The Bill

The Bill

The Bill Theme ( 1992 )

The Bill is a British police procedural television series that was broadcast on the ITV network from 16 October 1984 until 31 August 2010. The programme originated from a one-off drama, entitled Woodentop, which was broadcast in August 1983.

In its final year on air, The Bill was broadcast once a week, usually on Tuesdays or Thursdays, in a one-hour format. The programme focused on the lives and work of one shift of police officers, rather than on any particular aspect of police work. The Bill is the longest-running police procedural television series in the United Kingdom, and was among the longest-running of any British television series. The series was produced by Thames Television. The series name originated from ‘Old Bill’, a slang term for the police. This was also Geoff McQueen’s original title idea for the series, before he eventually decided on ‘The Bill’.

Although highly acclaimed amongst fans and critics alike, the series attracted controversy on several occasions.The series has also faced more general criticism, concerning the levels of violence it portrays, particularly prior to 2009, when it occupied a pre-watershed slot. During its time on air, The Bill won several awards, including BAFTAs, a Writers’ Guild of Great Britain award and the title of ‘best drama’ at the Inside Soap Awards in 2009