Follow TV Tropes


Characters / The Bill

Go To

A 2003 official book on the show, dedicating a large paragraph to each character, still manages to get to 20 pages for its character section. Yep, there's been that many. Oddly enough, most of them haven't died. Emphasis on most.

You may start humming whichever version of "Overkill" you like best and please tell us how many you get through while reading this.

Characters are placed in the location they spent most of their time- some moved between branches. Please note that female characters can only be referred to here as WPC if they were in the show entirely before 1994.


A complete list of character deaths can be found at the bottom of this page (moved from the main page for reasons of space and clarity), but characters that were Killed Off for Real are also marked with (DECEASED).


Chief Superintendent Charles Brownlow
Played by Peter Ellis
  • A Father to His Men:
    • He spoke up for Tony Stamp when he faced being thrown out of the force after he fatally injured a man in a car crash.
    • Averted on other occasions when he seemed happy to throw his subordinates to the wolves for the sake of good PR.
  • Benevolent Boss
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: The police equivalent. After the Don Beech scandal, both Conway and Monroe made him see that it was better to resign than be dismissed.
  • Da Chief
  • Desk Jockey
  • Nepotism: A running gag was that Brownlow only got to Chief Super thanks to his connections to the masons, and that while he's not totally incompetent he's certainly out of touch with modern policing.
  • Advertisement:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In his final scene he gave his Smug Snake Arch-Enemy Guy Mannion one of these warning him not to mess with the Sun Hill coppers as they were the best ones he'd ever worked with
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: It is difficult to describe his relationship with Chief Inspector Derek Conway as anything other than this.

Chief Superintendent Guy Mannion
Played by Nick Miles
  • Arch-Enemy: To Charles Brownlow, due to both competing for the position of Borough Commander. Also instrumental in the reformation of the entire CID department at Sun Hill following the Don Beech scandal that precipitated Charles Brownlow's forceful resignation.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Mannion only appeared in a handful of episodes between 1999-2001. He would typically arrive at the station to make a nuisence for Brownlow, then leave for months on end before being seein again. His total number of episodes is 13.
  • Advertisement:
  • Smug Snake: Could never hide his gloating delight at being appointed Borough Commander.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: After reforming the entire CID department and bullying Charles Brownlow into resigning he was succeeded in his position of Borough Commander and promptly disappeared without trace. It was never exactly explained how and when he was succeeded as Borough Commander but Supt Chandler made an off-hand remark about Mannion collecting his "carriage clock".

Superintendent John Heaton
Played by Daniel Flynn

Superintendent Adam Okaro
Played by Cyril Nri

Superintendent Tom Chandler (DECEASED)
Played by Steven Hartley

Heretics, they used to call them. Outsiders. Whatever it is, this thing... it's inside ME.
Supt Tom Chandler

  • Bad Boss
  • Dirty Cop
  • Fair Cop
  • He-Man Woman Hater: One of his defining traits and what eventually led to his extremely dark backstory reveal and his eventual downfall. Raped at least 3 women, with absolutely no regret. The other women he had relationships with, such as D.C's Debbie Mcallister and Kate Spears, he used as no more than tools to be exploited.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm
  • Villainous Breakdown: His entire final episode, which ends with him shooting himself in the head.

Chief Inspector Derek Conway (DECEASED)
Played by Ben Roberts

Sometimes you just want to lock yourself inside your office, and tell the rest of the world to Foxtrot Oscar.
Chief Insp Derek Conway

  • Beleaguered Bureaucrat: When asked to justify over-time for the troops, usually.
  • Deadpan Snarker (see above quote)
  • Desk Jockey
  • Henpecked Husband: His wife once embarrassed him by taking Brownlow to task for not promoting him.
  • Long Runner: Appeared in 402 episodes over 14 years.
  • Limited Advancement Opportunities:
    • Conway tried for promotion several times, but was resigned to the fact that he was never going to progress beyond Chief Inspector, as he didn't fit the modern image of policing.
    • Somewhat averted twice during his tenure at Sun Hill; he retained the same rank but was the head of his own department when he was CLO Chief Inspector and in 1995-96 he was Acting Superintendent for 12 months when Brownlow was seconded to the Yard with DAC Hicks.
    • When Mannion knew that Brownlow's time at Sun Hill was all but over, he attempted to lure Conway into giving Brownlow a coup de grâce by suggesting that Conway would get Brownlow's job; Conway saw straight through it, knowing that Mannion had no intention of promoting him.
  • Mismatched Eyes
  • Remember the New Guy?: Although he wasn't implied to have been at the station from the very start, in Conway's debut episode in series 4 Brownlow talks to him as though he was already working there. He wasn't introducted to the station or its relief as a new recruit or transfer.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Brownlow.

Inspector Andrew Monroe (DECEASED)
Played by Colin Tarrant
  • A Father to His Men: He steadily evolved into this. Although a tough and strict leader, he was also known to stick up for his relief when they needed it, especially when he was being given orders from above.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Unlike many characters on the show, Monroe didn't get many episodes that really focused on him. However, it was known that his dedication to duty took its toll on his family life, and in one episode he has to deal with his daughter being caught up in a shoplifting and drug dealing situation.
  • By-the-Book Cop: One of the most defining examples in the series. Woe betide anyone under his command who was anything less.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: One of several to die in the 2002 fire. No explanation was given for how he was caught up in the fire, given that he was not anywhere near the explosion at the time.
  • Heroic BSoD: Despite being one of Sun Hill's most disciplined officers, the aforementioned episode involving his daughter sees him having one of these. The awkward and delicate nature of this personal case leads him to snap and get uncharacteristically distressed and visibly upset.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Long Runner: The longest-serving officer of his rank at Sun Hill. He appeared in 584 episodes over the course of 12 years.
  • Smug Snake: He often came across as this in the early part of his tenure as Inspector, earning the ire of Sun Hill's long-term Detective Sgt Ted Roach and eventually being the trigger for Roach's resignation in 1993.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: He was initially portrayed this way, though he ultimately emerged as more of a Bait-and-Switch Tyrant.

