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The Bill's longest-serving bobby Tony Stamp cops it after 22 years on the show

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Actor Graham Cole has revealed his character will be dispatched to a training school. The dad of two will make his exit before producers launch a new grittier and more action-packed version of the show in November 

05 JUNE 2009

Bosses of police drama The Bill are axing the show's longest-serving character PC Tony Stamp, played by Graham Cole.

Graham, who's been with the show for 22 years, broke the news in an e-mail to his official fansite saying he felt "disappointed" and "disregarded".

"Tony has been a wonderful character to play," he wrote. "They say he doesn't fit the new 'dynamic', so I have to be out of the programme before the big relaunch in November."

It's not the end of the road for 'Stampy', however, reveals the 57-year-old dad-of-two. "Poor old Tony will be sent to training school, with the door left open to come back for odd episodes."

In an official statement later released by the programme, Graham was quoted as saying: "I have had a wonderful time patrolling the streets of Sun Hill and of course I'm sad to leave. I'm looking forward to seeking out some new challenges and enjoying life outside the nick."

A spokesman for the show denied Graham was let go because he is too old. "Graham's age is not an issue. Our decisions are based on storyline and dramatic needs." He added that producers had taken the character "as far as possible".

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