Where The Bill cast are now as Derek Conway actor Ben Roberts dies at 70

Where The Bill cast are now – tragic death, popstar daughter and unrecognisable appearance (Image: ITV)

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The Bill ended in 2010 after a whopping 2,425 episodes, with fans so devastated they even created a petition to try to force ITV to bring it back.

During 27 years on our screens, The Bill became a staple on the TV schedule, moving to post-watershed when storylines became even darker and more violent.

And a plethora of famous faces began their careers on the show, with cameos from Keira Knightley, Russell Brand, Sean Bean, Hugh Laurie, Emma Bunton and Martin Freeman to name a few.

ITV announced they were cancelling the series in 2010 to reflect "changing tastes" of viewers, and the final episode, which featured the entire cast in the end scene, was watched by 4.4 million viewers in August 2010.

Ben's agents broke the news on Twitter
(Image: Thames Television)

Despite being axed a decade ago, The Bill made a much-welcomed comeback to UKTV Play last year, with the channel airing classic episodes from the early years.

During lockdown last year, the cast reunited for a special video chat to discuss their time on the iconic show.

But tragically, it was announced on Wednesday that Ben Roberts, who played Derek Conway, had died aged 70.

The actor, who starred in the hit ITV police drama from 1987 to 2000, passed away on Monday, his agent confirmed.

Ben Roberts has died at the age of 70
(Image: Fremantle)

Ben, who was originally from Bangor, in Wales, also appeared in other well-known TV dramas including Doctors and Casualty.

In a statement released by his agents LCM Limited, posted on Twitter, they said: "Remembering the wonderful Ben Roberts who sadly passed away on Monday.

"Best known as Chief Inspector Derek Conway in The Bill & he had an extensive career in theatre, TV & film.

"Our thoughts are with his wife Helen and family at this time."

Ben's last major television role came in 2016, when he played Isaac Sandison in Casualty, and his film roles included starring in 2011 romantic-drama Jane Eyre as Briggs, alongside Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska.

But what are his fellow ex cast members up to now?

Trudie Goodwin – WPC June Ackland

Sergeant June Ackland (Trudie Goodwin) from The Bill
(Image: ITV)

Trudie Goodwin joined the show in 1983 and played WPC Ackland until 2007.

One of the most familiar faces on the show, the character retired when her relationship with DC Jim Carver came to a very abrupt end.

At the time when she left The Bill, Trudie was the longest serving cast member in the show's history and held the world record for the longest time an actor has portrayed a police character.

Afterwards she went on to land the role of Georgia Sharma in Emmerdale, appearing in the soap for four years from 2011 until 2015.

The actress is married to Kit Jackson and they have two daughters together.

Their youngest, Elly, grew up to become an international pop star as part of electro duo La Roux, producing massive hits such as In for the Kill, and Bulletproof.

Chris Ellison – DCI Frank Burnside

Christopher Ellison as Detective Chief Inspector Frank Burnside in The Bill
(Image: ITV)

Chris played tough guy Frank on an off for years after making his first appearance in the show in 1984, and he became a regular cast member from 1988 to 1993 before returning again from 1998 to 2000.

His character landed a spin-off show, Burnside, which ran for one series of six episodes in 2000 – focusing on Frank's work with the National Crime Squad.

Chris has since made appearances in shows such as EastEnders, Judge John Deed, New Tricks and Come Dine With Me.

He entered CelebrityBig Brother in 2015, and lasted just under two weeks before being evicted.

Jeff Stewart – PC Reg Hollis

Jeff Stewart played PC Reg Hollis for 24 years on The Bill
(Image: Talkback Thames)

Jeff's character Reg was one of the show's most popular characters and was a regular fixture at Sun Hill.

The actor appeared in the show from 1984 until 2008, and went on a downward spiral after learning his contract for The Bill would not be renewed.

His character was written out after resigning under the grounds of being traumatised by the death of colleagues in a bomb blast.

He told The Scotsman in 2010: "I started in March 1984 and left in January 2008 and, of the original cast, was in the show the longest.

"I thought I was going to be the last to leave, and funnily enough that's how it worked out. When they told me that they weren't going to take up my contract any more, the shock was enormous and I just thought my whole life is going to fall away here…

The Bill was on TV screens until 2010
(Image: PA)

"I thought, 'What will I do? How will I pick myself up?'. So it had an enormous effect on me, of which I think most of the public are fairly well aware."

He attempted suicide, but survived and went on to make a recovery, declaring he had been left distraught at the thought his acting career was coming to an end.

Jeff went on to return to acting and went on to win international acclaim for his role in 2011 movie Under Jakob's Ladder.

Nowadays, Jeff looks completely different to his iconic character in The Bill.

This week, he was spotted with long hair and a beard as he grabbed lunch during a low-key outing.

*If you're struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operate a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or visit their site to find your local branch

Kevin Lloyd – DC Alfred 'Tosh' Lines

The Bill starred Kevin Lloyd who played DC Tosh Lines

Kevin became well-known for playing Detective Constable Tosh Lines in the show, but his life was marred by tragedy as he battle alcholism for many years.

His boozing led to him being sacked from The Bill in 1998 after turning for work drunk and failing to learn his lines.

The actor admitted himself to a residential rehab clinic in a bit to get sober, but left the facility to go on a deadly drinking binge.