Inspector Gina Gold
Played by Roberta Taylor
  • Brutal Honesty
  • Feet-First Introduction: Stubbing out a cigar, no less.
  • Good Is Not Nice
  • Light Feminine Dark Feminine: Exactly how feminine Gina is varies, considering her love for smoking, drinking, boxing and her short hair combined with her general tough attitude, but she introduces herself as the dark to 'goody goody' June Ackland's light in her debut episode, criticising June for being too politically correct and wishy-washy with her approach to policing.
    • On the other hand, she is the light to Irene Radford's dark, with the latter's swan swong episode being all about how they're two sides of the same coin. One is light and the other is dark, with Irene being the obvious dark due to her status as a crime lord.
  • One of the Boys: Inspector Gold loved drinking, smoking and boxing.
  • Parental Substitute: She could be seen as one to Smithy, considering how close their working and personal relationships became, and how she was an older senior officer of the police who he looked up to in his later years as a sergeant.

PC/Sgt/Insp Dale Smith
Played by Alex Walkinshaw
  • Breakout Character: In the 2000s era of the show.
  • Cartwright Curse: Smithy tends to be very unlucky in love.
  • Character Development:
    • And a lot of it too. Its very easy to forget that when he was first introduced in 1999, 'PC' Dale Smith was portrayed as being a bigot and a bully, who was brought into the show mainly to shake up the existing cast dynamic. He eventually left to join (as it was called then) SO19, the Armed Response dudes of the Met, and managed to end Bob Cryer's career by an unfortunate gunshot. When he returned as a regular character in 2003, Sergeant Dale Smith was generally shown to be a very moral and totally sympathetic character, and certainly by the time it was axed in 2010 he had more or less become the defacto "star" of the series.
    • An interesting fact is that he was shown to be very much Bob Cryer's protégé, with the two sharing an almost father/son bond. Cryer was the one who supported Smithy's application to SO19, and over the course of their shared time on the series it was clear that Cryer was smoothing down the rough edges on this younger officer. By the time he became a Sergeant/Inspector, Smithy had mellowed to become more or less a younger version of Sgt Cryer.
  • It's Personal: The whole feud with PC Gabriel Kent.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Almost everyone calls him Smithy. Going back to earlier episodes where he is referred to as Dale can be quite jarring.
  • Worf Had the Flu: He might have performed better in his fight against Sergeant Stone in the riot storyline had he not been all over the place emotionally at the time and basically asking for someone to punish him after beating up Jason Devlin. In the later episode 'Tombstone', he and Callum have another little scuffle again and he actually sort of gets the better of it.

PC/Sgt June Ackland
Played by Trudie Goodwin
  • Alone Among the Couples: Her nickname (self-titled, even) was "Good Old Dependable Sexless June", for her definite lack of luck in the love department.
  • False Soulmate: Jim Carver.
  • Long Runner: Trudie Goodwin was (and remains) the longest serving member of the cast, having been in the original 1983 pilot episode (even the second longest serving character, Reg Hollis, only appeared for the first time a year later, while the third, Tony Stamp, hadn't even become a regular until 1988).
  • Love Hurts: Poor June is unlucky in love. Averted in that she was written out of the series having finally found a stable relationship.
  • Married to the Job
  • Power Trio: Part of the Cryer-Boyden-Ackland team of the late 1990s and early 2000s. There was even an episode titled The Three Sergeants revolving around the trio.
  • Really Gets Around: June had flings with at least five different colleagues at Sun Hill.
  • Will They or Won't They?: There was some degree of this between her and Roy Galloway in the first two seasons.
  • Working with the Ex: Jim Carver, again.
  • Team Mom

Sergeant Bob Cryer
Played by Eric Richard

You'd get all your paperwork done a lot quicker if you used the computer.
Sgt June Ackland

I'm perfectly happy with my quill and parchment, thank you very much.
Sgt Bob Cryer

  • Berserk Button: You couldn't get a more straight-laced copper than Bob Cryer. But if anybody mentioned his troubled son Patrick, with whom Cryer had some Parental Issues (most specifically I Have No Son!), he was liable to get very moody with them.
  • Breakout Character: Bob Cryer became immensely popular and between 1988 and 1998 he was always the last character in the intro titles to be shown.
  • By-the-Book Cop
  • Doesn't Like Guns — Cryer was never particularly comfortable with being one of the station's Authorised Firearms Officers, particularly after an incident where he accidentally shot and killed a (technically) unarmed robber. He often advised younger officers against going on firearms training courses. Ironically, he was written out of the series after getting a leg wound from friendly fire.
  • Old-Fashioned Copper
  • Power Trio: Part of the original core of Cryer-Peters-Penny sergeants. Also part of the Cryer-Boyden-Ackland power trio of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure
  • Team Dad

Sergeant Alec Peters
Played by Larry Dann

I could spend all afternoon trying to figure out which one of them is Tom and which one is Harry, and I'd end up being Dick!
Sgt Alec Peters

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Peters was given the cliche "desk job" after his stabbing but he wasn't given a specific farewell or exit. He began appearing less and less and then just stopped appearing at all.
  • Kicked Upstairs: His departure storyline.
  • Nice Guy: Alec was generally seen as a dependable and genial man but no-one questioned his skills as a Sergeant. But as Frank Burnside summarised to "Tosh" Lines when he heard Alec was supervising the arrival of former Sun Hill typing pool personnel Sassy Black Woman Delia French as a WPC:

    Poor old Alec, he'd be safer with a rabid rottweiler!
    DI Frank Burnside on Alec 'puppy-walking' Delia French

  • Old-Fashioned Copper
  • Pastimes Prove Personality: His love of gardening.
  • Power Trio: Part of the original Cryer-Peters-Penny sergeants trio that lasted from the show's beginning in 1984 until 1990.

Sergeant Tom Penny
Played by Roger Leach
  • Achey Scars: The gunshot wound that he receives at the end of Season Three would continue to occasionally flare up in really tense situations in the years afterwards.
  • The Alcoholic: Began after his gunshot injury and ultimately cost him his job when he was caught drink-driving.
  • Directed By Castmember: Roger Leach wrote a number of scripts after leaving the series.
  • Power Trio: Part of the original Cryer-Peters-Penny sergeants trio that lasted from the show's beginning in 1984 until 1990.
  • Put on a Bus: Had to leave the force after being caught drink driving.
  • Would Hit a Girl: His wife.

