Graham Cole, who plays PC Tony Stamp in police drama The Bill, has revealed he is being axed from the series. According to the Sun, a clearly upset Graham contacted his fansite Stampers with the news that the show's bosses think he is too old and not sexy. The 57-year-old, who has played the cop for over 20 years wrote: "I am devastated, poor old Stampy - I was told that I do not fit into the new dynamic." When asked whose decision it was for Graham to leave the show, a spokesperson said: "The production team, in collaboration with ITV, felt that it had taken the character of Tony Stamp as far as possible, and that the time was right to say goodbye to the character." Graham said in an official statement from the show: "I have had a wonderful time patrolling the streets of Sun Hill and of course I'm sad to leave. "Tony has been a big part of my life for a long time, but I'm looking forward to seeking out some new challenges and enjoying life outside the nick!." But he added in his email to the website: "Why? The storylines are going to change and the actors are going to get younger and sexier - who are they going to go to when they need an older, more experienced officer? "I cannot tell you how disappointed and disregarded I feel, Tony has been a wonderful character to play. "They say he doesn't fit the new 'dynamics' so I have to be out of the programme before the big re-launch in November."
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.