The Bill set for TV return — with original cast members PC Tony Stamp, DC Jim Carver and Sgt June Ackland on the beat
CLASSIC cop drama The Bill is set for a return — with three original cast on the beat again.
Two new series are lined up after writers acquired the original rights to the hit police show.
Actors Graham Cole, Trudie Goodwin and Mark Wingett, who starred in the original drama, are in talks with the team behind the comeback.
Writer Simon Sansome, who is heading the project, is in advanced talks with channels interested in broadcasting the series and has written an early script.
Long-serving EastEnders writer and Holby City creator Tony McHale is also in discussions about adapting the new story for TV.
The Sun understands the series will be named Sun Hill, after the police station in the original run.
A source said: “The project started picking up pace last year after the cast got together to mark ten years since the show last aired.
“Simon started investigating the rights and managed to acquire them. Three of the best known stars are in talks and he’s hopeful he can get them on board. Tony has seen the script and they hope they can get him signed up too.
“They’re in constant contact and the project has begun to move on quickly. There’s a couple of channels interested in bringing back what is such a well-loved story.”
Mark, 60, who played DC Jim Carver, Graham, 69, aka PC Tony Stamp, and 69-year-old Trudie’s Sgt June Ackland, would return as consultants to help a new squad of coppers needing their advice.
The source added: “The idea in the early script is that it’s some new cast mixed with some of the legends of the original.
“The new, green, coppers need a helping hand after murder and suicide rates go sky-high in Sun Hill so they bring back the legends as consultants to help with their investigations.
“They think, like the original, it’ll be hard-hitting but also with a nice tone the family could enjoy.”
The Bill, which first aired in 1983, was axed in 2010 by ITV after 2,425 episodes and 26 series.
At the time the show was the longest-running police procedural TV series in Britain.
BILL BREAK FOR TOP STARS
THE show not only made icons of its regular actors — but it gave some of Hollywood’s finest their first leg-up in the industry.
Pirates of the Carribean star Keira Knightley, 36, was just ten when she appeared as an unruly child in a 1995 episode of the show in one of her earliest TV roles.
X Men star James McAvoy, 41, played Gavin Donald in a 1997 episode of the cop drama.
Comedian Russell Brand, 45, acted as a teen accused of assault in 1994.
Game of Thrones star Sean Bean, 61, portrayed armed robber Horace Clark in one of the earliest series of the show in 1984.
Spice Girl Emma Bunton, 45, had a walk-on part as a troubled teenager on the show in 1993 before moving onto greater things in the world of pop music.
Former Doctor Who star David Tennant, 49, made an appearance as kidnapper Stephen Clements in 1995.
And Britain’s Got Talent judge David Walliams, 49, was in a 2002 episode as an animal rights activist who takes part in an anti-vivisection march.
Coronation Street and Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt, 40, made her first TV appearance in the show.
And in one of the most unexpected cameos of all, The Who’s flamboyant lead singer Roger Daltrey, 77, turned up as a reformed drug dealer.
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