As Game Of Thrones star Richard Madden the newest twiddle with an oortje and the horizon haunts threats in Bodyguard, a new BBC thriller that starts tonight with the leading role Keeley Hawes and Gina McKee, the number of bodyguards increases.
They are seduced by the profile of the mountain Pascal Duvier, who guarded Kim Kardesjian and Kanye West, and less Tim Chung, who won a large following in the field of social media and a modeling career after she was introduced by the American reality star Kylie Jenner.
But it is the exceptions. Entry level bodyguard tasks include carrying bags on shopping outings, picking up children and monotonous shifts that wait hours for a fast food diet.
The UK has close to 20,000 registered close protection employees – holding a three-year license that costs £ 220 – but many struggle to get regular work.
"One of the first things I've learned is that it's not Hollywood," said Shaun West, managing director of the British Bodyguard Association, who coordinates career development and opportunity. "You spend a lot of time in the corridors, you can work with some clients and nothing happens for two years, but you have to be alert at all times because you are their insurance.
"The people who do well have common sense, are professional and honest, have good communication skills and adapt themselves in different environments Some celebrities want guys the size of stable doors, but the majority are business customers who appreciate discretion and want you looks like a part of their executive team.
"You can earn around £ 70,000 a year if you're part of a full-time team, but the majority just bounce from job to job and there are definitely more agencies than job openings."
Close-up courses, with modules for advanced riding, unarmed combat and firearms skills can cost £ 3,000 for two weeks, but you can also learn most of the skills in a follow-up course with a BTEC diploma – the same qualification system that offers courses from hairdressers to applied science .
The BBC series sees Keeley Hawes as Minister of the Interior and Richard Madden as her security officer
The drama of the BBC contains a troubled war veteran-turned official assigned to an ambitious home secretary, played by Keeley Hawes, with a promise of personal and professional entanglements.
In real life, ministerial bodyguards are senior police officers who have been selected by hand because of their good character and blemish-free track record, along with skills that have been tightened up in the group for royalty and specialist protection of the Metropolitan Police.
"Bodyguards work as part of small, well-drilled teams and their relationships with the client, the person they monitor, must be professional," said Dai Davies, former head of the Royal Protection team. "Their performance and that relationship are constantly being revised.
"The director must have complete trust in you, but there is no rule that you have to take a bullet for them." Your job is to prevent that from happening, so good planning is essential.
"It can be the simple things like when Margaret Thatcher was caught when she left a room, but someone locked the car and we did not have a spare set, so she had to get her back into the building quickly.
"I also once guarded a Russian oligarch and came out to find out that the driver had driven the car because he needed the toilet, I should have told him he should not move, no matter how desperate he was – being those little things that you often confuse. & # 39;
Veterans in the sector warn wannabes that they are following the bodyguard dream.
"If you think you can be a bodyguard, simply because you've watched a few movies and you like to rub with celebrities, stop," said a spokesman for Westminster Security, a leading company that supplies security guards.
Richard Madden becomes the latest twiddle with an earpiece and haunts the horizon for threats
"It's more about intelligence and planning than about muscles and guns You need a range of qualities with commitment, discretion and integrity You need the will power to go on for hours on end, to resist taking selfies in take the jet from the customer or take a dip in their pool. "
The drama of the BBC will push the main characters into deep personal relationships, a dark area of close protection where the boundaries are often blurred. "It can be difficult, but you simply can not have a relationship with them – no matter how close you are," says the spokesperson. "From then on, everything falls into dangerous territory, but it does happen."
This is repeated by West, a former parachutist who now runs a bodyguarding company: "You have to be on your guard to get close to the client." It is sometimes hands-on with the family and the attachments form, but they pay for a service and not a friend.
"You have to stay professional."
● Bodyguard, BBC One, tonight, 9:00 PM
GINA McKEE INTERVIEW: S MAGAZINE
Bodyguard is a new BBC thriller that starts tonight
Josh Buckingham* is a former parachutist who became a specialist in close protection 12 years ago after leaving the armed forces. He works with a group of about 15 trusted fellow professionals who are paid from £ 200 to £ 300 per day, depending on the customer and the threat level.
If you enter this profession with stars in your eyes, you will quickly become disillusioned. There is a strange, striking assignment, but I would say that 90% of the work means you have to wait and that you have to deal with boredom.
There is a huge adrenalin kick when you are in a hostile environment, but usually things are at a low level and the characteristic of a good close protection operator is that they can stay on for 16 hours.
There are many Walter Mitty characters, but they are generally fast-paced because it is a close-knit community and a few phone calls will soon expose them.
Kim Kardashian with & # 39; manberg & # 39; Pascal Duvier
Some people take close protection as a status symbol, but many want boys, or girls, who can integrate into their environment. Many customers are worried about placing handsome guys to protect girlfriends and wives, because they are uncertain about what can happen.
There may be a bond and we have female customers who have a little bit of our boys a little too much appreciated and some depend on them to the point where relationships can take place.
It is quite rare because crossing that line would be the end of a career. They would not be trusted again and the work would dry up.
Dealing with threats is mainly about planning. If you find the details correctly, you avoid situations and the work becomes fairly simple. A boring job is often the sign that things went very well. Car chases, night clubs and business may look good in dramas but they are what you want to avoid.
Kylie Jenner with Tim Chung, who now has a modeling career thanks to his high-profile job
Uncomfortable situations could develop and one of our men was in the midst of a quarrel in which the customer's wife slung the diamonds her husband had just bought in a hotel hallway; that was difficult to process.
Some customers are obsessed with their safety and will spend a lot to keep it with close protection and surveillance teams and they double for their families for around £ 50,000 per week.
There are many ex-troops and police in the company because they have the skills and can handle long periods of waiting and can take action quickly. I enjoy the challenge to assess the risk and then develop a plan to minimize it. If I do my job well, nothing actually happens.
* Name has been changed.