29 Facts About The Bill


The Bill is a British police procedural television series, first broadcast on ITV from 16 August 1983 until 31 August 2010.

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The Bill was the longest-running police procedural television series in the United Kingdom, and among the longest running of any British television series at the time of its cancellation.

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The Bill won several awards, including BAFTAs, a Writers' Guild of Great Britain award, and Best Drama at the Inside Soap Awards in 2009, this being the series' fourth consecutive win.

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The Bill was originally conceived by Geoff McQueen in 1983, then a new television writer, as a one-off drama.

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In 1998, The Bill returned to hour-long episodes, which later became twice-weekly, with the Friday episode being dropped, at which point the series adopted a much more serialised approach.

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The change allowed The Bill to become more reflective of modern policing, with the introduction of officers from ethnic minorities, most notably the new superintendent, Adam Okaro.

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The serial format was dropped and The Bill returned to stand-alone episodes with more focus on crime and policing than on the officers' personal lives.

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The last episode of The Bill was filmed in June 2010 and broadcast on 31 August 2010 followed by a documentary titled Farewell The Bill.

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At the time the series ended in August 2010, The Bill was the United Kingdom's longest-running police drama and was among the longest-running of any British television series.

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The Bill's set of "Sun Hill" police station remained until mid 2013 when it was finally dismantled.

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The Bill is set in and around Sun Hill police station, in the fictional "Canley Borough Operational Command Unit" in East London.

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Geoff McQueen, creator of The Bill, claimed that he named Sun Hill after a street name in his home town of Royston, Hertfordshire.

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The sirens used in the series were added later in the dubbing suite as The Bill did not have permission to use them while on location.

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The Bill is unique amongst police dramas in that it takes a serial format, focusing on the work and lives of a single shift of police officers, rather than on one particular area of police work.

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Also unique is that The Bill adapted to this format after several series, whereas comparable series started with the serial format.

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In 2009 The Bill began broadcasting in HD and as part of a major revamp, was reduced to broadcasting once a week.

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The Bill's is rushed to hospital, but attempts to resuscitate her fail.

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Series of special episodes titled The Bill Uncovered were produced to reflect the stories of select characters and events.

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The last was The Bill Uncovered: On The Front Line, in which Superintendent Adam Okaro recounts the extraordinary events that have surrounded Sun Hill over his time in charge.

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All four editions of The Bill Uncovered were released on DVD in Australia as part of The Bill Series 26 DVD boxset, 30 April 2014.

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In 2008 a special programme called "The Bill Made Me Famous" in light of the show's 25th anniversary was broadcast, which saw former actors and special guest stars telling their accounts of working on the show and how it changed their lives.

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The Bill had a large regular cast to support the number of episodes that were produced each year.

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Constant need for minor characters, normally appearing in only a single episode, inevitably led to numerous guest roles in The Bill being played by actors and actresses who later achieved a high profile, some of whom appeared as child actors.

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The Bill was a popular drama in the United Kingdom and in many other countries, most notably in Australia.

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Immediately following The Bill's revamping and time slot change, it was reported that the programme had attracted 4.

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In 2009, The Daily Mirror reported that The Bill was to be moved to a post-watershed slot to allow it to cover grittier storylines.

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The Bill has achieved a number of awards throughout its time on air, ranging from a BAFTA to the Royal Television Society Awards.

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In 2009 an episode of The Bill won the Knights of Illumination Award for Lighting Design- Drama.

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However, The Bill has seen little direct competition on British television in the police procedural genre over its 25-year history, though the BBC has twice launched rival series.

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