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'Bill' heads to Germany for 25th anniversary

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'Bill' heads to Germany for 25th anniversary

Simon Rouse

ITV police drama The Bill is to join forces with its German cop show counterpart SOKO Leipzig to mark the show's 25th anniversary.

The shows' production houses - talkbackTHAMES and UFA Fernsehproduktion - will co-produce the venture, creating footage for their respective programmes, while at the same time utilising characters from both.

The storyline begins when an 18-year-old German girl called Charlotte (Anna-Maria Mühe) is kidnapped on British soil. DCI Jack Meadows (Simon Rouse) heads up the manhunt with his German equivalent - and godfather of the kidnap victim - Detective Chief Superintendent Hajo Trautzschke (Andreas Schmidt-Schaller).

Sun Hill detectives DC Terry Perkins (Bruce Byron), DC Mickey Webb (Chris Simmons) and DC Kezia Walker (Cat Simmons) will also feature in the cross-border filming.

The Bill's executive producer Johnathan Young said of the venture: "This is a fantastic opportunity to combine the skills and talents of the production teams of two highly successful shows. It's been a really positive adventure pulling the project together, but the success of the idea is testament to the strong working relationships we have developed. We've devised two great episodes that neither of us would have been able to do on our own."

He continued: "Both programmes are quite different in style and production, even the formats are different - The Bill is a continuing drama and SOKO Leipzig is a serial - but for the production teams, the experience of working together has exposed us to fresh ideas and new influences and we're confident that both shows will benefit not just in the short term, but in going forward. It has been a useful challenge and one in which we have all enjoyed taking part."

SOKO Leipzig producer Jörg Winger added: "For us, the teamwork we have developed with our English-German colleagues has been extremely inspiring, instructive and fun. We see this project as a real milestone on our way to a broader vision for European programming"

The two-part special, entitled 'Proof Of Life' will transmit in mid November. The episodes will also be the first to air in high definition. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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