Sergeant Matthew Boyden (DECEASED)
Played by Tony O'Callaghan
Some days you're the dog and some days you're the lamppost. Today you're the lamppost.
Sgt Matthew Boyden

  • Asshole Victim: He may have had his heroic moments over the years, but between his homphobia toward Sgt Gilmore, his siding with Eddie Santini when Rosie Fox tried to report him for harassment and the fact that he had twice gotten away with sleeping with underage girls (one of them the daughter of a colleague, something he knew full well even if she had lied about her age), he was pretty hard to like by the time he was killed.
  • The Casanova: It got him into trouble more than once, especially when he unwittingly slept with an underage girl.
  • Cowboy Cop:
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: One episode saw a group of villains dressed in police uniforms shaking down illegal poker games and one of them was masquerading as Boyden.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
  • Hidden Depths: Turned out to be very good at paintball.
  • Oh, Crap!: Boyden's reaction when he realised the girl he had slept with the night before was only 15.
  • Power Trio: Part of the Cryer-Boyden-Ackland team of the late 1990s and early 2000s. There was even an episode titled The Three Sergeants revolving around the trio.

Sergeant Callum Stone
Played by Sam Callis
  • The Big Guy: He was a rather large and tough officer, and usually served as the muscle whenever he and his fellow officers patrolled the streets or took on criminals.
  • Foil: To Smithy when they interacted in the late 2000's. Stone is essentially like how Smithy was in his early career. Aggressive, insensitive, blunt and willing to do dirty things to get a good result. Smithy didn't like some of Stone's approaches to resolving things, as he had mellowed out and become more respectful of the rules by those years. Of course, it was Stone's willingness to do things like lie to the court that helped Smithy escape a prison sentence/firing in the 2009 riot story-line. Naturally, as the show came towards the end of its run, Stone went through the same arc that Smithy did before him, where he would be confronted by colleagues (like Mickey Webb) about his bluntness and dodgy ways of doing things, and he grew more of a conscience.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: He may be blunt and not above using somewhat dirty tactics to get a good result, but his methods prove to be effective more often than not. Inspector Gold often commended him for his work and saw him as a good copper, despite objections from her friend and colleague Smithy. He was also the one who helped Smithy see sense and stop him from grassing himself up over beating up a criminal who attacked Stevie Moss.
  • Significant Double Casting: While a lot of actors played minor roles before becoming well known officers at Sun Hill, it is especially notable for Sam Callis. He had quite the recurring role in 2004 as Karl Radford, the priest of the evil Radford Family a few years before coming back as Callum Stone.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Smithy, at first. They become genuine friends by the end of the show.

PC Reg Hollis
Played by Jeff Stewart

PC Cathy Bradford
Played by Connie Hyde

Cathy Bradford? She's got about as much community spirit as Adolf Hitler!
Jim Carver

PC Polly Page
Played by Lisa Geoghan
  • The Cutie
  • Not as You Know Them — She was written out of the series in 2002, following her role in the 'Dave Quinnan' exit storyline. Then she was brought back a whole year later, having supposedly been "on leave" for all that time, only to immediately be plunged into a storyline where she commited murder and lost her job as a cop. And THEN she was brought back again a few months later as a "civilian" worker at the station, where what little dignity the character still had left was systematically removed, before she was finally dumped for good in early 2004. To anyone who grew up watching the optimistic and loveable WPC Page of 1992-2001, it was like we were watching the same actress playing a completely different person.
  • Destructive Romance: Dave Quinnan again.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist

PC Leela Kapoor
Played by Seema Bowri
  • Aborted Arc: Very near to the start of Johnathan Young's time as executive producer of the series (2005), there is an episode where PC Kapoor and PC Valentine work together to uncover the corruption of a uniformed Sergeant over at Barton Street nick. The episode even ends with a Sequel Hook, with PC Valentine informing her that he'll support her if she chooses to follow-through with her allegation, although it will likely drag both of them through the mud (coppers who grass on other coppers, even ones who are genuinely in the wrong, tend to be looked on very unfavourably by their colleagues). Given the heavily serialised nature of the programme at that stage, you might have expected this storyline to be followed up in further episodes, exploring the fallout of this affair. But it wasn't. It was dropped completely. The (off screen) outcome did get a belated mention in PC Kapoor's final episode two years later, though.
  • By-the-Book Cop: See above example. She came to the series having already grassed on a corrupt colleague at a previous nick, and with all the emotional baggage attached to that.

PC Gabriel Kent (DECEASED)
Played by Todd Carty
  • Being Evil Sucks — Revealed when he takes Andrea Dunbar hostage:
    Andrea: How can you carry the weight of all you've done around with you? How do you sleep at night?
    Gabriel: I Dont.
  • Dirty Cop: His whole character was this. He would resort to literally anything to achieve what he set out to do. Raping fellow officers and making them seem like liars for it? Check. Hiring gangs of thugs to beat up criminals the law couldn't touch? Check. Hiring a sniper to kill people for the same reason, then betraying said sniper when things went wrong? Check.
  • Fan Nickname — PC Gabriel Cunt. Watch any single episode that features this character, and the reasons for this nickname will become immediately obvious.
  • Hidden Depths — As much of a Dirty Cop as he could be, he was surprisingly a very skilled, competent officer when he followed all the rules.
  • Jerkass: He's a very messed up human being who constantly hurt and killed people.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: It was hard not to cheer him on when he beat up a known paedophile who used a loophole in the law to stay free.
  • Never My Fault: He blames everything wrong with him and everything that sucked in his life on June Ackland, who gave up her son for adoption due to being raped as a teenager. However, a comment from the real Gabriel Kent (his brother) suggests that this guy was complete trouble even as a kid, and that may have contributed more to his strained relationship with his deceased parents than his adopted brother supposedly stealing their love from him ever did.
  • The Rival: With Cameron and later Smithy over PC Kerry Young.
  • Vigilante Man: Especially when working on the Cole Lane estate with Laura Bryant.

