Record-breaking BBC drama Bodyguard has hit the global stage with release on Netflix, sparking movement in the Bodyguard betting markets surrounding Season 2.
Though it hasn't been officially confirmed that Season 2 will happen, the unprecedented popularity of Jed Mercurio's nerve-shredding political thriller already has the specials bookmakers busy.
No, no one has actually said: 'There will be a second season of Bodyguard', but after a record 17.1 million viewers tuned in to the BBC's most-watched drama series finale, it's safe to say David Budd and the gang will be back.
Bookmakers Betway make it odds of 1/2 that Bodyguard Season 2 will air in 2019, which seems an ambitious schedule for Jed Mercurio and team, having only begun filming of Season 5 of his other hit show, Line Of Duty, on August 29 this year.
He started writing that series in mid-February and is expecting to continue shooting right up until Christmas, so any Bodyguard Season 2 air date will be contingent on Line Of Duty's progress.
To give an idea of Mercurio's timelines: It took six months to film the six-part Bodyguard Season 1 - beginning in October 2017 and running through March 2018 - for a late August 2018 release. LOD's last two seasons have opened in March.
Added to that, Richard Madden, who plays David Budd, is presently filming Rocketman (due for release May, 2019), and Keeley Hawes is filming Season 4 of The Durrells in Corfu (due Spring 2019).
Given Mercurio was writing LOD Season 5 before Bodyguard Season 1's wrap, and that's not due until almost a year after that, 1/2 looks skinny enough for a 2019 release of Bodyguard Season 2. He will not be hanging around, but 15/8 for a 2020 Bodyguard Season 2 air date is a better bet.
>> Bet Bodyguard Season 2 airs in 2020 at 15/8 with Betway
*SPOILER ALERT: If you have not finished Bodyguard Season 1, step away NOW*
Jed Mercurio has recently admitted that his star, the bodyguard himself, David Budd, was nearly killed off in the final episode of Bodyguard Season 1, so technically no character is safe in Season 2.
However, Mercurio has also said he thinks Season 2 will be in a different setting, with Budd protecting someone else, perhaps a Royal instead of a politician. That means there could be unlimited changes to the cast.
At present, Mike Travis, Minister of State for Counter-Terrorism is 5/2 favourite to be killed off in Bodyguard Season 2, and his role does mean he could feature whoever Budd and the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch (RaSP) of London’s Metropolitan Police Service are serving.
Commander Anne Sampson, head of the Metropolitan's Counter Terrism Command is 7/2 next in the odds, along with ex-husband Roger Penhaligon, the government chief whip. DCI Deepak Sharma is 4/1 and Rob Macdonald, the late Julia Montague's former special advisor is 9/2, and alarmingly Budd's wife Vicky is also 9/2.
Looking at the odds in this Bodyguard betting market, Travis is too devisive a character to kill off, Sampson is too strong, Macdonald probably won't be there, and Vicky just can't go. Penhaligon should be killed off, but Deepak Sharma is likely to put himself in the most danger.
>>Bet Deepak Sharma is killed off in Bodyguard Season 2 at 4/1
Betway's Bodyguard betting has Keeley Hawes at odds of 1/3 to return in the next season. With the distinctive character she played in Season 1, and the heated relationship she built with Budd, it would be impossible for her to return as another person.
|Yes - 1/3f||No - 9/4|
Bodyguard is about war veteran David Budd and his struggles with PTSD in his new role as a specialist protection officer. Hawes's Julia Montague was a vessel to expose his issues and character. She was the female lead, the story is Budd's, so there is no need for her to return and it would be dull of Mercurio to go that route.
Season 1 was infamous for tense twists that nobody could step away from - and at odds of 1/3 - everyone is clearly anticipating this one. It won't happen: take the 9/4 about Keeley Hawes not returning in Season 2.
>> Bet Keeley Hawes does not return in Bodyguard Season 2 at 9/4 with Betway
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