THE BBC launched an urgent probe last night after a new Line of Duty character and key plot twist were accidentally revealed.
A gaffe by bungling staff at BBC Maestro, which sells online screenwriting courses, revealed the identity of a major celebrity appearing in Sunday’s episode.
His face could be seen on a database being searched by AC-12’s Det Insp Steve Arnott, played by Martin Compston.
A short scene in which the character appears was also shown.
The Sun is not revealing any plotlines, or the identity of the new celeb.
Line of Duty’s writer Jed Mercurio was good-humoured about the spoiler.
He told The Sun: “The outstanding detective work of eagle-eyed Line of Duty fans has been awarded a glowing commendation from the gaffer himself, Supt Ted Hastings. Their call-up papers for AC-12 are in the post!”
But show bosses are said to be “incandescent” at the error, blamed on the BBC Maestro website.
It is not funded by the licence fee and is an independent business, operating under licence and in close collaboration with BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the BBC.
The site sells online writing courses, including a 28-lesson video tutorial with Jed costing £80.
After each episode of Line of Duty, BBC Maestro shares excerpts from the show on social media, with Jed narrating his thought process behind the plot.
But this week, users were able to access the course trailer for next Sunday’s episode — including scenes featuring the new actor and a crucial twist.
A source said last night: “This is an embarrassing and humiliating blunder. A lot of time and effort had gone into keeping the star’s role a secret.
“Line of Duty goes to a lot of trouble making sure nothing gets out to ruin the surprise for viewers — but the BBC has shot itself in the foot on this and broken its own embargo.”
The BBC declined to comment.
At the top of the page, we have pictured five of Britain’s biggest actors who would be brilliant in the show.
They are Bodyguard star Richard Madden, Idris Elba, Broadchurch’s David Tennant, Oscar nominee Riz Ahmed and Robert Carlyle.
Put your detective skills to the test just like the show's Ted, Steve and Kate Fleming and see if you can figure out if the big name is one of them. Or maybe it’s someone else entirely . . .
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