Bodyguard series 2: When will it air? What will it be about? Who's in the cast? All you need to know

Can’t wait for your next fix of David Budd? Find out when Richard Madden will return, who he might be protecting and the big names touted to join the cast.

By Katie Archer Published: 2 October 2018 - 5.08pm

Jed Mercurio

Keeley Hawes
BBC Richard Madden as David Budd

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 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?

Will there be a series 2 of Bodyguard?

Given the show’s popularity, it seems a sure bet that Bodyguard will be back at some point.

Towards the end of series one, creator Jed Mercurio told This Morning: “We’re just beginning that conversation with the BBC so we know that people out there are loving series one and that there would be an appetite for series two, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Keeley Hawes in BBC's Bodyguard

“A lot goes into setting up a production and none of those conversations have taken place yet which would allow us to facilitate that production.”

Fingers crossed, but we’d be amazed if Bodyguard stuck at just a single series and Jed has mentioned a potential sequel plenty of times on Twitter.

When will it be back on TV?

Jed’s other big series is Line of Duty, which fans have been eagerly awaiting a fifth series of.

It was put on hold while he completed Bodyguard and began filming in September to air in 2019, but now the series schedules have reversed and any new Bodyguard episodes are likely to be delayed until after Line of Duty.

So we’d guess that the earliest we’ll be seeing series two is 2020.

Richard Madden in BBC's Bodyguard

What will happen next?

Writer Jed is known for keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to series plans – it’s what keeps 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 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

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."

Who will it star?

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’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.

Meanwhile, the writer has been dropping hints all over Twitter about who he’d like to sign up cameos from in series two.