Line of Duty viewers have already worked out the plot of series 7

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Fans of Line of Duty think they have spotted the potential next plotline for a seventh series of the hit show.

Viewers tuned in to finally see the 'fourth man' – also known as 'H' – unmasked as DI Ian Buckells, much to the surprise of the audience at home and the AC-12 detectives.

The fumbling detective had seemingly been living a double life – one as an incompetent police officer and the other as a the man calling the shots to the criminal underworld from behind a screen.

But hardcore fans remain unconvinced following a scene earlier this series when the lawyer James Lakewell was murdered in front of Buckells and he was told "this is what happens to a rat".

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Some feel he is simply taking the fall so that the show's creator can set up another series with the hunt for 'H' all over again, with fingers still pointing at Carmicheal, Osborne and even suggestions Thurwell is not dead in Spain.

@ButterflyPixi75 said on Twitter : "It might have given us some answers, but NO, we are not accepting the numpty that is Buckells as the 4th man! Series 7 wide open on so many levels!!"

Buckells unmasked

@StewFuller82 said: "Disappointing ending to #LineOfDuty , I just hope that was a poor ending to a series that leads to a great ending in series 7."

@bekkimac said: "Hmmmm… Paves the way for another season but also very disappointed with that episode."

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@charlie_gayther said: "Season 7 Ted comes back proves Carmichael is in on it with the chief constable and saves the day!"

Will there be a seventh series?

In the run-up to the series six premiere, Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio was coy about discussing the future of his hit drama, telling Radio Times that the prospect of a continuation was uncertain.

He said: "We’re in a situation where it’s not entirely clear that there will be a seventh series.

“We would hope there could be. But we’re having to do our planning coming out of COVID, and a whole bunch of other things, around the idea that these things aren’t guaranteed at all now.”

Stars of the show Vicky McClure and Martin Compson were also quizzed about the future of the show by Jonathan Ross on his programme earlier this weekend.

Vicky said: “Genuinely don’t know. We don’t know anything, not just saying it for effect.”

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Martin said: “That’s nothing different for us. Jed always takes months after… there’s stuff above our pay grade, analytics, figures and all that kind of thing that comes in. He always takes time off. But I think it is important to say, I think this natural story arc that we’ve been on for the last six years…”

Jonathan said: “That’s coming to an end.”

Martin said: “We won’t come back just for the sake of it. That’s for sure. We’ll come back if there’s a story to tell.

"But, so as well, if it ends well maybe sometimes it is best to leave it. But, so, genuinely we don’t know.”

After the success of the latest series bookies Paddy Power are anticipating at least one more season of the show, with the chances of a seventh instalment next year rated as odds-on.

Paddy Power is offering odds of 8/13 that series seven airs in 2022, and the news of further episodes could even be revealed straight after the end of this season’s finale at 2/1.

It’s a much longer 8/1 that mysterious bent coppers and complicated acronyms are no more, but if the BBC were to cancel the show, there’s a 2/1 chance that it launches a spin off series next year.

The current season is as short as 1/33 to win the show a National Television Award this year and is also odds-on to finally win a BAFTA at 1/12.

Once off duty, leading man Martin Compston is 8/1 to one day bag himself an Oscar, and is also 6/4 to join the cast of this year’s I’m A Celebrity… Get me Out of Here!

A Paddy Power spokesman said: “It’s been a tense few weeks all leading up to this weekend… or so we think.

"We still don’t know if this is the moment we finally learn H’s identity, and if we are made to wait another season to find out, I may or may not have to spend the next 12 months scouring fan forums to crack the case myself.”

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