Stamp axed from The Bill

The producers of ITV police series The Bill have decided to axe the show’s longest serving character, PC Tony Stamp [Graham Cole] as part of the drama’s revamp ahead of its move to a 9pm slot.

The producers of The Bill, the long running ITV police drama series, have decided to axe the longest serving character on the series. Producers have decided to drop the character of PC Tony Stamp [Graham Cole] from the series ahead of its revamp and move to a 9pm slot. The producers felt that the character would not fit into the revamped series once it moves back an hour in the schedules. The character of PC Stamp is the drama’s longest serving character after the exits of fellow actors Jeff Stewart, Mark Wingett and Trudie Goodwin over the previous few years. Actor Graham Cole first appeared as Tony Stamp in 1987, his first episode being; Some You Win, Some You Lose.

It is interesting to note that it wasn’t until 1988 that The Bill transferred to the format it is more or less in today. When The Bill originally launched as a series, following its pilot in 1983, the drama was not on all year round and it was transmitted at 9pm. In 1988 the decision was made to change the format of the show into a weekly, all year round, series and The Bill moved to its current slot, 8pm. Now 21 years later the show is to move back into its original broadcast time, but with a new feel. The programme has also changed from hour to 30-minute and back again. The news that Cole is departing The Bill was made on fan-site Stampers as the actor confirmed in an email he was being written out. The news has also been confirmed by producers of The Bill, Thames. It’s most likely several other characters will also leave the series ahead of its’ move to 9pm as the cast is culled down to a smaller size to accommodate the fact the series will only air once a week from the summer.