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RIP Ben Roberts - actor in The Bill

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  • RIP Ben Roberts - actor in The Bill

    The actor Ben Roberts who was famous for playing Chief Inspector Derek Conway in The Bill, has died aged 70. He appeared in the series from its early days of the mid 1980s and had appeared in 459 episodes (around a quarter of all of them) before his character was killed off when a petrol bomb was thrown into his Panda car - he had been axed from the show in 2001 on the same day as fellow actor Ben Peyton was also axed.

    Conway was such an old-fashioned, put-off character who was always there in prominent storylines and the character not to be confused with the MP namesake who succeeded Edward Heath in Sidcup. Roberts had a huge career in television, theatre and film. Or Bob Cryer for that matter. The Bill worked well with its contemporary "contained in the same episode" storylines especially during the 1990s and Roberts' character worked well in this era of the series.

    Roberts was born in Bangor (the town in Wales, not the one in Northern Ireland - his death is also mentioned on the Wales page of the BBC News website), prior to The Bill, he had mostly "one episode wonder" parts in The Professionals, Angels (the Casualty of the late 1970s and early 1980s), and after leaving Sun Hill, appeared in a production of Jane Eyre - his first TV appearance was back in 1978.

    I know that he appeared in a pre-Christmas episode of Casualty in 2005 entitled "Do They Know It's Christmas?" named after the Band Aid single in which he played a staff member at an electrical store in Holby having to put up with a lot of chaos in store - the Christmas music was playing in the background and the shelves with the stock on them fell onto each other like a set of dominoes, while some people in the shop were hurt and had to go to Holby City Hospital. I would love to see that episode again.

    He was also married to Helen Lloyd who I believe was a continuity announcer for Central and perhaps ATV back in the 1980s.

    I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
    There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
    I'm having so much fun
    My lucky number's one
    Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

  • #2
    Sad news.

    I remember that episode of Casualty with the collapsing shelves.
    The Trickster On The Roof

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    • #3
      He also featured in that 1999 episode of The Bill which was set in a radio station and the DJ was played by Tommy Boyd (his only acing part I can think of). Conway was featuring on a sub-Crimestoppers slot on the DJ's radio show and a caller rang up who seemed to be a suspect admitting to a crime on air - Conway declined he invitation of doing a regular crime feature on the radio show. Boyd was mostly being himself being a DJ more than an actor.

      I've everything I need to keep me satisfied
      There's nothing you can do to make me change my mind
      I'm having so much fun
      My lucky number's one
      Ah! Oh! Ah! Oh!

      Comment

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