Is the BBC’s Bodyguard realistic? We ask a close protection officer to find out

Is the BBC’s Bodyguard realistic? We ask a close protection officer to find out

Monday, September 24, 2018

Justin James has said that relationships like the one in the BBC’s Bodyguard do happen but added that “it is not a good thing”.

PC David Budd, played by Richard Madden, gets hired as the Personal Protection Officer of Home Secretary, Julia Montague, aka Keeley Hawes, but their relationship soon goes beyond the professional.

Mr James, a bodyguard working in close protection, told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “You’d be surprised, it shouldn’t happen but there is a percentage sometimes when you are working so closely with people; it is human nature to form relationships.

“And it does actually happen.”

He added: “If I was running a team and I noticed a particular CPO was getting close with a client I would take them straight off it and have a word with them.

“Because if they are getting too familiar; it is not a good thing.”


‘We had to send in photographs’

When Julia Hartley-Brewer asked about how the relationship between the bodyguard and client needs to be close to form trust, Mr James agreed.

He said: “Of course, you select the right person for that job but like I said it does happen, people can form relationships, even friendships.

“Friendships aren’t so bad, but it shouldn’t really happen either.

“You shouldn’t really, you need to keep a professional distance.

“Be friendly, it is good to sit with them and have a chat about what is happening for that day and that sort of thing but yeah you don’t really want to be too close.”

BBC Bodyguard's Keeley Hawes and Richard Madden at BFI Southbank in August

Julia Hartley-Brewer was quick to point out how Close Protection Officers perhaps shouldn’t be as attractive as actor Richard Madden.

Surprisingly, Mr James agreed, before saying that he had once had to submit photographs of himself to a client.

He said: “I totally agree, there was one particular job I was on years ago and we all had to send in our photographs to the client.

“It was basically looking after the client’s wife as well and all of the guys that were actually quite good looking they weren’t chosen.”