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The Bill is 'set for a mammoth television comeback with two reboots in the pipeline'


The Bill is on track for a mammoth return to television screens over a decade since it last aired, according to reports.

The ITV police procedural television series aired from August 1983 to August 2010, racking up an astonishing 2,425 episodes.

And now fans of the highly-acclaimed show could be in for a double whammy, as The Sun claims there are not one, but two reboots in the pipeline. 

Return? The Bill is on track for a mammoth return to television screens over a decade since it last aired, according to reports (from L-R Ben Roberts as Chief Inspector Conway, Jane Wall as PC Worrell and Colin Tarrant as Inspector Monroe in 1999)

Return? The Bill is on track for a mammoth return to television screens over a decade since it last aired, according to reports (from L-R Ben Roberts as Chief Inspector Conway, Jane Wall as PC Worrell and Colin Tarrant as Inspector Monroe in 1999)

Last July, it was understood that cast members from the original show, Graham Cole, Trudie Goodwin and Mark Wingett, were approached by writer Simon Sansome who had allegedly acquired the rights to the original series. 

Mark, 61, played DC Jim Carver while Graham, 70, was PC Tony Stamp on the show and Trudie, 70, had the role of Sgt June Ackland. 

Now ten months on, an insider has told the publication that UKTV is in the early stages of developing a new version of the show, which could air as soon as 2023.

Impressive: The ITV police procedural television series aired from August 1983 to August 2010, racking up an astonishing 2,425 episodes (from L-R Chris Ellison as DCI Frank Burnside, George Rossi as DC Duncan Lennox and Lorraine Chase as Betty in 1999)

Impressive: The ITV police procedural television series aired from August 1983 to August 2010, racking up an astonishing 2,425 episodes (from L-R Chris Ellison as DCI Frank Burnside, George Rossi as DC Duncan Lennox and Lorraine Chase as Betty in 1999)

They said: ‘In the minds of many producers and execs, The Bill is a drama which is just sitting, waiting, to be rebooted.

‘It’s a simple format but one which attracted a loyal army of followers who would be delighted to see it return.

‘No doubt any new incarnation would be tweaked to make it attract a whole new generation to the show.’  

MailOnline has reached out to UKTV for comment.  

Pipeline: Last July, it was understood that cast members from the original show, (from L-R Graham Cole, Mark Wingett and Trudie Goodwin) were approached by writer Simon Sansome who had allegedly acquired the rights to the original series

Pipeline: Last July, it was understood that cast members from the original show, (from L-R Graham Cole, Mark Wingett and Trudie Goodwin) were approached by writer Simon Sansome who had allegedly acquired the rights to the original series

Throughout its 26-year run, The Bill also saw a host of famous faces guest star with many appearing on the series before their big Hollywood breaks.

Among those who have appeared on the show are Emma Bunton, James McAvoy, Russell Brand and Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt.  

In April 2020, Trudie, Mark and Graham joined Eric Richard and Chris Ellison on a virtual reunion from COVID-19 lockdown.

The cast started the call ‘in the slammer’ with prison bars as their backgrounds before changing to pictures of Sun Hill and images of themselves from back in the day as they reminisced.

A source told The Sun: 'No doubt any new incarnation would be tweaked to make it attract a whole new generation to the show' (the cast pictured in 2008)

A source told The Sun: ‘No doubt any new incarnation would be tweaked to make it attract a whole new generation to the show’ (the cast pictured in 2008)

Chris, who played DI Frank Burnside, recalled shooting car scenes ‘with our trousers off, not because we were too hot, just bored,’ while Mark remembered the ‘belly laughing’.

Graham joked that Keira Knightley ‘never phoned’ after he worked with her on one of her first-ever TV episodes.  

She appeared on the show in 1995 when she was just 10 years old.

The show followed the lives of the employees working at the fictional station in East London.

