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Published On: Thu, Aug 10th, 2017

The Bill: Stars reunite for rerun of all 2,421 episodes of classic cop show


The BillITV

Stars of The Bill reunite to promote a rerun of all 2,421 episodes

“I see no reason why that programme shouldn’t still be on if it had been handled properly,” said Trudie Goodwin, who played June Ackland from 1983 to 2005. “What we lost was something like 90 hours of drama a year, which has never been replaced really.”

However, every series of The Bill, set in and around Sun Hill police station, is to be shown on UKTV’s Drama Channel from next Monday, prompting six of its biggest stars to reunite. So just what have they been getting up to in the intervening years?

SGT BOB CRYER Eric Richard 77 

Richard, who was desk sergeant Bob Cryer from 1984 to 2004, recently appeared in a minor role in this summer’s blockbuster Dunkirk. Meanwhile, his television work has included Casualty and Holby City.

He has been married to Tina for more than 30 years but in 2004 tragedy struck when his two-month-old grandson Charlie Smith became the youngest victim of the Indian Ocean tsunami. He died in his father Richard’s arms.

The BillITV

Eric Richard who was desk sergeant Bob Cryer from 1984 to 2004

The BillTALKBACK THAMES

Chris Simmons, 42, played the cocky and ambitious DC Webb transferred to Sun Hill in 2000

DC MICKEY WEBB Chris Simmons, 42 

The cocky and ambitious DC Webb transferred to Sun Hill in 2000 and stayed on for five years. Simmons mainly appeared on the show between 2000 and 2003 but continued to make return appearances until the series ended. He guest-starred in Casualty and Doctors and from October 2011 had a role in a few episodes of EastEnders as Kat Moon’s love interest Mark Garland. He has also appeared in The Dumping Ground, in pantomimes and has run the London marathon.


I see no reason why that programme shouldn’t still be on

Trudie Goodwin


DI SAM NIXON Lisa Maxwell, 53

In 1993 Lisa auditioned for the role of Daphne Moon in the US comedy hit Frasier starring Kelsey Grammer but lost out to Jane Leeves. Instead she made her name playing DI Samantha Nixon between 2002 and 2009 before leaving for the sake of her health, revealing later that she had suffered two miscarriages in the course of the show.

Since then she has appeared in a number of other long-running series, playing Naomi, David Wicks’ girlfriend, in EastEnders, Tracy Donovan in Hollyoaks and Judy Garland in a touring production of End Of The Rainbow.

Lisa MaxwellTALKBACK THAMES

Lisa Maxwell, 53, played DI Sam Nixon

Between 2009 and 2014 Lisa was also a regular panellist on Loose Women. In 2014 Lisa married her long-term partner Paul Jessup, with whom she has a 17-year-old daughter Beau.

DS JIM CARVER Mark Wingett, 56

Wingett made his film debut in Quadrophenia in 1979 but because the fi lm was rated X he wasn’t legally allowed to watch it. Four years later he appeared in Woodentop, which became the pilot episode for The Bill and went on to play Jim Carver in about 780 episodes before leaving in 2005. His character was central to several of the show’s storylines as he struggled with alcoholism, gambling and domestic violence.

He made a brief return in 2007 when Trudie Goodwin, the show’s only other original cast member, left and since then Wingett has appeared in EastEnders as Mike Swann, in daytime crime drama Missing as Danny Hayworth and he provides the voiceover for the British version of motorbiking reality show American Chopper on the Discovery Channel. He has also directed a number of plays.

The BillTALKBACK THAMES

DS Jim Carver played by Mark Wingett

The BillTALKBACK THAMES

Trudie Goodwin who played Sgt June Ackland

Wingett lives with his long-term partner Sharon Martin, a make-up artist, with whom he has daughter Jamila and stepson Benny. They separated in 2000 after he had an affair with an extra on The Bill but were reunited in 2003. They both worked on the 2012 fi lm Snow White And The Huntsman: Wingett playing the character of Thomas and Martin as head of make-up.

SGT JUNE ACKLAND Trudie Goodwin, 65

Goodwin also first appeared in Woodentop and stayed with The Bill on and off until March 2007, making her the longest-serving cast member and for a while a world record holder as the longest serving actor to play a police character. She took a sabbatical from the show in 2005 to do some charity work in Nigeria. She was vociferous in her condemnation of the show’s cancellation, saying she thought ITV had “messed about” with it.

Four years after leaving the show she secured another long-term role playing Georgia Sharma in Emmerdale between 2011 and 2015.

PC Tony StampTALKBACK THAMES

PC Tony Stamp played by Graham Cole

She has also appeared on The Weakest Link, Countdown, Loose Women and All Star Mr And Mrs. In 1979 Goodwin married Kit Jackson and they have two daughters, Jessica and Elly. The latter is the lead singer in electropop band La Roux.

PC TONY STAMP Graham Cole, 65

In 2009 Cole beat Trudie Goodwin’s record as the longest serving actor to play a police character, appearing in more than 1,100 episodes between 1984 and 2009.

Before The Bill, Cole appeared in numerous episodes of Doctor Who as various monsters and since leaving he has taken part in many pantomimes.

He is a member of showbusiness charity the Grand Order Of Water Rats – he was King Rat in 2009 – and has done a great deal of charity work elsewhere, including as President of the National Holiday Fund, which takes sick children to Disney World, in Florida.

Cole, who was awarded an OBE in 2010, has been married to Cherry Coleman-Smith since 1989 and the couple have two children Matthew and Laura.



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