'The Bill' to air in high definition

By Kris Green

ITV police drama The Bill is to air in high definition from the beginning of July, Digital Spy can confirm.

The show, which last year celebrated its 25th anniversary, will launch its regular HD transmissions with the first instalment of a six-part special.

Beginning with episode 682: 'Conviction: Cover Up', the series of shows follow Sergeants Smithy (Alex Walkinshaw) and Stone (Sam Callis) through their ongoing investigation into violent bar owner Jason Devlin (Guy Flanagan) and his father Matthew (Danny Webb). Their attempts to secure a conviction, however, are thwarted at every turn.

A spokeswoman for The Bill told DS: "From July 1, ITV1's BAFTA-winning crime drama The Bill will broadcast in high definition, starting with the six part storyline 'Conviction'. These episodes herald the start of the lead-up to The Bill's move to the new 9pm timeslot later in the year.

"An increased episodic budget for the 9pm episodes allow for greater use of stunts and locations and the whole show will be darker, grittier and more hard-hitting than ever."

The Bill's two-part 25th anniversary special 'Proof of Life', filmed in conjunction with German cop show counterpart SOKO Leipzig, was also shot and broadcast in HD.