Line of Duty referenced Jimmy Savile once again in series six (Picture: BBC)
Line of Duty series six shocked viewers with its second episode by making sex offender Jimmy Savile part of the plot.
The new episodes are centered on the murder of journalist Gail Vella, who was shot dead outside her home, with police trying to hunt down the killer.
In Sunday night’s installment we saw Gail (Andi Osho) cover the child sex abuse court case of Chief Superintendent Patrick Fairbank from series three.
She suggested that senior police officers were connected to or involved in Savile’s crimes when he was alive and suppressed investigations into child abuse.
Gail said in a news bulletin watched by newly promoted DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston): ‘A jury found retired Chief Superintendent Patrick Fairbank guilty of all charges.
‘What that jury didn’t hear, and only now am I allowed to report, are allegations Patrick Fairbanks suppressed police investigations into child sexual exploitation that transcended local political figures such as counsellor Dale Roach.
Savile died in 2011 (Picture: Rex)
‘It’s now a matter of public record that Jimmy Savile cultivated relationships with senior police officers. Savile exploited those relationships to intimidate anyone attempting to investigate his offending.
‘We now realise what Savile was getting out of those relationships with senior police officers, but what remains unknown, and uninvestigated, is what those officers were getting out of their relationship with Savile.’
Steve noted that her investigative reporting could have made her a target for corrupt officers who may have suspected she was onto exposing them.
Savile’s inclusion in Line of Duty goes back to series three as then-AC-12 target Sergeant Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays) tried to expose the high-ranking figures – including Fairbank and Roach – who subjected him and other children to abuse at a boys’ home in the 90s.
Characters Fairbanks and Roach were put into a fictional meeting with Savile in series three (Picture: BBC)
In that series it was revealed by Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) that Fairbank and Roach had connections to the real-life Savile, with a photograph showing the three of them together at a fictional meeting.
As Gail was looking into Fairbanks and Roach before her death, it explains why Savile was brought up once more in series six.
Since his death in 2011 aged 84, more than 450 people have come forward with accusations against Savile. He died without ever being prosecuted for his crimes.
Why he was referenced wasn’t the only question viewers were left with, as AC-12’s new target DCI Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) framed her former girlfriend Farida (Anneika Rose).
Another shock was delivered as Ryan Pilkington (Gregory Piper) – the bike-riding brat who worked for the organised crime group in series one – returned, now working as a police officer having passed his exams.
Line of Duty airs Sundays at 9pm on BBC One.