PC Cass Rickman (DECEASED)
Played by Suzanne Maddock

PC Tony Stamp
Played by Graham Cole

PC Kerry Young (DECEASED)
Played by Beth Cordingly
  • Crying Wolf: Technically, she does everything she can to prevent it from getting out, but after Gabriel Kent manipulates her into thinking Smithy raped her, it was only a matter of time before word spread across the whole station. She ends up dropping the accusation, but it comes back to bite her hard after Kent shortly after rapes her for real and no one believes her, so she can't report him for it. Of course, this was all part of Kent's master plan.
  • False Rape Accusation: She made one against Smithy, out of guilt because she cheated on her boyfriend, but then retracted it.
  • Really Gets Around — Where do we start? PC Luke Ashton, PC Cameron Tait, PC Gabriel Kent, Sgt Dale Smith...
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog

PC Des Taviner (DECEASED)
Played by Paul Usher

PC/DC/DS Jim Carver
Played by Mark Wingett
  • The Alcoholic: Spiralled out of control when he had to return to uniform. It led to a murder charge and almost cost him his job.
  • Berserk Button: Don't threaten June Ackland. Just don't. He had a similar reaction when someone attacked Norika Datta.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Always good for a quip or two.
  • False Soulmate: June Ackland
  • Lead You Can Relate To: PC Jim Carver was on his probation period when the show started, with him learning the ropes at the same speed as the audience.
  • Limited Advancement Opportunities: In ten years in CID, he wasn't recommended for promotion once, and had to return to uniform. He did, finally, get an offscreen promotion to Detective Sergeant with the Greater Manchester Police.
  • Long Runner: He made his debut in the 1983 pilot and finally left Sun Hill in 2005. He returned for a few guest appearances in 2007.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: In the 1999 episode "Lock In", a severely hungover Jim woke up next to a dead prostitute and couldn't remember what happened. He was accused of murdering her but was subsequently cleared.
  • Working with the Ex: June Ackland.

PC Vicky Hagen

Played by Samantha Robson
  • Badass Driver: The first female Area Car driver at Sun Hill, which led to a rivalry with Tony Stamp.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She could be a bitch at times, including to people who had done nothing to deserve it such as Rosie Fox. But she showed quite a bit of integrity as a cop, in particular the fact that she had backed up a suspect's report of police brutality against a colleague at her last station, something that the Sun Hill relief openly disliked her for, especially Mike Jarvis. She was also responsible for turning in Eddie Santini for the murder of Jessica Orton despite their relationship at the time, and she was one of the few officers who consistently supported Jim Carver during his slide into alcoholism.

PC Eddie Santini (DECEASED)

Played by Michael Higgs


Played by Caroline Catz
  • The Chew Toy: She never seemed to get a break. On her first day at Sun Hill, Eddie Santini accidentally ran over her bike. After rejecting his advances, he started harassing and intimidating her, and tried to rape her after a successful undercover opreration, managing to turn most of the relief against her in the process. Her belated accusation of sexual assault (and then dropping the charge due to lack of evidence) again made her appear in the wrong, and turned more of the relief against her. Whilst searching for a violent criminal on a roof, Eddie walked off and Rosie was taken hostage, only for Eddie to blame her for leaving him. Even after Dave Quinnan backed up her story about Eddie abandoning her on the roof, she felt she had to transfer away. When she returned to Sun Hill with AMIP, Eddie carried on where he left off, making her look paranoid and obsessive, though she did finally manage to connect him to Jessica Orton's death and arrested him. However, she was murdered shortly before testifying at Eddie's murder trial to prevent her testifying at another upcoming trial.
  • Informed Attractiveness: While she was quite pretty, all the men at Sun Hill were positively swooning over her when she first arrived.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: She was always "Rosebud" to Eddie Santini.
  • Limited Advancement Opportunities: She left Sun Hill a WPC. She returned a year later as a DS with AMIP, having seemingly passed her sergeant's exams, completed detective training and secured a transfer to AMIP in short order. Although she was said to be in a relationship with a superior.
  • Properly Paranoid: She was convinced that Eddie was involved in Jessica Orton's death, with good reason.
  • Short Runner: Lasted nine episodes in total.
  • Smug Snake: Some of her colleagues at Sun Hill thought so.
  • Suicide, Not Murder: In her case she was murdered and it was made to look like suicide.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Her (truthful) allegations against Eddie were disbelieved by almost everyone.

PC Luke Ashton

Played by Scott Neal

PC Dave Quinnan

Played by Andrew Paul
  • Arch-Enemy: To Eddie Santini.
  • Destructive Romance: His fling with Polly Page, though much more to her than him.
  • Holier Than Thou: Dave's tendency to act like this grated with colleagues like Santini, especially in light of his own chequered history at Sun Hill (see below).
  • Put on a Bus: Left the show after accepting a transfer to SO10.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Stole his pal George's fiancee, then cheated on her with Polly Page. He then walked out on Polly, leaving her suicidal.

PC Honey Harman (DECEASED)
Played by Kim Tiddy
  • Action Girl: She's physically fit and has impressive judo skills, and on her first day tackled a murder suspect and saved Gary Best from being shot.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She may be a really nice, mild-mannered girl normally, but she's not defenceless.

PC Nick Klein
Played by Rene Zagger
  • Drugs Are Bad: A recurring issue the character has to face is his vulnerability towards using drugs as he developed a nasty crack habit.
  • Put on a Bus: More like forced to change his entire life and public identity in order to remain safe, thus resulting in him moving far away from Sun Hill.
  • The Rival: With Phil Hunter shortly before his departure. Their mutual animosity almost resulted in Klein being found and killed by criminal Dennis Weaver because of Phil.

PC Andrea Dunbar (DECEASED)
Played by Natalie Robb
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Andrea, an undercover journalist, begins a secret romance with DI Neil Manson from CID.
  • The Mole: While not a villain per se, she does enter the police as an undercover journalist looking for stories for her boss to use for the press and print in the newspaper. This was revealed in the middle of the Alan Kennedy trial, and when she is questioned on it in court due to her past involvement with one of the victims before she became a police officer, it ends up sinking the prosecution's case.

