to follow. It feels like things don't quite knit together and so you lose the pace and the narrative drive that you should be trying to go for with a thriller series."

Bodyguard cast

*Warning: Season 1 spoilers ahead*

It seems almost certain that Richard Madden will be returning as bodyguard David Budd.

Jed told the Radio Times: “He’s the genuine article, a real leading man. And I think this role has put him very much in the spotlight for bigger things. So the practicality may be that we have to work round his availability, if we are lucky enough to get him back.”

Richard Madden is set to return in Bodyguard season 2 BBC/Netflix

“Richard’s the genuine article, a real leading man. And I think this role has put him very much in the spotlight for bigger things.”
- Jed Mercurio

Despite speculation that Keeley Hawes’ character Julia Montague was not really dead, it was pretty clear by the end of series one that she definitely wasn’t coming back, leaving the way open for a new co-star.

Keeley was of course one of Line of Duty’s stars, as was Gina McKee who played police commander Anne Sampson, so it’s possible that Jed could plunder his other series for Bodyguard cast members.

The end of series one showed David getting on much better with his estranged wife Vicky, so it looks likely that Sophie Rundle will be returning to the cast, too.

Gia McKee could star in Bodyguard season 2 BBC/Netflix

There’s also no reason for other main characters such as Commander Anne Sampson (Gina McKee), DS Louise Rayburn (Nina Toussaint-White) and DCI Deepak Sharma (Ash Tandon) to return.

As well as Montague, other characters that were killed off were Andy Apsted (Tom Brooke), Tahir Mahmood (Shubham Saraf) and Kim Knowles (Claire-Louise Cordwell), so they almost certainly won't be back.

And actor Pippa Haywood, who played David Budd’s boss Lorraine Craddock, has seemingly confirmed she won’t be returning in an interview with Digital Spy.

How to watch Bodyguard

Bodyguard season 1 is streaming on Netflix.

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