When Sergeant Callum Stone and PC Kirsty Knight investigate a burglary at the home of elderly widow, Jill Peters (played by stage and screen actress Claire Bloom) in this week’s episode of The Bill (Tuesday, July 20, 9pm, ITV1) they quickly realise there’s more to the crime than meets the eye. Sarah Manners, who plays Kirsty, tells us more…

So what happens when Kirsty questions Mrs Peters about the break-in?

“Kirsty discovers that Jill was also raped by the intruder. Jill is devastated by what’s happened to her. She doesn’t want to admit it or want anyone to know, not even her own son, Alex. She feels she hasn’t got long left with Alex, and doesn’t want to ruin their time together with this.”

But the Sun Hill team’s hunt for Jill’s rapist suffers a setback, when the victim refuses to let the police take a DNA sample?

“CID aren’t getting very far, so Kirsty is asked to go back and talk to Jill, and try and change her mind. But Kirsty has big issues about dealing with a rape victim. She doesn’t feel she has the training to handle the situation, and is extremely uncomfortable. But she’s given an order by Stone, and has to follow it, even if it is her worst nightmare.”

What was it like working with screen legend, Claire Bloom, in this episode?

“I loved working with Claire! She’s got the best sense of humour. She’s wonderful, very down to earth and knows exactly what she’s doing. We managed to have a giggle in between scenes. So, considering the intensity of the storyline, our relationship made filming much easier than it could been.”