8 of Line Of Duty’s Superintendent Ted Hastings’ best moments

8 of Line Of Duty’s Superintendent Ted Hastings’ best moments

Mother of God, fella, the latest series of Line of Duty is drawing to an close and we’ll have to face Sunday nights without Ted Hastings’s Ted-isms.

The Northern Irish police officer, played by Adrian Dunbar, has delighted us with his local idioms and phrases that make all the formal police talk (with its many acronyms and initialisms) so much livelier.

We saw it in the first episode of series six, when Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott was desperate for Hastings to open up an inquiry into the latest suspected bent copper, Detective Chief Inspector Joanne Davidson.

Tired of Arnott’s pleas, Hastings instructed the police officer to “houl yer whisht” – literally translated as “please be quiet”.

Then, in the second episode, viewers were united in collective joy as Hastings finally gave us what we’d all been waiting for – a line about bent coppers. And then he trotted out a new line featuring a “wee donkey” which became one of the most talked about moments of the show.

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Here are just some of Hastings’ best lines from across all six seasons, which we’ve rounded up into one big case file.

Now we’re sucking diesel.

“It’s called nicking bent coppers!”

It’s fair to say that Hastings has made his life goal of apprehending corrupt police officers pretty well-known over the course of Line of Duty’s six series. The man is obsessed with catching bent coppers like an employee in a Royal Mint factory.

Who’s really surprised though when Hastings repeatedly insists that his officers “conduct themselves to the letter of the law … the letter!”

The famous quote about bent coppers made its most popular appearance in series three, when Hastings had a heated conversation with lawyer Gill Biggeloe – someone who, it would later turn out, is corrupt herself.

Looking firmly at Hastings, Biggeloe says: “I’m just doing my job.”

It’s this simple sentence which has Hastings quickly rising to his feet.

“And I’m doing mine, and it’s called nicking bent coppers,” he shouts.

It’s a line so good that the BBC later went on to make a weirdly catchy song out of it.

In a tense second episode, Hastings used the phrase again, saying: “There’s only one thing I’m interested in... and that’s bent coppers.”

It’s fair to say that viewers lost their s***.

“Now we’re cooking with gas!”

Not to be confused with “sucking diesel”, Hastings often uses this line when things are heating up a bit which, with a show packed full of twists and turns like Line of Duty, is pretty common.

One instance where this particular saying emerged was when Hastings got behind the keyboard to communicate with members of an organised crime group (or OCG, for short) in series five, the same series in which he was suspected of being the bent copper supremo known only as ‘H’.

What didn’t help matters was that Hastings spelled ‘definitely’ as ‘definately’ – the same typo previously made by ‘H’ themselves – angering devout Hastings fans and grammar whizzes alike.

Fortunately, series five concluded with the rather convoluted explainer that ‘H’ is not one bent copper, but four (‘H’ being four dots in Morse Code).

We know the identity of three of them already: Gill Biggeloe, Assistant Chief Constable Derek Hilton from series four and Detective Inspector Matthew ‘Dot’ Cottan (hence the four dots for ‘H’).

“I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble.”

A Hastings classic, the superintendent dropped the line in conversation with Detective Superintendent Alison Powell, who was asked to disclose information about a UCO (that’s Undercover Operative) she manages.

“Are you in contact with your UCO or aren’t you,” asks Hastings, to which Powell does not immediately respond.

He continues: “Now listen, Alison, I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble.”

For those unfamiliar, the River Lagan is a river in Northern Ireland, and according to the Belfast Telegraph, show writer Jed Mercurio said the line came about after BBC presenter William Crawley gave him the challenge to include a Belfast saying in the series.

Mercurio said that the Lagan line was “so insane that it was irresistible”.

“Frankly son, right now, I couldn’t give a s**t.”

Sometimes Superintendent Hastings speaks for us all. When things are getting a little bit tense thanks to Mr Mercurio, the last thing we need is worrying about saying people’s names correctly.

Away in the interview room in series four, Detective Constable Desford said: “Sorry, sir, I have to say: it’s Jamie, not James.”

Hastings, always to the point, simply replied: “Frankly, son, right now, I couldn’t give a s**t.”

It appears the slightly inflammatory remark didn’t sit well with Desford, as by the end of the series he was pulling out a pistol and waving it around AC-12. He, too, was a bent copper.

We’re sensing a pattern here…

“For years, the security in this department has been watertight… then you come along, suddenly we’re leaking like a colander.”

It isn’t the only time that Desford received some harsh words from Hastings, either.

Always taking a no-nonsense approach, the superintendent raised his concerns with Desford in true Ted style: with an extravagant colander simile.

A masterstroke.

“None of my people would plant evidence. They know I would throw the book at them – followed by the bookshelf.”

There’s something truly beautiful when Hastings combines his to-the-point nature with a simile, metaphor or idiom. Look no further than the “egg-sucking tips for your granny” line in series four.

It’s rather extravagant, and if he hadn’t pursued a life of nicking bent coppers, we’d be suggesting he gets into writing poetry or something.

Just don’t throw the book at us, Ted.

That’s what he threatened to do to anyone of his officers if he found out they were planting evidence, and we’d be inclined to take his word for it.

“Gotcha a big pint of that cats’ p*** that you young fellas seem to like so much.”

When Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott was considering a promotion to inspector in series four, Hastings decided to have a chat about it in a pub, of all places.

With a whisky in hand, Hastings starts the discussion off with true professionalism, jokingly describing Arnott’s pint as “cats’ p***”.

Lovely stuff.

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey”

Hastings delighted fans with this line, which came in the (particularly tense) latest episode as he, DI Arnott and the truly-despised DCS Patricia Carmichael grilled DCI Joanne Davidson following the death of PC Ryan Pilkington.

As DCI Davidson gave yet another “no comment” answer to a question – this time about the nature of her communications with an unnamed member of the OCG through a messaging service on her laptop – Hastings responded: “Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey, can we just move this thing along before it drives us all round the bloody bend?”

Well, quite, Ted.

Line of Duty continues this Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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