IT was the show that got everyone talking.

Line of Duty’s fifth series attracted larger audiences than any other programme on UK television this year.

Millions of viewers were glued to their screens on Sunday nights and discussed theories and twists all over social media about BBC’s acclaimed police drama.

But Ken Horn was perhaps the only person in Warrington who had to keep quiet about it.

Ken joined the series as producer about this time last year and, with the plot a closely guarded secret, he has had to very careful about what he said right up until the finale earlier this month.

He said: “All the time you’re just being careful not to react too much when people ask you questions and we tend to use the words of Ted Hastings when he said: ‘I can neither confirm nor deny that statement’.

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“You also have tremendous respect for your crew and there are more than 100 people who are involved in it and know what’s gone on and none of them have spilled the beans.”

Ken, who has lived in Warrington for 30 years, was already a huge fan of Line of Duty when he joined the team and he told Weekend the response to series five exceeded all expectations.

He added: “We’ve all found it quite overwhelming. The response from the press and the general public through social media has been absolutely amazing.

“There was so much analysis of who ‘H’ was in the newspapers. They had their theories. Some of them were right, some of them were way off the mark but we all had to keep quiet.

“My family didn’t know either. They’re big Line of Duty fans and kept throwing theories at me. I had to try and keep my poker face on and not respond either way.

“It’s been great from that point of view – to see how people have got involved with it.”

Not a bad result for the man who had the ultimate responsibility for the programme as producer.

Ken had to help put together and oversee the cast and crew, figure out the budget and work with the show’s directors in a creative sense – all while sticking to the artistic brief of World Productions which makes the series for the BBC.

So was it a challenge joining an already well established show as the ‘new kid’?

Ken, who used to be a director for Coronation Street, said: “It’s not really like that because when you start as a producer, you’re in there at the very beginning of that series.

“Line of Duty is every two years so it’s not like you’re walking into a room and there’s a whole bunch of people there who are making the show.

“It’s very much you start from scratch again. It’s filmed in Belfast so you go out there. You have to find a base and then you start to find crew. You try and get the crew who have done it before and you’re looking for new people too.

“So it’s not like you’re walking into something like Coronation Street where it’s all going on around you and you’re the new person there.”

Ken spent around three months putting together the cast and crew and securing filming locations.

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He added: “With this you’re there setting it up and then people join and the momentum gathers until you start to film.

“All the time you’ve got these plates spinning and you’re just trying to make sure that none of them smash on the ground.

“On something like Line of Duty there are more than 100 people involved in making it so it’s coordinating that team and making sure everyone is working towards the same aim.

“When you’ve shot it, it goes into post-production and there’s a whole different area of things to do there like artistic input into the cuts and supervising the effects.”

During that time, a coffee-fuelled Ken would often work 13 or 14-hour days.

Ken, who has been a producer for more than 20 years and has worked on the likes of Our Girl and Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, said: “You have to handle that and learn not to take it all on yourself. If you tried to do it all yourself, you’d collapse in a heap after a month or so.

“Night shoots can be particularly hard because people tend to forget you’ve been up all night so you’ll be getting calls when they wake up and you’ve only just gone to bed.”

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But the rewards speak for themselves. Critics and viewers have generally loved it and Ken and the team got to dine with Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, because he’s a big fan of Line of Duty.

The viewing figures have also been staggering.

Ken added: “The creator Jed Mercurio was going: ‘If we get above four million for the opening episode that’d be great’. And I actually said: ‘I think it’ll be nearer eight million’.

“They all laughed at me but we got 7.2 million so I called it right.

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“The last series that was terrific with Thandie Newton and since switching from BBC Two to BBC One, I kind of got the feeling that people were becoming more and more aware of it.

“The BBC were also doing a great publicity campaign on it. You could feel there was an interest developing in it especially with actors like Stephen Graham coming into it.

“But it’s still amazing when you get those results. The final episode drew just under 10 million viewers overnight.

“Once that’s consolidated, I’d say we’d be at 14 or 15 million viewers which is absolutely staggering.”