Line of Duty’s H’s identity confirmed in jaw-dropping ‘Fourth Man’ twist on show

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Line of Duty has been underpinned by one major question in recent series – who is the mysterious 'H', also known as The Fourth Man?

No letter in the alphabet inspires quite as much intrigue as "H" for Line of Duty fans, who have been loyally watching season six in the hopes H's identity will be revealed.

On Sunday evening's series six finale, fans got the answer they were looking for, as the identity of H – who has been working with the OCG from inside the police force – was revealed.

Detective Superintendent Ian Buckells was exposed as H in nail-biting scenes, bringing an end to one of the biggest mysteries in television history.

Chloe in cybercrime figured out he was responsible after tracing his spelling errors, realising Buckells always made a typo with the word "definitely".

Linking Buckells with a series of dodgy emails, Ted Hastings, Kate Fleming and Steve Arnott interrogated him, eventually getting the truth out of him.

"H, or the fourth man, or whatever you want to call him, he don’t exist either," Ian eventually argued, confessing he was guilty.

The bent copper explained he had taken over from Tommy Hunter, eventually becoming the leading figure in the chain of dodgy policemen.

Ian, played by Nigel Boyle, has been a fixture on the series since season one when he was appointed SIO in the case of Jackie Laverty's disappearance.

His name had been thrown into the ring in the past, after he messed up the paperwork at the beginning of the season, giving the OCG a chance to swap Terry Boyle into Carl Banks' home.

He also pressured Deborah Devereux (Kerri McLean) to give a fake testimony, falsely linking her with Terry Boyle into Vella's killing.

Ian was later arrested when the AC-12 found a laptop in his car, which contained incriminating evidence from the investigation into Gail Vella's death.

Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) later admitted to framing Buckles, clearing his name as AC-3 boss Patricia Carmichael underwent proceedings to free him.

Corrupt policeman Matthew "Dot" Cottan was the first to expose H's existence in season three, blinking out the letter H and tapping out a clue to the "fourth man" on his death bed.

The hunt for H has continued ever since, with Hastings and the AC-12 team intent on tracking down the policeman who has the ultimate link to the OCG.

In the run-up to the chilling finale, everyone was a suspect, with characters like Carmichael (Anna Maxwell Martin) inspiring a number of fan theories.

Chief Constable Phillip Osbourne (Owen Teale) was also a frontrunner, as was Detective Chief Constable Andrea Wise (Elizabeth Rider), who forced Hastings into retirement.

Marcus Thurwell (James Nesbitt) is also a suspect, as he is based in Spain, where some suspect H is currently located.

However, longer-running characters – who are central to the show – have also inspired suspicion, with some wondering whether Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) or Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar) are to blame.

It is unclear whether there will be a season seven – making H's identity reveal the final piece of the mind-boggling Line of Duty puzzle.

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