How many people watched Line of Duty? Viewer figures for season 6 finale as identity of H revealed

The final episode of season six attracted a record-breaking number of viewers, as viewers begged the question “who is H?”
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The much-anticipated finale of Line of Duty season six landed on our screens on 2 May, with record viewer numbers tuning in to find out the identity of mysterious criminal mastermind, H.

The BBC One police drama first aired in 2012 and has been a ratings hit with viewers ever since. So how many viewers tuned in for the big reveal?

How many viewers watched Line of Duty season 6?

Ian Buckells was revealed as mystery criminal H (Picture: BBC)Ian Buckells was revealed as mystery criminal H (Picture: BBC)
Ian Buckells was revealed as mystery criminal H (Picture: BBC)
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There is no doubt that season six was the most successful to date for the BBC crime drama.

Season six, episode one saw 9.6 million viewers tune in - half a million viewers more than the finale of season five.

Since then, the show has continued to rack up more viewers each week, with each episode reaching 15 million viewers when including catch-up and on demand viewers.

The penultimate show, which aired on 25 April, brought in 11 million viewers in the evening on which it was shown Live, according to the BBC.

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The episode pipped director Jed Mercurio’s other BBC thriller ‘Bodyguard’ to the post, which reached an overnight peak of 10.4 million viewers for the finale in 2018.

It launched Line of Duty into record-breaking territory, as the most watched drama since the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas Special, which was watched by 11.7million viewers live.

Prior to the finale, 15.2 million viewers on average tuned in to watch each episode of series six when including on-demand views.

How big was the audience for the finale of season 6?

The final episode of Line of Duty season six was the BBC show's most-watched episode to date, averaging 12.8 million viewers on the first night.

This number is expected to grow as on-demand views rack up.

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This makes episode seven the UK’s most watched drama in two decades. The last time overnight ratings were higher was during an episode of Heartbeat in February 2001, which had an overnight audience of 13.2 million.

The show has also now surpassed Doctor Who's 2008 Christmas special, commanding 56.2% of the UK's TV audience, according to overnight figures.

The BBC explained how overnight viewing figures had become somewhat irrelevant due to the growth of on-demand viewing, but Line of Duty seems to have kicked the trend, with four million watching live and the other eight million viewing overnight.

**Spoiler alert - season six finale details below**

In the record-breaking finale of season six, the identity of criminal mastermind ‘H’ was revealed as Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle).

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While there had been many fans’ theories as to who it would be, some were left disheartened by the ending of season six.

Fans of the show took to Twitter to share their upset at the finale, while showing appreciation for the cast, including one disgruntled fan, who simply tweeted: “LIKE THIS IF YOU WERE DISAPPOINTED BY THE FINAL OF #LOD”, the tweet has over 4.2 thousand likes.

Another tweeted: “Game of Thrones: Worst ending ever to exist, Line of Duty: Hold my Buckles baby.”

However, others tweeted how “amazing” the cast had been.

Where can I watch Line of Duty?

All episodes of Line of Duty, from season one to six, are now available on BBC iPlayer.

Subscribers to Amazon Prime and Britbox can also watch on these streaming services.

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