Line Of Duty fans spot connections to season one's CI Philip Osborne

Why has CI Philip Osborne made a comeback on Line Of Duty? Eagle-eyed fans spot ANOTHER connection to Steve Arnott’s corrupt ex-boss after being unearthed in cryptic QR code

Line Of Duty fans have spotted another reference to Chief Constable Philip Osborne, leaving them scratching their heads over how he fits into the new storyline. 

Those with a keen memory will remember CI Osborne (Owen Teale) for attempting to cover up a failed counter-terrorism police raid Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) was involved in back in season one. 

While his character quickly faded into obscurity over the next few seasons, he has been referenced twice in the current series, leading fans to wonder what the significance could be. 


Remember him? Line Of Duty fans have spotted another reference to Chief Constable Philip Osborne – Steve Arnott’s corrupt boss in season one of the show 

During episode two, TV critic Scott Bryan pointed out that CI Osborne appeared in one of the TV reports created by murdered journalist, Gail Vella (Andi Osho). 

He tweeted: ‘Recognise him? He’s CI Philip Osborne. In series one he tried to cover up a failed counter-terrorism police raid Steve Arnott was involved in. #LineOfDuty’ 

Explaining the significance of seeing a former character pop up in a minor role, he stated: ‘Former Chief Superintendent Patrick Fairbanks appeared in series three. He ended up being a pedophile network #LineOfDuty’. 

Another viewer predicted: ‘The big characters to watch out for in the coming episodes are Steph Corbett and Philip Osborne. Until then, my whisht remains houled #LineOfDuty’. 

While one noted: ‘And this is why “Previously on Line of Duty” would take 17 minutes.’ 

Familiar face: While his character faded into obscurity, Osborne has been referenced twice in the current series, leading fans to wonder what the significance could be

AC-12’s Steve, Chloe and Hastings are seen trawling through old footage of Vella’s with one story she had been covering linked to CI Osborne’s actions in the first episode of season one.   

Vella was seen discussing the accidental killing of Karim Ali, and the recording used during that scene also featured in the series’ first episode.

During season one, Steve worked for Osborne in counter terrorism and was part of the operation that lead to the killing of Karim.  

After receiving the ‘Fahrenheit’ order from Osborne, Steve instructed the firearms officers to enter the flat, and they opened fire on Karim believing he had been armed. 

It transpired that the team had entered the wrong building and Karim was innocent, leading to Steve offering information and eventually being recruited to AC-12.  

Despite Steve testifying against his colleagues no police officers were prosecuted for their actions before, during or after the shooting of Karim. 

Flashback: AC-12’s Steve, Chloe and Hastings are seen trawling through old footage of Vella’s with one story she had been covering linked to Osborne’s actions in season one

In the following seasons the scandal is mentioned only a couple of times. 

During season four, Karim’s death is mentioned briefly by FC Tim Ifield when he visits AC-12 to voice his concerns about DCI Roz Huntley. 

He claims the fact Steve was the only member of the operation who refused to cover up the shooting makes him trustworthy to share information with. 

In season five, DS John Corbett is seen reading about the death of Ali whilst reading through the record of Steve on the Central Police Portal.  

Scan me: Prior to season six, Osborne was connected to the show before it even aired. Eagle-eyed fans spotted that a magazine cover featured briefly in the trailer that included a QR code 

Prior to season six, Osborne was connected to the show before it even aired. 

Eagle-eyed fans spotted that a magazine cover featured briefly in the trailer that included a QR code.  

Viewers revealed that if you scan the QR code, it takes you to a ‘highly confidential’ PDF file called ‘operation Easter egg hunt’. 

The secret document is a letter between Osborne – who at some point between series three and six was promoted to Chief Constable of Central Police – addressed to DCC Andrea Wise, where he shares his concerns over Superintendent Hastings.  

Osborne’s letter warns: ‘I think it is high time we had a much closer look at AC-12. I’m beginning to question whether this department is fit for purpose especially under its current – and let’s be frank – extremely difficult leadership.