Reunion: The cast of The Bill also reunited in uniform at the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020 [pictured Trudie Goodwin (WPC June Ackland), Chris Ellison (DI Frank Burnside), Eric Richard (Sgt Bob Cryer), Mark Wingett (PC Jim Carver) and Graham Cole (PC Tony Stamp)]

Reunion: The cast of The Bill also reunited in uniform at the start of the Covid pandemic in 2020 [pictured Trudie Goodwin (WPC June Ackland), Chris Ellison (DI Frank Burnside), Eric Richard (Sgt Bob Cryer), Mark Wingett (PC Jim Carver) and Graham Cole (PC Tony Stamp)]

Trudie said that playing female Police Constable June Ackland was ‘all about did you have your handbag or not?’

She added that she was ‘very determined to make her a career woman’ and that if the show was remade today there would be ‘more women and more ethnic minorities, which wasn’t the case in our day’. 

When discussing how The Bill would look like today, Chris jokingly admitted that ‘if it was the same cast it would look like One Foot In The Grave.’

12 stars who appeared in The Bill

Who's that girl? Before the world had ever heard of The Spice Girls, Emma Bunton played a troubled teenager in 1993

Who’s that girl? Before the world had ever heard of The Spice Girls, Emma Bunton played a troubled teenager in 1993

1. Robert Carlyle: The James Bond baddie, also known for his roles as Begbie in the film Trainspotting and Gary Schofield in The Full Monty, guest starred in 1991 episode The Better Part of Valour

2. David Walliams: The Britain’s Got Talent judge appeared in a 2002 episode of The Bill as an animal rights activist who takes part in an anti-vivisection march

3. Alex Kingston: The English actress who went on to star in global TV medical smash hit ER as Dr. Elizabeth Corday made one of her first TV appearances in The Bill in 1988

4. Emma Bunton: Before the world had ever heard of The Spice Girls, Bunton played a troubled teenager in 1993 episode Missionary Work

5. David Tennant: The Doctor in TV’s Doctor Who made an appearance as kidnapper Stephen Clements in 1995 

6. Russell Brand: The notorious stand-up comedian and Hollywood actor debuted in The Bill as a cocky young thief in 1995 when he was 18

7. Omid Djalili: The British/Iranian actor and comedian, who has completed several headline tours and starred in films such as The Infidel, made a guest appearance in the episode Chasing Shadows 

Crime role: Doctor Who star David Tennant made an appearance as kidnapper Stephen Clements in 1995

Crime role: Doctor Who star David Tennant made an appearance as kidnapper Stephen Clements in 1995

Before Downton Abbey: Actress Joanne Froggatt starred in the hit police show back in 1996 when she had a part during episode Unlucky In Love

Before Downton Abbey: Actress Joanne Froggatt starred in the hit police show back in 1996 when she had a part during episode Unlucky In Love

8. Keira Knightley: The Hollywood star kicked off her early acting career playing ten-year-old troublemaker Sheena Rose in 1995 episode Swan Song

9. Hugh Laurie: The comedian, actor and national treasure made a guest appearance playing defense counsel Harp in 1998 episode Good Faith: Part 1

10. Meera Syal: The comedian, writer and producer who rose to prominence as one of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me made an appearance as a solicitor in a season seven episode of The Bill 

11. Joanne Froggatt: The Downton Abbey star appeared in the hit police show back in 1996 when she had a part during episode Unlucky In Love

12. James McAvoy: The X Men actor played Gavin Donald in a 1997 episode called Rent which saw Sgt Boyden and WPC Keane investigate a hit-and-run

12. James McAvoy: The X Men actor played Gavin Donald in a 1997 episode called Rent which saw Sgt Boyden and WPC Keane investigate a hit-and-run

8. Keira Knightley: The Hollywood star kicked off her early acting career playing ten-year-old troublemaker Sheena Rose in 1995 episode Swan Song

British movie stars: James McAvoy (left) and Keira Knightley (right) appeared on The Bill before breaking Hollywood

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