TV & Movies

21 Of The Finest Superintendent Ted Hastings Quotes From Line Of Duty

We are only interested in one thing and one thing only... Tedisms.

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The latest outing of BBC’s Line of Duty left viewers on the edge of their seats once again. Per Radio Times, Jed Mercurio’s hit crime drama centres on the fictional police corruption unit AC-12, made up of DS Steve Arnott (Martin Compston), DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure), and led by Superintendent Ted Hastings (Adrian Dunbar). The arrival of the show’s sixth season also marked the return of Hastings’ much-loved one-liners, the likes of which have been enjoyed throughout the entirety of the show’s history. So, here are 21 of the best Line of Duty quotes from Ted Hastings himself.

Providing some insight into his character’s best-known “Tedisms,” Dunbar explained to Belfast Live that he believes fan favourite quotes including “Mother of God” add some “colour” to the otherwise stern-faced Superintendent Hastings. "These were bits of colour I thought would be really interesting to add for Ted in his man management skills.” The actor continued, “He brings in these little twists and turns of colour that make him a bit different to everybody else.”

As for the origins of his best-known phrases, Dunbar further revealed that some are “really specific Belfast sayings,” some of them he came up with himself, many were thought up by show creator Jed Mercurio, and others arose from Q&A sessions in which he’d asked fans what they’d like to hear Ted say next, Belfast Live reports.

Below, you can relive some of the most memorable Superintendent Ted Hastings quotes to date, and fingers crossed we can add to this already epic list throughout the show’s latest run.

“I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble.”

This classic line emerged during a heated exchange between the superintendent and DS Alison Powell. “Are you in contact with your UCO or aren’t you,” asked Hastings. Following a brief pause, he continued, “Now listen, Alison, I didn’t float up the Lagan in a bubble.”

The zinger is a reference to the River Lagan in Northern Ireland. Per the Belfast Telegraph, show writer Jed Mercurio previously revealed the “irresistible” line was included in the Line of Duty script after BBC presenter, William Crawley, challenged him to feature a Belfast saying in the crime drama.

“Now we’re cooking with gas!”

This brilliant quip has popped up quite a few times throughout the show’s six-season run. Although, the phrase’s most recent use occurred when Hastings attempted to communicate with members of an organised crime group online in series five, whilst at the centre of much speculation himself.

“Frankly, son, right now, I couldn’t give a s**t.”

Back in season four, DC Desford made the brave decision to correct Hastings on his first name. “Sorry, sir, I have to say, it’s Jamie, not James,” he uttered in an interview room — to which Hastings ever so typically responded: “Frankly, son, right now, I couldn’t give a s**t.” Amazing.

“None of my people would plant evidence. They know I would throw the book at them. Followed by the bookshelf.”

As head of the anti-corruption unit, Hastings obviously holds his team to the highest standard...

“Gotcha a big pint of that cats’ p***”

Another season four highlight emerged when Detective Sergeant Steve Arnott was pondering over a promotion to the role of Inspector. In true Hastings fashion, he kicks off the serious discussion with DS Arnott with the line: “Gotcha a big pint of that cats’ p*** that you young fellas seem to like so much.”

“Now we’re sucking diesel!”

Line of Duty fans will be more than familiar with this brilliant one-liner, which Hastings has uttered on several occasions since the show’s debut back in 2012. For translation, “sucking diesel” usually means AC-12 have made some sort of breakthrough, so the next time you hear this line on the show you know things are about to get real.

“Maybe you could be a ray of sunshine and burn off the fog?”

In season three Hastings is interviewing Danny Waldron (Daniel Mays) when he drops this ray of sunshine: “Things get a wee bit fuzzy for me here Sergeant. Maybe you could be a ray of sunshine and burn off the fog?”

“There’s only one thing I’m interested in...”

A true classic. During a confrontation with lawyer Gill Biggeloe back in season three, Hasting dropped the truly legendary line and has adopted it as a regular catchphrase since. “There’s only one thing I’m interested in and that is catching bent coppers.” Mic drop.

“We do our duty to the letter of the law. The letter!”

As any true Line of Duty fan will know, there is nothing that Hastings is more passionate about that duty and the letter of the law. Spewed at everyone from Steve Arnott (“the letter of the law, the letter”), to Roz Huntley (“All that’s expected of us as police officers is that we do our duty to the letter of the law, the letter”) and Steve Hilton, this is a true Ted classic.

“God give me strength”

You and us both, Ted. A common phrase of Hastings’, the full quote is actually “catching criminals is tough enough but catching coppers – God give me strength.” But the exasperation of the second part is felt deeply by true Line Of Duty stans.

“The name is Superintendent Hastings, like the battle.”

And you thought it was just a meme? Wrong. Prior to using it with Deputy Chief Constable Andrea Wise in season six, Hastings pulled the old one-liner on DCI Gates in season one.

“For years, the security in this department has been watertight… then you come along, suddenly we’re leaking like a colander.”

In season four of Line Of Duty, James Desford (played by Royce Pierreson) falls on the wrong side of Hastings, as this quote so vividly shows.

“We’ve been round the houses, Steve. Round the houses and down the bloody drains.”

No one can quite sum up the exasperation at the lack of progress on a case quite like Hastings, eh?

“Mother of God!”

A run-down of Tedisms wouldn’t be complete without an honourable mention of this legendary quote, which Line of Duty fans will recognise as one of Hastings’ most frequently used. Generally, Ted utters the phrase “Mother of God” under his breath upon the discovery of a body, or during one of the show’s many bombshell moments. Which, in the world of AC-12, happens a lot.

As Metro reports, Dunbar, who portrays SI Hastings in the hit drama, revealed this particular saying was born in memory of his late father, who died in 1979. “The ‘Mother of God’ stuff comes from my dad who used to use that all the time.” He added, “So the ‘Mother of Gods’ are a way of saying thanks to him in a certain way.”

“Go back to the coal face, the pair of you, unless you’ve got more egg-sucking tips for your granny.”

He’s impressed. Honestly. Can’t you tell?

“Houl yer whisht”

DI Arnott’s just had a call from Sergeant Farida Jatri who accused her boss, DCI Joanne Davidson, of being a bent copper in season six when Ted tells him: “Houl yer whisht. I need more evidence.”

“Your team was pausing the game but you went and gave away a penalty.”

How to reprimand Steve Arnott in a way he will understand? Oh, I know! Football banter. Ted turned to ball analogies after Arnott’s flirtation with Denton put the entire prosecution at risk.

“Oh Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey”

That wee donkey was the real runaway success of season six, episode six. Exasperated while interviewing Jo Davidson with her endless “no comments”, Superintendent Hastings elevated his famous line “Mother of God” line to include the wee donkey. Thus, an icon was truly born.

“You two look like you’ve lost a shilling and found a penny”

Confused? So were Arnott and Fleming. In the finale of season six, Chloe has just singlehandedly unmasked H and Ted is high on success, but Steve and Kate have to have a serious chat with him, leading him to utter this absolute corker.

“If I see a bent copper I only know one way and that’s full-throttle.”

A classic from season six, episode five. PCC Rohan Sindwhani has just informed Ted that he would be resigning his post, revealing he has been fighting the merger of the AC units and that Ted hadn’t made it easy, acting like a bull in a china shop. Ted’s reply? “I appreciate that, Sir, but you know me, if I see a bent copper I only know one way and that’s full-throttle.” Classic.

“No one makes mugs out of AC-12”

You guessed it. The end. H has been unmasked. Buckles has no way out, and Hastings and his crew are all but dancing on the desk. It was bittersweet ending...