Jed Mercurio appears on Inside Culture with Mary Beard on BBC Two
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Jed Mercurio: Line of Duty creator worked as a doctor before TV career

He worked as a hospital doctor and trained in the RAF before becoming a successful TV writer

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Jed Mercurio appears as a guest on Inside Culture with Mary Beard this week (Thursday February 25 2021), but how did he start his career?

The Line of Duty writer is arguably one of the most successful TV scriptwriters alive – but did you know his career began as a doctor and he trained in the RAF?

Here’s everything you need to know about Jed Mercurio’s career and TV CV.

Jed Mercurio talks about his success on This Morning (Credit: ITV1)
Jed Mercurio talks about his success on This Morning (Credit: ITV1)

Read more: Line of Duty series six: Writer Jed Mercurio spills secrets about show’s return in 2021

Jed Mercurio career: What has he written?

TV viewers were first introduced to Jed’s writing between 1994 and 1996 when he created and wrote Cardiac Arrest.

The series starred Andrew Lancel and Helen Baxendale, and confirmed Jed as a serious writer of gritty drama.

He went on to write the 1997 film The Grimleys, Invasion: Earth in 1998, followed by a series of The Grimleys between 1999 and 2001.

Jed penned TV movie The Legend of the Tamworth Two in 2004, but it was his next series that really cemented him as one to watch.

He created and wrote Bodies, a drama that soon became a hit – with a fanbase bordering on cult status.

Strike Back and Critical followed but it was his 2014 series Line of Duty that made him a household name overnight.

The BBC One drama about ‘bent coppers’ has been running for five series, and fans are currently waiting impatiently for series six.

Bodyguard, the Richard Madden drama series in 2018, even won a Golden Globe!

Why was Bodies axed?

Dark medical drama Bodies ran for two series between 2004 and 2006.

It starred Max Beesley, Susan Lynch, Keith Allen and Neve McIntosh.

After two award-winning series, BBC Three made the disappointing decision not to renew the show – mainly due to low audience figures.

Jed says of the drama, which was based on his 2002 novel of the same name: “Bodies remains the drama I’m most proud of.”

In 2010, The Guardian listed Bodies 20th in a ranking of the 50 greatest TV dramas of all time.

It is currently available to watch on iPlayer.

Susan Lunch, currently staring in Unforgotten, appeared in Jed Mercurio's Bodies (Credit: BBC)
Susan Lunch, currently staring in Unforgotten, appeared in Jed Mercurio’s Bodies (Credit: BBC)

Read more: BBC Line of Duty: Vicky McClure admits she wonders if show has ‘run its course’

When is Line of Duty back?

Line of Duty will return VERY soon! Yay!

Series six of the BBC police drama is expected to begin in March 2021.

Despite the pandemic, the team behind LoD have managed to pull it off and get the whole season filmed and finished.

This time, the team investigate DCI Joanne Davidson (played by Kelly Macdonald), who’s described as “the most enigmatic adversary AC-12 have ever faced”.

Line of Duty’s three lead actors, Adrian Dunbar (Supt Ted Hastings), Vicky McClure (DI Kate Fleming), and Martin Compston (DS Steve Arnott), are all returning.

Joining them will be Shalom Brune-Franklin, who plays DC Chloe Bishop – the newest member of the AC-12 team.

Actress and comedian Andi Osho also stars.

Even better, the sixth series will feature an extra episode – good news, fellas!

BBC One has not yet commissioned series seven.

line of duty cast
Jed Mercurio is probably most famous for writing Line of Duty, but he has an impressive career (Credit: BBC One)

Was Jed a former hospital doctor?

Lancashire-born Gerald Gary ‘Jed’ Mercurio attended the University of Birmingham Medical School.

He graduated in 1991 and practiced as a hospital doctor for three years.

While still a medical student, he joined the Royal Air Force and received flying training.

He later ventured into writing and penned the BBC medical drama Cardiac Arrest under the pseudonym John MacUre.

He has written several novels including 2002’s Bodies, 2008’s Ascent, and even a children’s book called The Penguin Expedition.

Jed is married to Elaine Cameron.

He was awarded an OBE in the 2021 Queen’s New Years Honours List for his services to Television Drama.

Inside Culture with Mary Beard featuring Jed Mercurio airs on Thursday February 25 2021 at 7pm on BBC2.

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