PC Steve Hunter
Played by James Lloyd
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Zig-zagged between him and his brother. Phil is more intelligent and competent at his job compared to Steve who's dumb moments often land him in trouble, but his bad boy antics and inability to keep it in his trousers clash with his brother, who at least tries to be sensible on the job, even if his naivety often prevents this.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Naive, spiritual, and emotionally driven, Steve contrasts strongly to his tough jack-the-lad brother, Phil.
  • Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: Phil is a relatively smart officer of CID who can be a bit abrasive and malicious at times, while his brother is a complete nice guy who also isn't the brightest cop in the force.

PC/DC Gary Best
Played by Ciaran Griffiths
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Gary is completely unaccepting of his father's attempts at redemption, even when he tries to help with a police case. In fairness, something like witnessing your own mother suffer abuse from a man makes it understandable why you wouldn't want to forgive them so easily.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: Gary makes it his personal mission to make sure he's nothing like his father, who abused his mother when they were together. Gary wants nothing to do with him at all, and when his father insists they're more alike that he cares to admit, Gary gives him a punch to the face for his troubles.


DSU/DCI/Supt Jack Meadows
Played by Simon Rouse

DS/DI/DCI Frank Burnside
Played by Christopher Ellison
  • Anti-Hero
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Bluffing the Murderer — He employs this technique more than once.
  • Cowboy Cop
  • Deadpan Snarker — Probably the most famous example in the series.
  • Dirty Cop: While he had actually gone undercover to expose corrupt officers in the 1970s, he came under suspicion more than once. Bob Cryer never trusted him. But he always just about stayed on the right side of the law.
  • Field Promotion — This is how he gets from DI to DCI after going undercover for five years. His promotion happened off-screen.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop — Go on, try and guess which one he pretends to be.
  • Jerkass — Unlike his predecessor at Sun Hill, DI Roy Galloway (see below), Frank Burnside has no sense of esprit de corps. He'll very happily spit-roast a member of his own team if he thinks it'll get him brownie points with his bosses, and a continuing theme of his time on the series is the distrust that the officers under his command have of him, and of his methods. And that's just the way Frank likes it.
  • Kubrick Stare
  • Lying to the Perp — This is usually what starts to happen when Bluffing the Murderer doesn't get Frank the result that he wants.
  • Put on a Bus — Twice. His first departure (1993) seen him vanish between episodes with only a perfunctory "after the fact" explanation, while his second departure (2000) happened because he was moved over to a Spin-Off series. Which was then cancelled. His ultimate fate was never revealed.
  • Commuting on a Bus — As noted, he came back for a series of semi-regular guest appearances in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
  • Rabid Cop — He occasionally comes across this way.
  • Retcon — Arguably. His character was portrayed as being extremely dodgy in his first few guest appearances in the series. But after they made him a regular character, they gave him the backstory of it all having been part of his undercover duties (his job having been to weed out other corrupt officers). None of which excuses the fact that he continues to do pretty much the same kind of things after his promotion, of course...
  • Spin-Off
  • Torture for Fun and Information — He was doing it years before Gene Hunt came along, though. Most noteably, one of his most well known tactics for getting confessions out of suspects was to flush their heads down the toilet.

DI Roy Galloway
Played by John Salthouse

I don't give a shit about reliefs, over-time budgets, or any of your petty arguments. All I want to do is cut the crime on my manor. That IS the job we're being paid to do, remember?
Roy Galloway

  • Fiery Redhead
  • Anti-Hero
  • Married to the Job — And also a Workaholic. He's in the middle of going through a very messy divorce when the series begins.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold — Roy Galloway exhibits many similar outward personality traits to Frank Burnside. The difference being, underneath it all, he's generally a more amiable person... he just allows the stresses of his job to get to him from time to time. When push comes to shove, he always supports those under his command. He does have conflicts with his fellow officers in the course of his duties, which makes him appear abrasive. But he'll always make it up to them, apologising and buying them a drink after work. And he's always quick to give praise to others, when he thinks its due.
  • The Other Darrin: Played by Robert Pugh in the 1983 pilot episode, played by John Salthouse in the series proper.
  • Put on a Bus — Between seasons three and four. Its interesting that he was never given any kind of departure storyline (or even an explantion as to where he went), given he was such a pivotal character in nearly all of the first 36 episodes.
  • Drives Like Crazy — Galloway pushes his motor to its limits in nearly every episode. This was eventually Lampshaded when, in the middle of one Chase Scene, the thing flat out refused to go any longer, and he had to spend the next fifteen minutes of the episode desperately trying to convince a car dealer to trade it in for something else. When called out on his aggressive driving, he was prone to protest "what are you talking about? I'm Hendon trained".

DI Sally Johnson

Played by Jaye Griffiths

  • Positive Discrimination: She was a competent detective lacking in basic ground experience, whose promotion was fastracked due to her being female and black.
  • Private Investigator: After leaving the Met, she returned to Sun Hill in 2003 working for Jeff Simpson, and helped expose Danny Glaze and Des Taviner.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: After she was subjected to a private prosecution for manslaughter following a botched drugs raid, she was offered a transfer to a desk job monitoring overtime and realised she had little choice but to take it.

DS/DI Chris Deakin

Played by Shaun Scott
  • Rank Up: First introduced as a Detective Sergeant, who had recently been demoted for sleeping with a superior's wife. He regained the rank of Detective Inspector after Johnson left.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: As a result of his failure to supervise Don Beech.

DI Alex Cullen

Played by Ged Simmons
  • Bait-and-Switch Tyrant: He was assigned to CID directly by Chandler in the wake of the Don Beech scandal. As such, he was seen as Chandler's unofficial hatchet man. Nevertheless, he came to earn their respect, and eventually broke free from what hold Chandler had over him to join MIT.

