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Iconic police drama The Bill to make surprise return?

Iconic police drama The Bill to make surprise return?
Long-running police drama The Bill could reportedly make a comeback more than 10 years after it ended.

Long-running police drama The Bill is reportedly in line to make a comeback more than 10 years after it was axed by ITV.

The show - originally called Woodentop - began in 1983 and was a staple of the ITV schedules for decades, airing three times a week at the height of its popularity in the 1990s.

After years of dwindling ratings, however, ITV canned the show in 2010 - but according to The Sun, writer Simon Sansome has now acquired the rights and is in "advanced talks" with broadcasters about a two-series deal for new episodes.

The newspaper says that the show's reboot may be called Sun Hill instead of The Bill, while provisional agreements are in place for original cast members Graham Cole (PC Tony Stamp), Trudie Goodwin (Sergeant June Ackland) and Mark Wingett (DC Jim Carver) to return.

Tony McHale, creator of Holby City and a veteran writer on EastEnders, is also believed to be involved in the project.

"The project started picking up pace last year after the cast got together to mark ten years since the show last aired," said a source.

"Simon started investigating the rights and managed to acquire them. Three of the best known stars are in talks and he's hopeful he can get them on board. Tony has seen the script and they hope they can get him signed up too.

"They're in constant contact and the project has begun to move on quickly. There's a couple of channels interested in bringing back what is such a well-loved story.

"The idea in the early script is that it's some new cast mixed with some of the legends of the original.

"The new, green, coppers need a helping hand after murder and suicide rates go sky-high in Sun Hill so they bring back the legends as consultants to help with their investigations."

The identities of the potential broadcasters for Sun Hill have not been revealed, although Channel 5 previously expressed interest in taking over The Bill following its ITV axe.

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