Entertainment

Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio ‘disappointed' by female character criticism

The BBC One drama features several women in powerful positions.

Bodyguard creator Jed Mercurio has said it is “a little baffling” and “disappointing” that some viewers have challenged the hit drama’s female leading characters.

A home secretary (Keeley Hawes), head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command (Gina McKee) and a chief superintendent (Pippa Haywood) are among the women in powerful positions in the new BBC One drama.

Mercurio, a former doctor, told the Press Association: “It doesn’t really occur to me that certain jobs and certain roles are male specific or female specific….

“It always strikes me as odd that people find it hard to accept women in positions of authority or responsibility.

“It’s silly and out of date. It puzzles me that something I’m doing, which comes so naturally to me, seems so odd to other people. I think they’re wrong and I’m right.

“It’s very odd… to say that it’s weird for women to be portrayed in these roles.”

While Richard Madden stars as David Budd, the bodyguard who prevents a terrorist attack on a train, the drama also featured a female suicide bomber, police markswoman and explosives expert, with some viewers calling it “politically correct” and “unrealistic”.

Bodyguard CS Lorraine Craddock played by Pippa Haywood
Bodyguard CS Lorraine Craddock played by Pippa Haywood (BBC/World Productions/Sophie Mutevelian)

Mercurio, whose hits include Line Of Duty, said: “It seems very odd to me and a little baffling and also a little bit disappointing that people are challenging the idea that women should be in those roles. I think that’s wrong.

“(Some people) think it’s making some kind of identity political point … From my viewpoint … there’s no political point being made.”

Bodyguard has been a huge success for the BBC, scoring the highest overnight audience for a drama launch this year by more than one million viewers.

The new six-part series debuted on Sunday night with a peak of 6.9 million viewers.

Episode three of Bodyguard airs on Sunday September 2 at 9pm.

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