The Bill

Series 3 - Episode 2 The Bill

Mon 29 Oct 11:40pm - 12:20am GOLD


Tuesday nights get a little chillier with the return of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s unsettling anthology. “Comedy drama” undersells what’s always been a genre-busting format; each episode offers a different setting and tone, and the fact that it resists categorisation may be why it’s largely overlooked in awards season. (A traumatic 2015 edition with Sheridan Smith is a modern classic.) It was starting to feel like BBC2 didn’t know where to place it, either. This third series has been lying on the shelf for the best part of a year, but happily a fourth is just going into production.

The Bill takes place entirely within a northern restaurant at closing time as four blokes bicker over who’s going to pick up the tab. Old rivals Malcolm (Pemberton) and Archie (Shearsmith) both insist it’s their turn, while wealthy southerner Craig (Philip Glenister) is keen to flash his cash, and parsimonious Kevin (Jason Watkins) has counted out the exact change to pay for what he’s consumed. The wrangling escalates artfully – and dangerously – with a flurry of feints and twists, with only the very last punch failing to connect.


In the wake of festive special The Devil of Christmas, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith's anthology of darkly comic tales returns for five more episodes. In this instalment, friends go for a night out at a local restaurant after a tiresome game of badminton, indulging in tapas and a few drinks. But what started out as a pleasant evening ends with a shocking twist as an argument about who is going to pick up the bill erupts - and then spirals out of control. Starring Jason Watkins and Philip Glenister.

Cast & Crew

Archie Reece Shearsmith
Malcolm Steve Pemberton
Anya Ellie White
Kevin Jason Watkins
Craig Philip Glenister
Tim Callum Coates
Director Guillem Morales
Producer Adam Tandy
Writer Steve Pemberton
Writer Reece Shearsmith
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