Philip Cato
Chief Inspector Philip Cato

Chief Inspector Philip Cato

Birth Name: Philip
Full Name: Philip Graeme Cato
Nickname(s): The Bald Headed Bastard from Barton Street
IC: Gender
1Male   Male
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Police Officer
Affiliation: Metropolitan Police
Curr. Posting: Sun Hill
Curr. Rank: Chief Inspector
Curr. Title: Chief Inspector Philip Cato
Curr. Call Sign: Sierra Oscar 54
Occ. Status
●  Service Record  ●
Portrayed by:Philip Whitchurch
 ● First Appearance: New Tune, Old Fiddle
 ● Last Appearance: Is That The Time?
List of Appearances

Philip Cato was a character in The Bill from 1993 to 1995. He was played by Philip Whitchurch.

Character biography[edit | edit source]

Few forget Chief Inspector Philip Cato, the man they called 'the bald-headed bastard from Barton Street'. He didn't suffer fools, especially those who he perceived as being unsympathetic to his methods. His strokes were legendary - as were the grudges against police officers he thought had worked against him. When Cato transferred to Sun Hill from Barton Street, he thought he'd have some allies there. But Sergeant Ray Steele distanced himself - he angered Cato by posting on the notice-boards a meeting-report including an off-the-record remark. Similarly PC Jarvis, who was also at Barton Street, showed he was no Cato poodle.

Initially Brownlow welcomed Cato as someone even less popular than himself with the troops, but soon he realised that the new man's radical approach was having an adverse effect on station morale. Cato didn't think he was abrasive. He described himself as a no-nonsense person who had little patience with bureaucracy or sociological theorising. But he was clever enough to disguise it in the company of his superiors sometimes. With others he didn't put on an act. He was confrontational both on the street with suspects and in the station with Sun Hill officers. And what's wrong with that?

Cato applied for the post of Acting Superintendent in 1994, but lost out to Chief Inspector Conway. He later applied for the post of Area Welfare Chief Inspector, but was again unsuccessful. Frustrated with lack of appreciation and being continually passed over for promotion, he decided to leave the job.

Service Record[edit | edit source]

  • 1993: Transferred to Sun Hill as Chief Inspector (Operations)
  • 1995: Resigned from the Metropolitan Police

Notes[edit | edit source]

In the 1990 episodes Close Co-operation and One for the Road, Philip Whitchurch appeared as a similar character named Twist, an Inspector at Barton Street, who was implicated in Tom Penny's abrupt departure from Sun Hill. It is implied from dialogue that Twist and Cato are in fact the same character: this was confirmed by Whitchurch in a 2020 interview with The Bill Podcast.

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