Sun sets on Sunhill

A dark day indeed for fans of police procedurals: The Bill has been shown the door by ITV after 27 years of honest coppery. The show, which gave breaks to many a Brit actor including Keira Knightley, lost its way after being 'revamped' (always a terrible omen) and moved to a 9 pm slot.

According to the Guardian's Mark Sweney (an apposite name for a police based story), viewing figures fell from a high of 7 million in 2002, to 3.5 million in recent years.

Peter Fincham, ITV director of television said: 'The Bill has been a fixture on our screens for more than 25 years and has been the home of some of the UK's best serial drama storylines, and a great showcase for terrific scriptwriting and fine acting talent. But times change, and so do the tastes of our audience.'

Those classic black brogues will be marching off into the distance - accompanied by a jaunty yet insistent tune - for the final time. Sob.

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