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Stuart Bowman: I had to keep TV’s most guarded secret

Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden in Bodyguard (World Productions / Des Willie)
Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden in Bodyguard (World Productions / Des Willie)

Actor Stuart Bowman has told how he managed to keep TV’s biggest secret – the fate of Keeley Hawes’ character in Bodyguard.

Stuart played the head of MI5 in the hit drama, working closely alongside Keeley as Home Secretary Julia Montague, whose death at the end of the third episode shocked viewers.

Her fate wasn’t revealed until the fourth episode and with millions desperate to know what had happened, Stuart had to keep mum, even from wife Candida.

Dundee-born Stuart Bowman plays security chief Stephen Hunter-Dunn in Bodyguard (World Productions / Sophie Mutevelian)

“No one could have imagined how big Bodyguard was going to be,” said Stuart, who guest stars in the penultimate episode of Still Game this week.

“But right from the first episode you got the sense that people were gripped by it. It was an amazing experience and it was just extraordinary that 17 million people watched the final episode.

“I was in London and everybody wanted to know if Julia was dead They’d try and find a way of not asking outright but obviously I couldn’t give anything away.

“It was a lot of fun playing with everyone.

“I watched episode four with my partner and when she gasped, and I knew that more than 10 million people across the country were gasping at that same moment, it was astonishing.”

Bodyguard was hailed as the “drama of the decade”. Its writer Jed Mercurio – whose Line of Duty returns next month – has said he’d love to do a second series and they are looking at the logistics of it.

Stuart said he’d be delighted if Mercurio could find a way to bring his MI5 chief back.


Still Game is on BBC Scotland on Thursday at 10pm.