We all see movies or TV shows that have main characters and story lines centered around bodyguards and their heroic, philosophical, crackerjack services for their clients. Every year a bodyguard-themed movie or series comes out, and they are fun, entertaining, and can be a thrill ride. It is a mythic, larger than life, almost mystical profession after all.
Just recently, the BBC series, Bodyguard, was an instant hit in Britain and a sure fire hit on Netflix when it appeared there last year. Millions watched it. Very dynamic England/London government story line with nice-to-watch actors with some sizzling romance thrown in. Called the best political thriller since Homeland, the story follows Sergeant David Budd, a diplomatic bodyguard with the British Metropolitan Police’s Royalty and Specialist Protection unit who is assigned to a British woman minister as her bodyguard.
So, 12 million Britons sat in front of the telly for six weeks, and millions more binged watched it on Netflix, and they’re probably assuming that everything unfolding before them pretty much reflects what actual bodyguard duty is like.
Well, that assumption got so worrying that the real British bodyguard services for royalty and politicians came out and gave a press conference on it. Which is almost never, as in they very rarely comment on TV dramas or movies.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Ray, who is the real deal professional police department bodyguard, spoke about the character of the bodyguard in the dramatic series, DS Budd: “There’s no doubt that I have seen things I never thought I’d see and been to places I never thought I’d travel to, but my day-to-day life bears no resemblance to the programme,” and added, “Rather than work in isolation like the lead character, I’m part of a large and committed PPO team working to completely protect our principals – and it’s fair to say you wouldn’t last long in our team if you cross the line to form too close a relationship with the principal you were protecting.”
And that’s it right there. There are no cowboys in real life bodyguard services. There is a team working in tight formation, expertly trained and experienced, and professional unity of purpose to safeguard the client against all present, anticipated and unanticipated dangers.