We all absolutely loved this soap! It had been on our screens since 1984 but sadly had its last episode back in 2010.
Here are 31 things you probably never even knew about this soap!
1. In November 2006 editing machines and tapes of some filmed scenes were stolen from the show’s studios in Merton, South West London.
2. As a result, some episodes had to be dropped completely until they had time to re-film these.
In the late 1980s, there was a lot of confrontation between newspaper workers and Rupert Murdoch’s News International which led to some violent bust up. The actor’s on the show were worried about being mistaken for real officers, so they had to move the whole show to another part of London.
3. Burnside (Christopher Ellison) was originally named Tommy in the first two episodes he appeared in.
However, when he became a regular on the show they changed his name to Frank. This was due to the fact there was a real Tommy Burnside in the police at the time!
4. There is a tradition that any cast or crew member that leaves the show is given a wooden policeman’s truncheon that is personalised and engraved with their name, the dates they started/left the show and the words ‘The Bill: Sunhill – SO – Division of Talkback Thames
5. PC Steve Hunter (James Lloyd) is actually the son of Kevin Lloyd who played Tosh!
6. PC Nick Klein (Rene Zagger) has a brother in real life that is a Policeman. When he first got his part on the series his brother invited him to spend a week with Essex Constabulary.
7. The closing title sequence where two police officers feet was parodied in the film Hot Fuzz back in 2007.
The sequence showed two police officers, one male, one female, walking down the street but it was only used for the first series.
8. The white shirts that the actors wear are washed with a black sock prior to filming.
This is to ensure that there is no glare on the screen when filming is taking place.
9. Every scene will ALWAYS have one or more police officers in it.
10. The original format of the show remains the same according to Geoff McQueen’s guidelines.
This is that the whole story, each episode, is shown through the eyes and by the actions of the police
11. James McAvoy, Keira Knightley and David Tennant are all famous A-List actors that have played parts on The Bill.
Even Catherine Tate, Idris Elba and Sean Bean have made appearances. Working on The Bill became a bit of a joke between British actors with 174 actors having been part of the main cast since the show began.
12. PC Reg Hollis (Jeff Stewart) was the last original member to leave the show back in 2008.
13. The set used for the first Sun Hill Station was so small that the actual canteen set was used as the real canteen for the cast and crew.
And the interior of Sun Hill Police station was filmed within an old cigarette packing factory.
14. Not only this, but Chief Superintendent Brownlow’s Office on screen also doubled up as Producer Michael Chapman’s office in real life!
15. The actual number given for Sun Hill Police Station is 0207 511 0953
16. The police uniforms used in the show are genuine.
This meant they had to be locked away every night to stop them falling into the wrong hands.
17. When filming whilst out on location, the show has no permission to actually use sirens. This means that these noises have to be dubbed in at the editing stage.
18. Any new characters had to be cleared with the Metropolitan Police to ensure no Police Officers have that name in real life.
19. In July 2009 the show was given a later slot of 9 pm to allow the writers to have a more diverse storyline.
20. The show had travelled abroad four times for special episodes.
France, Australia, Romania and Germany
21. The Bill was the longest-running police drama, running from 1984 to 2010.
It was also one of the longest running TV shows on British television.
22. The Bill was originally supposed to be a one off series called Woodentops.
This show was shown back in 1983.
23. Geoff McQueen named ‘Sun Hill’ after his street name in his home town of Royston, Hertfordshire.
24. George Galloway issued legal proceedings against The Bill in 2008.
This was after he claimed an episode, which was about a corrupt MP who smuggled antiques out of Iraq, was a portrayal of him. This episode was watched by 6 million viewers.
The show caused quite a bit of controversy. An episode in 2008 was criticised for showing fictional treatment for MS, as well as criticism about the show’s level of violence.
25. After the programme finished in 2010, London’s Metropolitan Police bought 400 kilograms of police related paraphernalia to prevent it falling into criminals hands.
26. The Bill was mostly filmed in an old wine distribution warehouse in Merton, South West London.
27. The programme was also supposed to be called ‘Old Bill’.
28. The Bill was a pretty dangerous place to work.
The show featured 31 deaths over 23 years, including 6 during a fire at the station and 3 when a van filled with petrol drove into the front office. Remember that scene?
29. It was the first show to use ‘walk and talk’.
So if you thought the West Wing was the first show to do it, you were wrong.
30. There were two live episodes.
The show broadcast two live episodes, the first was in 2003 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the pilot episode and the second was in 2005 to celebrate the 15th birthday of ITV.
31. The last episode was dedicated to the police.
The last episode in 2010 was called “Respect” and it was dedicated to the men and women of the Metropolitan Police Service – past and present.