Line of Duty fans praise Ted Hastings' 'saying of the series' after quip in latest episode of BBC cop drama

Line of Duty fans have praised the show’s "best line yet" after a quip from Ted Hastings - as the latest episode secured the highest ratings of the series so far.

The hugely popular BBC One cop drama sets the internet alight every time it airs, with fans picking over every twist and turn.

Fan favourite catchphrases have developed over the six seasons, with Superintendent Hastings, played by Adrian Dunbar, often having the best lines.

And Sunday night's episode was no exception.

As Joanne Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) repeatedly gave answers of "no comment" during an interrogation scene, Hastings replied: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey, can we just move this thing along before it drives us all round the bloody bend?”

Line of Duty fans lapped up the response, with one fan declaring on Twitter that it was his "best one yet".

Another said: "Jesus Mary and Joseph and the wee Donkey... Best one yet.. Proper LOL material."

Another fan added: "Another one to add to the Ted Hastings best quotes."

Adrian Dunbar on the set of the sixth series of Line of Duty, which is filmed at Titanic Studios in Belfast (photo: Liam McBurney / PA).

A fourth fan said it was her "new favourite Tedism"

It comes as Line Of Duty secured its most-watched episode on Sunday night.

The penultimate episode of the police procedural, created by Jed Mercurio, earned an average of 11 million viewers and 51.7 per cent of the audience share, according to the broadcaster.

The sixth series of the show, also starring Vicky McClure and Martin Compston, will come to an end this weekend. A seventh series has not yet been announced.

Line Of Duty returned to screens in March with 9.6 million viewers, up on the last series’ finale, which earned 9.07 million.

Mercurio, whose credits also include Bodyguard and Bodies, said: “Thanks so much to everyone watching #LineofDuty6. The whole production team is thrilled and flattered by the amazing response.”

The new series has seen anti-corruption unit AC-12 take on a new case, but Detective Inspector Kate Fleming (McClure) is no longer on the squad and is working on a murder investigation with a different department, which has come under suspicion from AC-12.

Sunday’s episode saw Acting Detective Superintendent Joanne Davidson, boss of the suspected department, unmasked by AC-12 and secrets about her family background revealed.

The final episode on Sunday will see the search for “H” – the corrupt officer responsible for the mass conspiracy – come to an end.

A trailer released on Monday offered fans a first glimpse of the series finale.

“All these suspicious deaths were orchestrated by one officer in particular – H, the fourth man,” says Superintendent Ted Hastings.

The AC-12 team are seen in a shootout before viewers are told: “Every investigation has led to this.”

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