How can the Bill, a television police drama, be related to my life in Mexico, you might ask? Because it is one of those little constants in life, that reminds me of where I came from – a fictional world that is home, that I can drop into once a week for my fix of London. It’s been going for 27 years, in a couple of different formats. It used to be on two or three times a week, with half hour episodes. Then, more recently, one hour long episode. They changed the theme tune, made it a bit more moody. But it’s still the same old Bill that I’ve been watching for 27 years – right from the beginning. If I didn’t watch the first few episodes at the time (which is probable) I know I’ve caught up with them since through the re-runs.
I can imagine that any non Brits are already preparing to close this window, to return only when I present them with something that they have some sort of clue about. But I’ll have you know the Bill has been a source of ‘first breaks’ for many young actors over the years. Keira Knightley starred in an episode when she was ten. And a few famous faces have passed through the series too. Roger Daltrey of the Who, Hugh Laurie of Dr House fame and Martin Kemp, who once strutted his stuff for Spandau Ballet.
But anyway, the point of the post. Some dreadful little men in the upper echelons of ITV have decided that the Bill has run its course and have cancelled the show. The swines! I shall begin my boycott of all ITV programming with immediate effect. Well, after the last episode of the Bill in the autumn anyway. Which is admittedly the only ITV show I watch, but still. I’m very upset I can tell you. One of the biggest joys I’ve had in Mexico came about a year after I landed when I discovered that I could download the Bill on one of those new fangled torrent sites. I’ve been watching it every Saturday on the Mexico City metro, at about 11am to noon, since then.
Recently I’ve been looking online at apartments in the UK, in the rough area where the Bill is set. Something with windows facing out on a nice grey, drizzly ‘Billesque’ London scene complete with the river and traffic clogged roads. That’s as close tto the Bill, it seems, as I will get once I do return the the UK. The orny though, is that whenever I see a repeat of the Bill, I will instantly be reminded of…..life on the Mexico City metro. Yes indeed, of all the things that will remind me of Mexico when I’m back home, first and foremost will be a London police series. If the video below isn’t enough for you, and you want to be reminded of the opening and closing sequences of the Bill, the Guardian has a selection for your viewing pleasure here, and the Bill has its own YouTube page.. I must stop now – my recent poll suggests that four paragraphs is just the right amount for a blog post, so in order to prevent killing a perfectly good bit of rambling by rambling for too long…