ITV strike deal with Netflix for Beeb’s Bodyguard drama while star Richard Madden has bets on being the next Bond.

Bodyguard has gripped the nation with its twists and turns. It’s a perfect example of a show produced locally which has huge global appeal. Through our partnership with Netflix, we can’t wait for audiences around the world to enjoy the show as much as audiences here in the UK.” – Maria Kyriacou, President International, ITV Studios

Netflix has boarded Jed Mercurio’s latest drama series, the terror thriller, Bodyguard. The series is the most watched new drama launch of 2018 in the UK.  Through a deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment – a merger of distribution companies including Granada International, ITC Entertainment and Carlton Distribution – Netflix have picked up the series at script stage, will premiere the series to its members globally outside of the UK and Ireland and China from October 24th 2018.  Bodyguard is produced by World Productions, an ITV Studios company.

The political saga was created and written by Jed Mercurio and stars Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden in the lead roles. Set in and around the corridors of power, Bodyguard tells the fictional story of David Budd (Madden), a heroic but volatile war veteran now working as a Specialist Protection Officer for the Royalty and Specialist Branch (RasP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. When he is assigned to protect the ambitious and powerful Home Secretary Julia Montague (Hawes), Budd finds himself torn between his duty and his beliefs. Responsible for her safety, could he become her biggest threat? 

Further cast includes Gina McKee, Sophie Rundle, Vincent Franklin, Pippa Haywood, Stuart Bowman and Paul Ready. Episode one received a consolidated figure of 10.4 million viewers, with a 40.9% share on BBC One.  This is the highest launch figure for any new drama across all UK channels in a decade.

Founded in 1990 by producer Tony Garnett and agent John Heyman, World Productions has produced over 300 hours of drama for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, HBO & Sky, including Line of Duty, Born to Kill, In Plain Sight, Dark Angel, The Fear, The Bletchley Circle, United, This Life, No Angels, Ballykissangel, Ultraviolet, Between the Lines and Party Animals. In May 2017 ITV Studios acquired a majority stake in the company.

Meanwhile, Richard Madden is making a real name for himself in the drama and his price to become the next James Bond has been smashed in from 66/1 all the way to 12/1. Meanwhile his co-star Keeley Hawes is making waves of her own and she is now 8/1 to be a major character in the next 007 movie.

William Hill Odds Next James Bond: 6/4 Tom Hardy, 7/2 Idris Elba, 4/1 Tom Hiddleston, 6/1 Henry Cavill, 7/1 James Norton, 8/1 Sam Heughan, 9/1 Aidan Turner, 10/1 Jack Huston, 12/1 Richard Madden, 16/1 Cillian Murphy, 20/1 Michael Fassbender

“The Bodyguard is the smash hit of the year and you can be sure that producers are queuing up to get their signatures on the dotted line,” – William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

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