Fans mourn passing of The Bill
Fans of The Bill were commiserating each other over the end of an era as the show's 26-year run came to an end.
As the last episode began, internet message boards were inundated with disappointed fans.
On Twitter, Sebby Wood posted: "I just wish ITV would have given it the push it deserved, and not axed it."
And lookitsben said: "Watching the last episode of the Bill.... EVER! gonna be sad seeing this show go, been watching it ever since I was little!"
On Facebook, messages on The Bill fan page were coming in at almost one a second.
Kwesi Idun said he was "watching television history!". And Luke Bassil said: "The excitement of the last ever episode of the bill is really getting to me now."
The show bowed out with a story about the gang rape of a teenage girl and the murder of a 14-year-old boy. The episode climaxed with Sergeant Callum Stone disarming a gang leader who had a gun pointed at his head.
And it wrapped up with Superintendent Jack Meadows preaching to the assembled media in the police station - and to the audience at home - about respect. He said: "You earn respect these days through violence, power, fear, money and the blade of a knife."
He went on to pay tribute to his officers, saying: "I'm proud of my team and the job they do every single day and the community they serve. It's an honour. Today was one of the good days. Thank you."
Before the final credits rolled, as the officers went for a pint, a message appeared on screen which read: "Dedicated to the men and women of the Metropolitan Police Service past and present."