Jed Mercurio almost killed off David Budd in 'Bodyguard'.

Richard Madden as David Budd

Richard Madden as David Budd

The creator of the hit BBC show has admitted that after he made the decision to bump off Keeley Hawes' ruthless Home Secretary alter-ego Julia Montague in the middle of the drama series, he also toyed with the idea of killing Richard Madden's lead character.

Speaking to Vulture, he said: "It was something that we very definitely played with as being a possibility.

"I think once you do the unexpected and you take the viewers to a position of discomfort about being able to rely on characters surviving, then it does completely affect the way in which the drama is viewed.

"That real sense of jeopardy is something that we worked really hard to create."

But the 52-year-old director ultimately decided against getting rid of his leading man, because he felt it would be too "nihilistic".

He said: "I know it's been done before, but I felt that for this TV show, it was probably too nihilistic to go down that route."

Richard, 32, has confirmed he is to start talks about a second series of the show with Jed in the next few weeks.

He said: "I'm going to meet Jed in a couple of weeks, to have a chat and see what's in his brilliant brain.

"So I'm like, what can happen next? You know, with David. Because he had a hell of a couple months there. Where do you go with this guy?"

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