Played by Tony Scannell
Get that scum out of here!
Ted Roach after headbutting a man who spat at him during a police raid
  • Arch-Enemy: Inspector Monroe.
  • Badass Longcoat: Roach owned a light coloured trenchcoat.
  • The Big Guy: Roach was the most physical imposing member of Sun Hill CID in the early years and the most likely to throw a punch or two.
  • Berserk Button: Roach was not someone who liked being kept out of the loop or the bureaucratic nature the police service developed. He also had one in the form of Inspector Andrew Monroe who goaded him frequently.

    So help me I will smack that man in the mouth
    Ted Roach to Alec Peters on Monroe

  • Private Detective: Became one after his departure from Sun Hill and helped old colleague Jim Carver on a murder case in 2000.
  • Bus Crash: Was killed off-screen in a hit-and-run, he got an on-screen funeral which Jack Meadows, Bob Cryer and Alec Peters attended

DS/DI Samantha "Sam" Nixon
Played by Lisa Maxwell
  • By-the-Book Cop: Most of the time, she would be this.
  • Fair Cop: She's considered fairly easy going and approachable most of the time, but could be stern when needed.
  • Fan Nickname — "Spam" Nixon
  • Feminine Mother, Tomboyish Daughter: Inverted with Sam as the tomboyish mother to her more feminine daughter Abigail, who admits "I don't want to be strong and independent like you, I want someone to take care of me".
  • The Profiler: Which helped her track down Pat Kitson and Alan Kennedy
  • The Spock: Downplayed. She was usually calm and collected when policing and was the one to think of logical solutions to cases in CID, but she certainly had an emotional side and her logical, calm ways of thinking were completely dropped when the stakes became personal (like when her daughter was kidnapped and brainwashed).
  • Tomboyish Name: "Sam" is a masculine name, and she isn't particularly feminine, wearing suits most of the time, often cutting her hair short, and being very committed to her profession as a cop and being very logical-minded.

DI Neil Manson
Played by Andrew Lancel
  • Always Someone Better: After spending his first few months at Sun Hill pushing everybody around and getting away with some despicable behaviour, Manson is the victim of being set up and screwed over by Don Beech, who outsmarts him and proceeds to make his escape from imprisonment.
  • Character Development: Manson was one of the more focused on characters of the later years of the programme, getting a lot of screentime and story focus. He went from being a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk to being a genuinely good leader of CID and was shown to have a heart after all. Even right near the end of the series, we still see more of his caring and vulnerable side, with his child in a hospital bed and him having to worry about that while trying to juggle his job commitments with his personal crisis.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Manson was introduced at the start of 2004 as a rather corrupt, overly harsh, manipulative boss in CID who antagonised Sam, openly berated Debbie, drove Eva Sharpe out of the station, and even blackmailed his own superior officer, Jack Meadows. His deal with the devil with Don Beech caused him to realise that his attitude and methods towards being a Detective Inspector were riddled with overly ambitious ends. Afterwards. he slowly became more reasonable, even friendly, towards his colleagues, and by the later years was a well respected DI.

DS Phil Hunter
Played by Scott Maslen
  • The Casanova: He's actualy made a police career out of this.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Zig-zagged between him and his brother. Phil is more intelligent and competent at his job compared to Steve who's dumb moments often land him in trouble, but his bad boy antics and inability to keep it in his trousers clash with his brother, who at least tries to be sensible on the job, even if his naivety often prevents this.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The self-proclaimed man's man who loves bedding women and training compared to his dim-witted and naive, somewhat emotionally sensitive brother Steve.
  • Smart Jerk and Nice Moron: Phil is a relatively smart officer of CID who can be a bit abrasive and malicious at times, while his brother is a complete nice guy who also isn't the brightest cop in the force.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and DI Neil Manson seem to be work friends of sorts, often working together against someone they both find dodgy and having worked together in the past. That doesn't stop them from coming into conflict and shouting at each other from time to time, though.
    • He also becomes this with Sam after they spend an episode trapped together in a tunnel. They become genuine friends even if they still disagree sometimes. Before that, they just disliked each other outright.

DS Don Beech
Played by Billy Murray
  • Affably Evil:
  • Bribe Backfire: One of these led to his fatal fight with Boulton.
  • The Bus Came Back: He returned to The Bill in 2004 for a few more episodes.
  • Cop Killer / Killer Cop: He was both.
  • Death Faked for You: He did this in Australia after Stanton tracked him down.
  • Dirty Cop:
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Maggie. He was also genuinely upset when his pal Tommy died.
  • Gambit Roulette: How he managed to get away scot free after killing Boulton. He played off CIB, Howard Fallon and fellow corrupt cops Tasker and Garrard against one another, then double crossed them all, fled the CIB sting with £500,000 of Fallon's money, and left the rest to take the rap.
  • Hidden Depths: He was actually a good straight copper when he wanted to be.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight / Harsher in Hindsight: In-universe, a few years before he killed John Boulton and his corruption was exposed, he received a medal for long service and good conduct.
  • Karma Houdini: Zigzagged. At first he escaped justice after killing Boulton, but was eventually apprehended and jailed. He then escaped from prison in 2004 and was never seen again.
  • Made of Explodium: His boat in Australia blew up when Stanton fired a shotgun at it. Justified later, as it was part of Beech's plan to fake his own death.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Beech was already well on his way with all of his corruption (evidence tampering, witness intimidation) but when he murdered DS Boulton, he most definitely crossed this line. At times afterwards he did seem genuinely remorseful about what he had done but it was too late, the line had well and truly been crossed and there was no going back.
  • Put on a Bus: His long-time girlfriend Maggie disappeared in the special episodes Beech on the Run and Beech is Back, and he had a Vietnamese girlfriend named Frankie. Maggie then re-appeared when he was in prison, and helped him escape.
  • Spin-Off: Beech on the Run and Beech is Back.
  • Took a Level in Badass: From a shady copper who took a few bribes to murderer and criminal mastermind.
  • We Meet Again: Him and Jack Meadows in 2004.
  • You Owe Me: He'd remember favours he'd done for colleagues, and reminded them of it when he wanted a favour back.

