Gerald Gary "Jed" Mercurio
British television writer, producer, director and novelist
Mercurio studied at the University of Birmingham Medical School; in his third year, in August 1988, he was commissioned as a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force Medical Branch and received flying training with the University Air Squadron, with the intention of specialising in aviation medicine. He was promoted flying officer in June 1991, but resigned his commission in February 1992.
During practice as a hospital physician, Mercurio answered an advertisement in the British Medical Journal and, despite little writing experience, scripted the BBC medical drama Cardiac Arrest (twice nominated in the Best Original Drama category by the Writers' Guild of Great Britain and topped a poll of UK medical professionals as the most realistic medical drama of all time) under the pseudonym John MacUre. Subsequently he retired from medicine to pursue a writing career under his own name.
Mercurio adapted his first novel, Bodies (2002), into an award-winning television series, he assumed the producer/showrunner position for the first time on Bodies, a role he has fulfilled on all his subsequent original series. The Times ranked Bodies in "Shows of the Decade" and The Guardian placed it in "The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time." The series won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series, twice nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series and Mercurio was also twice nominated as Best Drama Writer by the Royal Television Society.
Mercurio's next original drama series, Line of Duty (first broadcast in 2012), premiered as BBC2's then best-performing drama series in 10 years with 4.1 million viewers. A well-received second series in 2014 resulted in the BBC commissioning two further series for production in 2015 and 2016. The first series was nominated for a Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series and earned Mercurio his third nominations as Best Drama Writer by the Royal Television Society and The Writers' Guild of Great Britain. In 2014, Line of Duty was named in the Top 50 BBC2 Shows of All-Time, and named best television drama of the year by The Observer, and in 2016 ranked among the best BBC shows of all time and among the best police series of all time. In 2015, the second series won the Royal Television Society Award for Best Drama Series and was nominated for four BAFTA Awards. Series 3 of Line of Duty became the most watched drama series broadcast on BBC2 in the multichannel era.
More recently Mercurio created and wrote Bodyguard (2018), serving as showrunner on the six-part series starring Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes. The series began broadcasting on BBC One and achieved the highest viewing figures for a new BBC drama in the multichannel era.