Who is Ryan Pilkington in Line of Duty? Season 1 and 5 star returns

Gogglebox stars discuss Line of Duty's Kate and Jo storyline

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Ryan Pilkington (played by Gregory Piper) returned to Line of Duty in season six, episode two. He is now a police officer and is working alongside DI Kate Fleming (Vicky McClure) who is part of the Murder Investigation Team (MIT), after she requested a transfer from AC-12. This is far from the first time fans would have seen Ryan though in the show as he has a speckled past.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Line of Duty.

Who is Ryan Pilkington?

At the beginning of series six, episode two, DCI Jo Davidson (Kelly Macdonald) introduces Kate to their newest recruit Ryan.

They meet on the crime scene where Carl Banks, who was suspected of killing journalist Gail Vella (Andi Osho) was murdered.

Kate later asked Ryan if they had worked together before which he denied but eagle-eyed fans spotted later on that she was looking up his profile just as AC-12 stormed in.

Is this a sign that Kate is already suspicious of her new colleague as she starts to look into his past?

When has Ryan been in Line of Duty before? 

Fans will remember Ryan from the very first season of Line of Duty but he was a lot younger then.

Thanks to his troubled upbringing, Ryan was easily recruited by Organised Crime Group leader Tommy Hunter (xx) when he was a young teen.

He was tasked with stealing phones and acting as a courier, providing people who were being blackmailed with burner phones so they could get orders from Tommy.

One of these individuals was DCI Tony Gates (Lennie James) who was frequently called “bent” by Ryan as he rode off on his bike.

In the season one finale, Ryan was there was DI Steve Arnott (Martin Compston) had been kidnapped.

Ryan held the phone to Steve’s head so he could speak to Tommy but when the officer got the youngster to lean in closer, he headbutted him.

This infuriated Ryan who then tried to remove Steve’s fingers with a pair of boltcutters.

Thankfully, he was too weak to be able to do this but this is why Ryan was trying to hide his face from Steve when he came into the office – the new officer was afraid he would be recognised.

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More recently though, Ryan was in season five of Line of Duty where he played a bigger role in the OCG.

He was working with John Corbett (Stephen Graham), an undercover officer trying to dig out the bent coppers working within the group.

However, when the criminals got wind that Corbett could be a rat, they made him think a group of vulnerable women were being abused as a distraction.

As Corbett realised it was a setup, Ryan came up from behind and slit his throat, killing the officer instantly.

Despite his strong connection with the OCG, Ryan was able to get into the force with ease.

Ryan was at the scene where Steve was attacked when police arrived as Tony had handcuffed him to a nearby pipe.

Unfortunately, no further action was taken against Ryan by DI Ian Buckells (Nigel Boyle) at the time so he didn’t get a criminal record.

This is how Ryan was able to apply to become a police officer but with DI Buckells now working in the same office, is he going to recognise the young criminal?

Line of Duty season 6 continues every Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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