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2 items from 2010

The Bill killed off due to ratings slump

26 March 2010 2:40 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Peter Fincham pulled trigger on police drama after a change in format failed to reverse show's fortunes

On Thursday night, The Bill featured a storyline about a child who vanished. But this morning, the cast and crew of the police serial were facing up to a real-life disappearance: their own. ITV announced that the show, which began in 1984, will end in September, becoming the second of the network's quarter-century brands to be axed this year, after The South Bank Show.

The coppers at the fictional Sun Hill police station in East London – including such beloved characters as Sergeant Bob Cryer, played by Eric Richard, and Trudie Goodwin's Constable June Ackland – have investigated many murders over the years, but have never been able to identify the perpetrator as quickly as in the killing of The Bill.

Peter Fincham, ITV director of programmes, immediately put his hand up and admitted pulling the trigger. »

- Mark Lawson

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The Bill: the titles collared you from the start

26 March 2010 5:57 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The changes to The Bill's opening sequence point to the state of the show – from the cracking "feet-walking" original to the Spooks-style revamp

It had shouty Cid officers before Gene Hunt had even learnt to swear, criminals played by actors who would go onto stardom, and what looked like the grimmest police station in history. But most importantly The Bill had a cracking set of titles – those sensibly-shod feet tramping the mean streets of Sun Hill, the screaming blue siren, and a theme tune that most of the country could sing on demand.

I'm sure I won't be alone in thinking that the original titles were the best. This was how the very first episode of The Bill introduced itself in July 1988. Feel that lovely wave of nostalgia wash right over you.

And then the shoes! The special Bill foot glide! The 10-denier tights that seem madly impractical for any kind of crime-fighting! »

- Vicky Frost

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