Fan of '˜The Bill' needs one DVD to complete collection of more than 2,400 episodes

A telly addict who has more than 2,400 episodes of The Bill has appealed for help to find one DVD to complete his collection.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 20th February 2017, 4:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 9:35 am
Russell Highsmith has 2,399 episodes of The Bill and needs just one more
Russell Highsmith has 2,399 episodes of The Bill and needs just one more

Russell Highsmith, 31, claims to be the world's biggest fan of the ITV police drama, which was broadcast from 1984 until 2010.

He has thousands of episodes of the discontinued show - but has struggled to find part of series 19.

Russell, from Abingdon, Oxon, who has cerebral palsy and learning disabilities, yesterday (Mon) appealed for help from the public.

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Jeff Stewart as Reg Hollis from The Bill

He said: "I have been slowly building up a collection of DVDs of my favourite TV series and have come to an abrupt end with The Bill. I like to watch them in order of the year they came out.

"I like The Bill because it seems to be true to life of what actually happens in the police force. I enjoy watching the ins and outs. It's quite gripping.

"I have tried lot of outlets online but with no luck. Even the companies who have produced them in the past are no longer doing so."

Russell needs parts one, two and three of the series and hopes to find it by 2024, when The Bill will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Jeff Stewart as Reg Hollis from The Bill

The ITV show was broadcast over 26 series between 1984 and 2010, following fictional tales of The Metropolitan police force and introduced iconic characters such as Reg Hollis, Tony Stamp and June Ackland.

Television inspires Russell's passion for scriptwriting, which hit a milestone last year, when his play The Big Shock was performed at Cornerstone arts centre in Didcot.

He also volunteers at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he was born 16 weeks premature, as well as at the Information Centre in Abingdon.

His mum Christine Highsmith said his flair for the dramatic had also helped to improve his vocal stutter.

She added: "His confidence has gone through the roof. He's got a wall full of DVDs, from Dad's Army to Shaun the Sheep, and a whole collection on its own of The Bill."

Paul Mayhew-Archer, co-writer of The Bill and The Vicar of Dibley, often sends feedback on his scripts.

Mr Mayhew-Archer said: "Russell is an extraordinary chap. I went to see his play and it was tremendous.

"Writing and seeing your stuff performed is an amazingly exciting, thrilling thing. He went on stage and took a bow and gave a very touching speech - you could see it meant the world to him."

Russell wants to push production companies of The Bill to continue distributing the DVDs, but hopes to source the missing series elsewhere if unsuccessful.

Email [email protected] if you can help complete his collection.