Never let it be said ITV1 bosses don’t celebrate milestones in style. It’s the 25th anniversary of The Bill soon, and they’re pulling out all the stops to ensure it’s a memorable birthday.

So much so, they’ve forged a link with German crime drama SOKO Leipzig, to create a co-production between the two shows.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to combine the skills and talents of the production teams of two highly successful shows,” said The Bill’s executive producer Johnathan Young.

“We’ve devised two great episodes that neither of us would have been able to do on our own.”

He went on: “Both programmes are quite different in style and production, even the formats are different. The Bill is a continuing drama and SOKO Leipzig is a serial, but for the production teams the experience of working together has exposed us to fresh ideas and new influences.”

The special two-part storyline – titled Proof of Life – will air in November 2008 on ITV1.

The episode follows a young German girl who is kidnapped in mainland Britain, prompting DCI Jack Meadows, played by Simon Rouse, to team up with his German counterpart.

The Sun Hill and SOKO Leipzig teams work together across London and Leipzig to break the case.