Bill Ward, best known for playing Coronation Street villain Charlie Stubbs, has been signed up to play a loveable rogue in The Bill.

Bill will appear in four episodes of the ITV1 police drama as Rob Towler – a criminal who once dated DC Stevie Moss, played by Lucy Speed.

Bill said: “One of my first parts in television was on The Bill and it’s good to be back playing a completely different character this time around.

“At first you may think that Rob is just a straight-forward bad guy but there is more to him than that and his relationship with Stevie shows his vulnerable side.

“His history with Stevie goes back a long way and as the relationship is revisited it is a question of whether their conflicting priorities will drive them apart or not – it is a choice between duty or love!”

It is revealed that Stevie formerly worked undercover for the Manchester police force posing as girlfriend to notorious drug dealer Rob.

He never realised that Stevie was a policewoman and they developed a strong relationship, perhaps more so than Stevie realised.

Rob was eventually sentenced for assaulting a girl who gave evidence against him, but turns up after an early release.

Stevie finds herself in a difficult situation as she is torn between her loyalty to the job and her feelings for Rob.