I Love ‘The Bill.’ There, I Said It.

Yesterday I had a cup of tea with a friend.  She was talking about her night out on the weekend – they saw a great play her husband’s uncle is in… he’s an actor…. he was in The Bill…..

At this point I tried to be cool.   I really was excellent at not jumping all over the couch.  For while I don’t love many TV shows – I really, really love The Bill.   When I first came to the UK in 1998, I couldn’t hear a police siren without singing the theme song to myself, “da-da da DA….!”   It wasn’t just me.  In those two years I heard many a stranger, always Australian, singing along to a passing siren.

I know it’s been axed, but it’s still great.  Not so great if your name is Jasmine Allen though (a Bill joke! Who’d have thought?).  I love the stories, the acting, the writing and the conversations that start with someone asking, “Why?  Why do we give our all for this job?”   There was something comforting in so many episodes ending with an invitation for a drink being turned down.  It was also good to be reminded that I would never have to wear the hideous neckties the female officers have to wear.

It turns out I was having a cup of tea with DCI Jack Meadow’s nephew’s wife.   It’s worth moving to London just to do that.  So this was huge news and worthy of calling my husband at work.  He understood how exciting this is.  Good man.

The straight-talking Yorkshireman with the heart of gold: DCI Jack Meadows.

It occurred to me I now have links to a few of The Bill’s actors – six degrees of separation and all that.   I am practically a cast member myself.  I might start calling myself “PC Rachel.”

The Cast of The Bill and Me

DCI Jack Meadows (Simon Rouse): having had morning tea with his nephew’s wife, we are officially best mates.  Oh how we laugh!  We bitch about the character Zain Nadir, “He did let Jack down, but remember Simon, he let himself down too.”

Another photo of Jack.   “All units: go go go!”

Inps Dale “Smithy” Smith (Alex Wilkinshaw): my husband is a journalist, and a friend of his interviewed him.  There is nothing tenuous about this link whatsoever.

Smithy looking concerned.   He’s probably saying, “I’m concerned.”

PC Tony Stamp (Graham Cole):  Mum met him at a lunch in Sydney where he made a guest appearance, and she said he was absolutely lovely.   She told him about our move to London and the fact that I didn’t want to go – in part because I’d watched so many episodes of The Bill, I thought I’d be stabbed.   She bought me a copy of his autobiography and in it are the handwritten words:

Your Mum loves you.  Enjoy your time, it’s an experience you will look back on – enjoy England.
Best wishes, 
Graham Cole.”

Relaxing against Sierra One, wishing his coffee was not from a vending machine.

Having had this “six degrees” epiphany, my husband humoured me by watching back-to-back episodes with me last night.  We rock.

Halfway through an episode, he turned to me and said, “You would make the worst police officer ever.”  Luckily, joining the police force has never been a dream of mine, so I let it go. And thinking about it, he is right.  I hate running.  If a criminal ever threatened me I would cry.  Loudly.  Most importantly though – have you ever seen a chocolate vending machine at Sun Hill?  No?  Nor have I.

This is PC Rachel retiring before I begin.


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