The Personal Touch
Episode No.   Series
1385 1998x117
Original Airdate
18 December 1998 FlagIcon UK small
Written By
Patrick Melanaphy
Directed By
Ian White
Episode Chronology:
The Personal Touch is the 1385th episode of The Bill.


When Jimmy Smith's house is ransacked by burglars, he contacts his old friend D.S. Beech promising him a familiar backhander if he helps trace the burglars. Beech is reluctant to get involved but has little choice after taking a £20,000 bung from Smith earlier in the year, after Beech managed to get him off a charge on a technicality. Beech's 'investigation' becomes complicated when D.C.I. Burnside arrives in Sun Hill on the trail of the same gang.

Burnside informs D.C.I. Meadows about a Newcastle gang currently on Sun Hill's patch: they target expensive houses and are known to be violent. Just as Burnside briefs the rest of the team, W.D.C. Holmes tells him that a burglary has just been reported that appears to have been carried out by the same gang. Burnside and Holmes visit the scene of the latest burglary, the home of Melanie Lehmann. While they investigate, Jimmy Smith arrives and it soon transpires that Melanie is his girlfriend. Burnside warns Smith about taking matters into his own hands but he is not easily intimidated. It soon emerges that Melanie has a much more intimate knowledge of the gang than she has so far admitted.

  • Chris Ellison as D.C.I. Burnside
  • Billy Murray as D.S. Beech
  • Joy Brook as W.D.C. Holmes
  • Simon Rouse as D.C.I. Meadows
  • Ray Ashcroft as D.S. Daly
  • Mark Wingett as D.C. Carver
  • George Rossi as D.C. Lennox


Beech escapes from Truman's flat by jumping Burnside from behind, sending him head first towards the kitchen sink counter, then jumps W.D.C. Holmes in the flat's hallway then runs out the front door, smashing the hall light bulb on his way out. Holmes runs out the door but does not see or catch him. Burnside thinks it was Truman who jumped them.

A uniformed P.C. happily taps away at a computer keyboard despite the fact the monitor is switched off.

When Kerry makes reference to how much Sun Hill must have changed since Burnside was the D.I. there (in 1993), he makes a reference to P.C. Dixon of Dock Green, the long-running (1955 - 1976) police drama series.

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