The Bill gets knicked by terrestrial tv


The Bill’s loyal fans were devestated after ITV’s rivals chose not to pick-up the axed show despite a well supported campaign.


By Walaa Khubieh

Rival TV networks dealt ‘Save The Bill’ campaigners a blow this week after confirming they will not pick up the axed show.

The BBC, Channel 4 and Five do not have any plans to broadcast The Bill, which is filmed in Merton, following ITV’s decision to cancel it on 25 March.

Campaigners have been rallying hard to rescue the police drama.

They have collected more than 5,000 petition signatures and 26,000 Facebook followers in the hope that another channel takes up the show but their efforts appear to have been in vain.

Campaigner Deborah Show said: “It’s a saddening blow and fans of the show are truly gutted.

“Many of us were hoping that not only would we be able to see the show continue on, but also find a new home where it would have been treated better than it has been so far by ITV.”

BBC spokesman Sam Hodges said: “There is a wide variety of successful drama on BBC ONE and we will not be taking The Bill.”

Jenny Cummins, Channel 4 Press Officer, explained: “Channel 4’s remit is all about creative innovation and breaking new ground, so we will not be picking up the show.”

A Five spokesman also said that taking up the series is not something the network is planning on doing.

Campaigners were aware this was a possible outcome due to the economic and social climates that led to The Bill’s axing in the first place.

The news will not stop them collecting messages of protest in an act of support for the show’s cast and crew.

“This news does not mean that it cannot be revived in the future, or that anyone has given up hope on this happening,” Ms Shaw said.

“Doctor Who is but one example of a cult show revived many years later by the continuing presence of its fanbase, and there’s nothing to stop the show from returning a few years down the line.”

Greg McQueen, son of The Bill creator Geoff McQueen, is a supporter of the ‘Save The Bill’ campaign and is disappointed with ITV and the reluctance of other television networks to broadcast the drama.

“There’s no other show like it. Once it is gone from our screens we’ll never see a series like it ever again,” he said.

“When you consider that The Bill has helped to train and nurture a lot of talent within the British TV industry – from writers and directors to behind-the-scenes technicians – you would think that ITV would do more to support it.”

ITV is killing off The Bill after a revamp and a new 9pm slot failed to draw in viewers. The cancellation will free resources for other drama programmes.

The drama is produced by Talkback Thames and has run for over 25 years. It has been broadcast in over 55 different countries and is particularly popular in Australia.

Filming is scheduled to stop on 14 June and the last episode will be aired on ITV in August or September.

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