‘Ted Hastings doesn’t lead investigations, more commit to a crusade. He is oblivious to the politics of the situation which creates problems for me and problems for you because policing is politics.

‘And should AC-12 even be led by someone who himself has been accused of corruption? The question is what to do next. Is it time for a leadership change? What role should Ted Hastings have in this organisation – if any at all?’

Eagle-eyed fans then discovered a link secretly hidden in the word ‘next’ which takes them to another clue.

Continuing the lengthy trail of clues lead to a new trailer video with Steve and his love interest DS Nicola Rogerson.    

‘Highly confidential’: Viewers revealed that if you scan the code, it takes you to a ‘highly confidential’ PDF file called ‘operation Easter egg hunt’ where Chief Constable Philip Osborne, writes to DCC Andrea Wise and shares his concerns over Superintendent Ted Hastings 

Chief Constable Osborne isn’t the only character that fans have been guessing wildly about.   

Line Of Duty fans are convinced that newcomer DC Chloe Bishop is actually Tony Gates’ daughter in their latest theory about the sixth season.

Bishop, played by Shalom Brune-Franklin, is one of AC-12’s newest recruits, and as Gates and his wife Jools had two daughters, Natalie and Chloe, viewers have suggested their shared name ‘can’t be a coincidence’.

Gates’ daughter was last seen in season one in 2012, and she was portrayed by Saffron Davies, which means she’d be roughly the same age as Bishop is now.

Theories: Line Of Duty fans are convinced DC Chloe Bishop is actually Tony Gates’ daughter as they claimed on Sunday the characters’ shared name ‘can’t be a coincidence’

Fans have suggested that Bishop either took her mother’s maiden name or the name of a step-father, so that her true identity remains a secret – for now.

Gates died at the end of the first season when he walked into a busy road after getting a confession from gang leader Tommy Hunter, who had been blackmailing the police officer into covering up their criminal activity.

He took his own life as he knew that if he was killed in the line of duty that would ensure his family received a pay-out. 

Dramatic: Gates died at the end of the first season when he walked into a busy road after getting a confession from gang leader Tommy Hunter, who had been blackmailing him

Back then: Gates’ daughter was last seen in season one in 2012, and she was portrayed by Saffron Davies (pictured), which means she’d be roughly the same age as Bishop is now

Potentially? Fans have suggested that Bishop either took her mother’s maiden name or the name of a step-father, so that her true identity remains a secret – for now

Fans were besides themselves with the notion that Bishop could in fact be Gates’ daughter Chloe, and they took to Twitter to discuss it.

One person wrote: ‘Holy s**t so is Chloe, Tony Gates’ daughter Chloe??? That name can’t be a coincide right? (sic)’

Another added: ‘Just saying it now Chloe, the cop in AC-12, is Tony Gates’ daughter.’ 

Theorising, one viewer said: ‘So in series 1, DCI Tony Gates had a daughter called Chloe….. roll on to series 6 and Steve Arnotts new partner is called Chloe!! (sic)’

Throwing around ideas: Fans were besides themselves with the notion that Bishop could in fact be Gates’ daughter Chloe, and they took to Twitter to discuss it

On Sunday night’s show newcomer DCI Jo Davidson (Kelly MacDonald) was hauled in for the first AC-12 interrogation scene of the season. 

She was grilled by Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar), Acting DI Arnott and DC Chloe Bishop (Shalom Brune-Franklin) over gross misconduct charges relating to the investigation into the murder of journalist Gail Vella (Andi Osho).

However, at the end of the episode she was let go, seemingly not guilty, after her ex-girlfriend PS Farida Jatri [Anneika Rose] was implemented in corruption.

The show’s latest episode also saw Steve being temporarily promoted, continuing to battle with his injuries and strike up a potential romance with John Corbett’s widow Steph [Amy De Bhrún].

Elsewhere, AC-12 were authorised to take over Operation Lighthouse to investigate corruption.

Line Of Duty continues on Sundays at 9PM on BBC One. 

Drama: On Sunday night’s show newcomer DCI Jo Davidson (Kelly MacDonald, pictured) was hauled in for the first AC-12 interrogation scene of the season 

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