DS Geoff Daly
Played by Ray Ashcroft

DS Claire Stanton
Played by Clara Salaman
  • Blackmail: Claire wasn't beyond using this tactic (especially with police informants) to extract the information she wanted.
  • Determinator: She'd stop at nothing to apprehend Beech and bring him to justice.
  • Dumb Blonde: Very much averted here.
  • It's Personal: Her and Beech.
  • Jerkass
  • The Lost Lenore: John Boulton, to the point of obsession.
  • The Infiltration: She was an undercover CIB officer sent to expose corruption at Sun Hill.
  • Not So Different: Discussed by her and Beech while they were stuck in an underground bunker together.
  • Office Romance: Her and DS John Boulton.

DS John Boulton (DECEASED)
Played by Russell Boulter
  • Adult Fear: One episode had him fearing he had HIV / AIDs after being spiked by a criminal's needle.
  • Asshole Victim: A few of his colleagues hinted at this after his death. Hence Dave's reason for putting £50 in the collection for his family.
    Danny Glaze: That's very generous, fifty quid?
    Dave Quinnan: It's guilt actually. (Beat) I never liked him.
  • Bribe Backfire: Beech tried to bribe Boulton into giving up the location of a key witness. Boulton refused, which led to his demise.
  • Cowboy Cop: There were hints of Dirty Cop, but he ultimately proved more honourable than DS Beech, which led to his demise.
  • Determinator He wasn't nicknamed RoboCop for nothing.

DS Vik Singh

Played by Raji James
  • Cowboy Cop: Throughout his run, which led to serious trouble when he instigated a fight with a known white supremacist, whose group retaliated against other police officers, resulting in the death of Chief Inspector Conway and the subsequent firebomb attack on the station.
  • Dirty Coward: He kept quiet about his altercation with Jeff Simpson until it was too late, and he chose to resign rather than face the consequences, much to Meadows' fury. He did however have the decency to exonerate DC Glaze for also keeping quiet.

DC Alfred "Tosh" Lines
Played by Kevin Lloyd
  • Adult Fear: As a father and husband Tosh was devoted to his family and was terrified when an armed robbery occurred at a bank where Mrs Lines and the kids was visiting, his instant reaction when he got there was to run straight into the bank it was only the intervention of another copper that stopped him doing so.
  • Defective Detective — Quite a few of Sun Hill's finest had noticeable flaws. But Tosh's flaws were often the ones that the average viewer at home might have found the most relatable: he never had enough money (one episode seen his wife making quite a scene at a bank when they refused to give her any more credit), resulting in him having to work oodles of over-time in order to keep his five kids fed, which meant that he was constantly tired at work; and his own love of fast food often ended with him being unable to take part in major chase scenes without serious risk of having a heart attack. But through it all, Tosh had a keen copper's instinct, which made him an indispensable member of the team.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname — His given name is Alfred, but everybody just calls him Tosh.
  • Written-In Absence — RIP Kevin Lloyd.
  • Skewed Priorities: Played for Laughs naturally, this is his first response to a badly beaten Roach, who has just been saved by Sergeant Maitland from a local hardman:
    Does this mean the do's back on for Thursday?
    Alfred "Tosh" Lines to Ted Roach after a beating at the Overton Arms

DC Ken Drummond (DECEASED)
Played by Russell Floyd
  • Big Eater: Even on the job, if he's able to.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Stuck in the back of a van and covered in petrol, Ken knew his time was up, and held Smithy's hand, and bravely told him to go. He then went up with the van when it exploded seconds later, and ended up as probably the biggest loss to the station from the resulting 2005 Sun Hill Fire.
  • Those Two Guys: He was often this with Rob Thatcher in 2004.

DC Rob Thatcher (DECEASED)
Played by Brian Bovell
  • Arch-Enemy: The Radfords, and to a lesser extent, Adam Okaro.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: His obssession and methods to dealing with the Radfords were reckless at best, but the family are constantly getting away with crimes because they know how to play the system, and one of them was responsible for killing his dad.
    • Also in regards to his feud with Superintendent Okaro. His methods of sending racist hate mail and planting drugs in his car were pretty low of him, but his initial argument that officers can't pick and choose who they arrest for the sake of public reputation and positive discrimination wasn't necessarily wrong.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Ultimately the downfall of the character. Rob eventually ditches the job and goes on the run after finding out that it was really Irene who killed his father. He spends an entire episode beating up each member of the Radford Family before finally confronting Irene. He escapes after a stand-off but returns in a later episode after Irene is finally forced to surrender, shooting her dead, before waiting for SO 19 to end his life tragically, as revenge was all he cared about and he achieved it.
  • You Killed My Father: This trope basically summarises the character. Rob Thatcher is the DC who obsessed over bringing the Radford Family to justice, one way or another.

Sergeant/DC Jo Masters (transferred to uniform on promotion)
Played by Sally Rogers

DS/DC Stevie Moss
Played by Lucy Speed
  • Biker Babe: She's often seen riding a bicycle and wearing the gear to go with it.
  • Tomboy: In the sense that she dresses somewhat boyishly and has a Tomboyish Name. In terms of personality, however, she's The Heart of the team more than anything else.
  • The Heart: She often serves as the emotionally driven, understanding and sensitive member of the team in any story where she plays a significant role.

DC Zain Nadir
Played by T.J. Ramini
  • The Atoner: In his last two episodes, long after he'd been imprisoned.
  • Dirty Cop: He was fairly clean for most of his run, until he fell in love with the target of an undercover assignment.
  • Fake Defector: His infiltration of Kristen Shaw's organisation, posing as a corrupt cop. He ended up Becoming the Mask.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: First introduced in the middle of an undercover assignment as a drug dealer named Adi Mateen, which he had to break to save PC Powell from being shot.

DC Danny Glaze
Played by Karl Collins
  • Beware the Nice Ones
  • Genre Savvy: Paticularly when dealing with drug gangs and barons. There is a reason why he was chosen to do a lot of undercover work in his time at Sunhill.
  • Improbable Hairstyle: He spent most of his first three years in the series sporting a Jackson Five-esque afro haircut, which was the subject of much mickey taking. But after a few years...
  • Nice Guy
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: After he was implicated in Des Taviner's frame-up of Jeff Simpson for the 2002 fire, he fled the country to avoid arrest and posted his warrant card to the station.

