Line Of Duty Fans Have Unearthed The Real-Life Case That Inspired This Season Of Line Of Duty

Jed Mercurio appeared to confirm the link after an eagle-eyed fan spotted hidden clues in the show

The real life story behind Line Of Duty

by Rebecca Holman |
Updated on

Line Of Duty season six revolves around the murder of fictional journalist Gail Vella (played by Andi Osho). However, an eagle-eyed fan has put the clues together to work out that the case was inspired by the real-life murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese anti-corruption journalist who was murdered in 2017.

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Twitter users spotted that Galizia’s maiden name had been Vella, and the make and model of Gail Vella’s car, which were specifically referenced in the TV show, matched the car Galizia was driving when she was murdered.

Galizia was killed by a car bomb, but Vincent Muscat, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for her murder in February, has confirmed that the original plan has been to shoot her.

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Season Six of Line Of Duty has seen several references made to Gail Vella’s work investigation and highlighting corruption in the police force, and the implication so far is that she was murdered to cover up what she’d discovered.

Galizia, a mother of three, had been described as a ‘one woman Wikileaks,’ after exposing sleaze and cronyism in the Maltese business and political worlds. She also contributed to the 2016 Panama Papers.

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Mercurio has all-but confirmed that Galizia was the inspiration for Gail Vella’s character. When one Twitter user presented him with the evidence, he responded ‘The Gaffer has been complaining that none of the detectives out of there had spotted this clue. He’ll probably ask you to join AC-12.’

Mercurio had previously referenced Galizia and the work she’d done when talking about the admiration he had for investigative journalists. In an interview with theRadio Times he said, “I was actually thinking of investigative journalism, which deserves a lot of admiration – such as the work of Maltese reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, who spent much of her career investigating high-level corruption, and was assassinated. In a lot of countries led by autocratic leaders, where corruption is rife, journalists’ lives are in danger. In the UK, we have a different phenomenon: large chunks of the press seem to be entirely supine to the corruption in the highest levels of society.”

He also exchanged tweets with Galizia’s son Matthew, who shared his mother’s love of British police shows.

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Mercurio replied: 'Your mother was incredibly courageous in her fight against corruption. I’m so sorry for your tragic loss.'

With so many twists, turns and red herrings, it's hard to see where this season of Lien Of Duty will end up, or if we'll ever find out who the infamous 'H' really is. But the real-life story of Daphne Caruana Galizia clearly proved plenty of IRL inspiration for Mercurio and the character of Gail Vella - and he left plenty of clues along the way to help us work it out!

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