He choked to death on his own vomit after returning to his room at the facility, and died aged 49 just a week after filming his final scenes for The Bill, and Tosh continued to appear on screen for a month after his death.

Scott Maslen – Sgt Phil Hunter

Scott Maslen starred on The Bill before he moved to EastEnders

Scott Maslen played ladies man Phil for five years, clocking up 240 episodes of The Bill from 2002 until 2007.

Then he announced he was transferring to EastEnders as Jack Branning, which became his most iconic role.

He took part in Strictly Come Dancing in 2010 and left EastEnders in 2013, going on to reach the final of Celebrity MasterChef.

Scott returned to EastEnders in 2015 where he remains to this day.

Bill Murray – DS Don Beech

Billy Murray starred on The Bill as two different characters
(Image: BBC)

Billy Murray played cold and calculated DS Don Beech from 1995 to 2004, but had previously played a different character in 1989.

Beech had to go on the run after murdering DS John Boulton, sparking a major scandal and leaving the show in 2000.

However, Bill returned as the iconic character in six-part mini series Beech is Back in 2001 and made his final appearance in 2004 when he went on the run from prison.

After The Bill, the actor joined the cast of EastEnders as gangster Johnny Allen, who went to war with the Mitchells and the Moons.

Since then, Bill has appeared in British gangster films Rise of the Footsoldier and Rollin' With The Nines.

Graham Cole – PC Tony Stamp

Graham Cole played loveable PC Tony Stamp
(Image: UKTV Play)

Graham joined the cast as recurring character Tony in 1984, before becoming a regular from 1988 until 2009.

The character was written out of the series as producers felt he didn't fit the style of the show when it was revamped.

Since leaving The Bill, he continued acting, with roles in shows such as Law & Order: UK and indulged his long love of singing with annual panto appearances.

He has also been lauded for his extensive charity work over the years, receiving an OBE in 2010 for his work with good causes.

Graham has also appeared in gangster horror film Evil Never Dies, Doctors and Holby City.

Mark Wingett – DC Jim Carver

Mark Wingett started playing PC Jim Carver in 1983
(Image: Tony Russell)

One of the longest-standing characters, Mark Wingett started playing PC Jim Carver in 1983.

His character was promoted to DC but he left Sun Hill after his marriage to June Auckland broke down and he built up gambling debts.

After The Bill, Mark appeared in EastEnders as Mike Swann in 2005, the dad of Mickey and Dawn, and in the same year he played the role of gangster Terry Molloy in Heartbeat.

As well as acting, Wingett has directed several stage productions such as Good to Firm and Lone Star.

Eric Richard – DS Bob Cryer

Bob Cryber, played by Eric Richard
(Image: Unknown)

One of the original cast members when the show started in 1984, Eric Richard appeared in almost 800 episodes before stepping down in 2001.

His character DS Bob Cryer left after being accidentally shot by PC Dale Smith, but made the occasional appearance after.

Eric suffered a family tragedy as his two-month-old grandson Charlie Smith was killed in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Sri Lanka.

At just 59 days old, Charlie was the youngest known British victim of the disaster.

Eric has continued acting with a role in Oscar-winning short film Stutterer in 2016 and in 2017 war drama Dunkirk as well as appearances in EastEnders and Casualty.

Tony O'Callaghan – Sgt Matt Boyden

Sergeant Matthew Boyden (Tony O'Callaghan)
(Image: ITV Network)

Sergeant Matt Boydon met a grisly demise after 12 years in the show when he was shot dead by his daughter's boyfriend so she could profit from insurance money to fund her drug habit.

Actor Tony O'Callaghan, who appeared in the show from 1991 to 2003, had previously appeared as a villain in 1989.

He's been in shows including Shameless, Holby City, Doctors and Family Affairs.

EastEnders fans will recognise him as Jean's ex-husband Ollie Walters, who had recurring appearances from 2013 until 2016 and a brief return in 2018.

Chris Simmons – DC Mickey Webb

Mickey Webb was played by Chris Simmons

DC Mickey Webb, who appeared from 2000 until 2010, was the cocky youngster who often rubbed his colleagues up the wrong way.

Actor Chris Simmons had actually been in the show twice before playing criminals, but became a regular cast member on the side of the good guys.

He temporarily left in 2003 after the culmination of a hard-hitting storyline where his character was raped.

Chris made guest appearances, including the live episode in 2003, before returning as a series regular in 2005.

Once The Bill ended, the actor played Kat Moon's love interest Mark Garland in EastEnders in 2011 and was in Tracy Beaker spin-off The Dumping Ground.

As well as starring in panto, Chris played the role of Stuart Sumner in Hollyoaks in 2019.

Simon Rouse – Superintendent Jack Meadows

Jack Meadows was played by Simon Rouse
(Image: Talkback Thames)

After a few appearances, Simon Rouse became a regular member of the cast in 1992.

Starting as DCI Jack Meadows, the bad-tempered character worked his way up to Superintendent byt the time the show finished in 2010.

The actor has appeared in Robin of Sherwood, Casualty, Minder, Broadchurch and as another member of the force, Superintendent Alan Millward in EastEnders.

He has played two different character in Coronation Street, a business associate of Mike Baldwin in 1988 and Lewis Archer's old friend Patrick Woodson in 2013.

Simon toured the UK in the stage production of The Full Monty in 1997, then reprised his role of Gerald in the West End in 2014.

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