Other recurrers

Eddie Olosunje

Crime Scene Examiner.

Notable Criminals and Villains

The Radford Family
Irene and David

  • Arch-Enemy: They're all this to Rob Thatcher, particularly Irene after it turned out she was the one who shot his dad.
  • Big Bad: They're the main recurring antagonists for Sun Hill in series 20. The penultimate episode of that season concluded with Rob Thatcher finally taking out Irene for good.
  • Black Sheep: Carl Radford, by his own accord. He couldn't live up to the criminal lifestyle his parents set out for him, and so he distanced himself from the rest of the family and became a priest.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: David and Wayne clearly love and are loyal to their mother and vice versa, but they are all still evil criminals.
  • Friendly Enemy: Irene and Gina Gold seem to have a strange friendship/mutual respect of sorts despite being on opposite sides.

Dennis Weaver

  • Ax-Crazy: He was very much this, especially when angered. The time when he assaulted Phil and Nick Klein had to come to the rescue, or his final episode when he chased Phil and Sam through a tunnel, are particular highlights of his unstable mentality.
  • The Determinator: He was determined to get to PC Klein, even when the aforementioned officer was placed under a 24 hour witness protection scheme.
    • Also in "The Tunnel" where he made it clear he was going to wait and search for as long as it took, he didn't care as he wasn't going to stop until he killed Phil.
  • Revenge Before Reason: He gets shot by DS Hunter once it becomes clear he's not going to give up until one of them is dead. The threat of being arrested doesn't even concern him anymore by the end.
  • Villain Has a Point: In regards to his beef with Phil. Dennis was certainly a crazy, unstable, evil crime boss, but Phil did sleep with his wife, so his anger is somewhat understandable.

Kristen Shaw

  • Big Bad: She's pretty much this for the later part of series 22 and the start of series 23.
  • Evil Is Sexy: She's described as a sexy drug baronness and she serves as a major antagonist to Sun Hill.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Her and Zain Nadir, at least at first. Eventually, the undercover cop she's with ends up Becoming the Mask.

Jason Devlin
Well, one officer did joke that he had a face you wanted to punch.

  • Asshole Victim: He receives quite the brutal beatdown from an emotionally troubled Smithy, but it's not like he didn't deserve it for all his crimes and for beating up DC Moss.
  • Final Boss: He's this for the Heaton era of the show, being the Big Bad (along with his father) of the riot storyline before Superintendent Heaton and several other characters leave and the show goes through a massive production change.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He has no qualms about attacking his arresting officer, Stevie Moss, in the riot storyline.

Deaths In The Bill

Due in large part to its frequent cast turnover, the series has killed off a lot of its characters during its 26+ year run. Here is a list of these fatal casualties.

  • PC Ken Melvin- Blown up by an IRA car bomb.
  • PC Pete Ramsay - Shot down in the middle of a bank raid gone wrong, while saving DC "Tosh" Lines' life.
  • PC Phil Young - Gassed himself in a car.
  • DC Viv Martella - Killed by armed robbers.
  • DS Jo Morgan - Shot by a hitman (who was shooting at Ackland).
  • PC Cathy Marshall - Fell in the river and drowned while chasing a suspect by the docks in the middle of the night. Strongly implied to have been pushed.
  • DC Rosie Fox - Strangled.
  • PC Eddie Santini - After getting off for murder, he was shot by a Dirty Cop.
  • DS John Boulton - Got his head smacked repeatedly against a concrete floor by Dirty Cop Don Beech.
  • SC Terry Knowles - Stabbed to death in his fourth episode.
  • Chief Inspector Conway - Got a petrol bomb thrown in his car.
  • Inspector Monroe - Killed in the fire.
  • DC Kate Spears - Killed as a result of the fire.
  • PC Ben Hayward - ditto.
  • DC Paul Riley - ditto.
  • PC Di Worrell - ditto.
  • PC Sam Harker - ditto, although he survived long enough to be put on life-support, and Taviner seriously considered switching it off since he was a witness to his actions (see his own entry).
  • Superintendent Tom Chandler - Shot himself in the head after it emerged he had covered up a rape. Before that, he'd raped his pregnant (who conceived with him in a disabled toilet at a memorial service) new wife and taken her hostage.
  • PC Cass Rickman - December 2002, strangled by the Sun Hill Serial Killer.
  • Sergeant Matt Boyden - Shot in the street in a drive-by, involving his own daughter.
  • DC Juliet Becker - Stabbed in a van. Guess being bisexual is not a good thing to be in Sun Hill.
  • PC Des Taviner - Actually responsible for the Sun Hill fire (he'd chucked a petrol bomb in to destroy some fake currency and failed to realise there was a gas cylinder in there). Was beaten to death by a mentally-ill cell mate.
  • PC Kerry Young - Shot by Gabriel Kent outside Sun Hill nick. He'd earlier raped her. To top it all, she was pregnant.
  • DC Rob Thatcher - After shooting the woman who had killed his father many years ago, committed Suicide by Cop.
  • DC Ken Drummond - In a van filled with petrol that was driven into the front reception by a racist, sacked officer.
  • PC Andrea Dunbar - Left to die in the petrol-filled van incident by Gabriel Kent. It had just been revealed to the others that she was an undercover journalist.
  • SRO Marilyn Chambers - Killed in the same incident, just as Reg Hollis was going to propose to her.
  • PC Gabriel Kent- Really went to town on the whole Dirty Cop business. Used a false name to join up, seduced June Ackland, then pretended he was her long-lost son (he wasn't, he just lived with him) and was responsible for the deaths of two officers (see above), as well as raping two others. Decided to jump off a high-rise rather than face justice.
  • PC Lance Powell - Strangled by another Serial Killer. Being gay and Christian isn't a good thing in Sun Hill either.
  • PC Honey Harman - Shot dead by Zain Nadir's criminal lover.
  • PC Billy Rowan - July 2007, throat cut. In his first episode, no less.
  • PC Emma Keane - Was the last one out of an exploding building. As well as the final death in the series.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: