The Bill cast host goodbye bash
Cast members of The Bill, past and present, came together for a party to say goodbye to the serial after the cop shop closed its doors for good. The bash was held at the ITV show's fictional Sun Hill station at a South London studio on Friday night. Veteran stars of The Bill joined the current crop of actors to honour the show, which was axed after a 26-year run, according to reports in The Sun. Partygoers included a sad-looking Sarah Manners (PC Kirsty Knight), who having joined only in February wore her helmet for the last time as she tucked into an ice cream. Ex-Eastenders star and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Louisa Lytton (PC Beth Green from 2007 to 2009) looked stunning as she posed beaming by a squad car in a short black dress. Legendary faces from the past included Graham Cole, who played PC Tony Stamp from 1987 until last year, Eric Richard (Desk Sgt Bob Cryer, 1984-2001), and Billy Murray (bent cop DS Don Beech, 1995-2000). Mark Wingett (DC Jim Carver, 1984-2005) and Iain Fletcher (DC Rod Skase, 1994-2000) also attended the bash and greeted each other with a manly hug. Also at the party was Jeff Stewart (PC Reg Hollis 1984-2008) sporting a bushy beard and smiling as he arrived. ITV1 called time on The Bill in March after ratings dropped to 3.5million viewers from a high of 15million, back in the Nineties. Final scenes were filmed earlier this month, but will not be screened until August.
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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.