Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

The Bill to bow out with respect

The last episode of The Bill will be screened this month

The last episode of long-running police drama The Bill will be shown this month.

The final scene was shot in June and the show will bow out with a special two-parter revolving around the story of a teenage girl involved in the murder of a 14-year-old suspected gang member.

It is expected to be shown on ITV1 on Tuesday August 31.

Executive producer Johnathan Young said: "The series will conclude this summer with a compelling contemporary story that tests our cops on the streets of London both physically and emotionally for one final time. It's called Respect and we hope it will respect the heritage of the show."

The Bill - set in the fictional London area of Sun Hill - was given a major revamp last year to win back viewers but audiences have fallen steadily in recent years.

Its format has been tweaked a number of times since it launched as a series in 1984.

Initially there were just 12 hour-long self-contained episodes but by 1988 the programme was switched to three half-hour shows per week.

A decade later the drama - which created well-loved characters such as June Ackland, Reg Hollis and Jim Carver - returned to 60-minute shows.

The show was rooted in a one-off drama Woodentop in 1983, which so impressed ITV bosses they developed it into a series with the same central characters.

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