Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

In quotes: The end of The Bill

After 27 years, ITV has announced the long-running police drama The Bill will end in the autumn.

Throughout its run, the show has produced many loveable characters that are still remembered by fans.

Here is how some former cast members reacted to the news.

Jeff Stewart as PC Reg Hollis
When I left in January 2008, I was the last remaining actor from the original cast, which started in March 1984.

The fun that was had everyday on set - and when I say laughter I mean uncontrollable laughter - because of people being funny. You all get to know one another's sense of humour and sensitivities.

People were very kind to each other and that went from the cleaners to the guys who drove the trucks. The making of The Bill ran so smoothly it was like a Swiss watch.

When I first heard the news, I almost became emotional but I held back. I know myself and I know at some point today I'm going to hear a piece of music, or have a thought and it's going to set me off. It's upsetting because it's a beautiful, well-run show. It's done brilliantly to have survived up until today quite honestly, because there is competition out there.

Mark Wingett as PC Jim Carver
It's dreadful - I was the leading character in the pilot episode called Woodentop. I was in the show for 21 years.

I think moving the slot was an unwise decision. It kind of got lost. Also it wasn't promoted in a very good way - the big soaps get loads and loads of promotion. And I think the audience has changed.

The beauty of The Bill is that it has always changed with the times. In my time it changed half a dozen times, it changed format, it changed focus - it went into the personal lives and became a soap opera, now it's stepped outside that.

I don't think there was enough sex and violence in it. Times have changed so much now... I think their hands were cuffed behind their back to what content they were allowed to show.

When we did The Bill back in the '80s we had no meddling by ITV, it was completely isolated making a programme with 12 actors in a small studio - an ex-tobacco warehouse in the East End of London. Certainly when I left five years ago it had a huge hangar-sized warehouse down in Merton, employed about 500 people and 32 main cast in it plus a dozen guest actors in each episode. It was an extraordinary operation, the largest set I've ever been on. I can see that its expensive to run. Maybe that's the problem - that it became a factory drama.

I'd love to go back in again to see it off. I hope they go out with a bang.

Trudie Goodwin as WPC June Ackland
I've been in a state of shock all day because I honestly thought The Bill would go on for forever, and I'm very very sad that it isn't going to. It's been a massive part of my life and my family's life for over 20 years. But I've been left with nothing but very, very happy and fond memories.

I was in the original pilot in 1983 and then I stayed in it until three years ago when I left.

To be honest all TV is now under threat to a certain extent, so you're always aware that programmes can be pulled because of money. But for some reason you just didn't think it was going to happen to The Bill. I think it's a great shame because I've actually thought The Bill was pretty unlimited really.

I just hope they do replace it with more drama because this is bad news for hundreds of actors and technicians who worked on the show. It was a great employer. If they asked me to go back I would never say never. I really don't know, it would depend on the circumstances at the time.

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