The Bill cast REUNITE in uniform from lockdown a DECADE after iconic cop show wrapped


The Bill cast REUNITE in uniform from lockdown a DECADE after iconic cop show wrapped (and share a backstage story about when Keira Knightley appeared on the series)

The cast of The Bill have reunited in uniform at the fictional Sun Hill Police Station, 10 years after the long running ITV drama wrapped.

Trudie Goodwin, Eric Richard and Chris Ellison joined Mark Wingett and Graham Cole on a virtual reunion from COVID-19 lockdown to celebrate the UKTV launch of the crime-fighting series that ran for 26 years from 1984 to 2010.

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.

Literal lockdown! The cast started the call ‘in the slammer’ with prison bars as their backgrounds [Trudie Goodwin (WPC June Ackland) is pictured]

Reunion: The cast of The Bill have reunited in uniform at the fictional Sun Hill Police Station, 10 years after the long running ITV drama wrapped

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

Graham, who played PC Tony Stamp, 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.

Other famous faces who enjoyed roles on the long running drama included James McAvoy, Sean Bean, Russell Brand, Ray Winstone, Hugh Laurie, David Walliams, Catherine Tate and Emma Bunton. 

Throwback: Keira Knightley appeared on the show in 1995 when she was just 10 years old

Back in the day: Graham Cole, who played PC Tony Stamp, joked that Keira ‘never phoned’ after he worked with her on one of her first ever TV episodes

Back in the day: Graham Cole, who played PC Tony Stamp, 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

Backstory: 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) reunited

Backstory: 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) reunited

Youngsters: After first appearing 'behind bars' the backdrop changed to pictures of Sun Hill and images of themselves from back in the day as they reminisced

Youngsters: After first appearing ‘behind bars’ the backdrop changed to pictures of Sun Hill and images of themselves from back in the day as they reminisced

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

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’.

In the slammer: The cast joined a video call to reminisce on their time at Sun Hill Police Station in the early 80’s and 90’s and answer fans questions

In the slammer: The cast joined a video call to reminisce on their time at Sun Hill Police Station in the early 80’s and 90’s and answer fans questions

10 years on: The Bill came to an eventual close in 2010, having spent 26 years on the air

Looking back: Trudie added that the most noticeable difference would be the ‘lack of police on the streets’ nowadays, but she thought otherwise it wouldn’t be markedly different

Looking back: Trudie added that the most noticeable difference would be the ‘lack of police on the streets’ nowadays, but she thought otherwise it wouldn’t be markedly different

Where are they now? When Chris imagined how their characters would fair in 2020, Chris jokingly confessed that ‘Burnside would be in prison!’

Where are they now? When Chris imagined how their characters would fair in 2020, Chris jokingly confessed that ‘Burnside would be in prison!’

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.’

Trudie added that the most noticeable difference would be the ‘lack of police on the streets’ nowadays, but she thought otherwise it wouldn’t be markedly different.

When Chris and Mark imagined how their characters would fair in 2020, Mark revealed that he thought Carver would ‘be alright’ but Chris jokingly confessed that ‘Burnside would be in prison!’

Doing good: Mark revealed that he thought Carver would ‘be alright’ in 2020

Doing good: Mark revealed that he thought Carver would ‘be alright’ in 2020

Memory lane: Eric Richard played Sgt Bob Cryer on the ITV cop drama

Memory lane: Eric Richard played Sgt Bob Cryer on the ITV cop drama

The Bill is the latest in a string on lockdown web reunions for erstwhile shows and their casts.

The likes of Frasier, 90210, The Nanny and The Office have taken place online in recent weeks. 

The Bill: The Early Years – Series 1-5 will be available to stream from 1st May at 10AM on UKTV Play, with a further four series to be made available, one a month from June.

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