The Bill moves to its new weekly 9pm time slot on Thursday July 23, it has been confirmed.

The move comes as ITV1 seeks to re-brand the police show as a post-watershed drama for the first time in its 25-year history.

Live By The Sword will be the first of a two-part story to kick off the new-look show, which will be filmed in high-definition and includes incidental music plus new titles and theme tune.

And in a one-off move to herald the new format, the second part, Die By The Sword, will be shown at 9pm on Friday July 24.

“We haven’t sought to totally reinvent The Bill,” said executive producer Johnathan Young, “but we have wanted to create a more immersive experience for our viewers.

“We’re digging deeper into characters to tell stronger and more challenging stories which really examine the true causes and effects of crime.

“The later timeslot allows us to produce darker, grittier and more hard-hitting drama, through the eyes of our existing characters. The heart of the show will remain the same, but it will look very fresh.”

Sergeant Callum Stone (Sam Callis) and Pc Ben Gayle (Micah Balfour) are the central characters of the first big storyline, when a boy is stabbed on an estate, and Sun Hill’s finest must track down his killer.

Viewers will be given a taster of the new-look show through a national marketing campaign for ITV in the coming weeks.

CLICK below to watch Sam Callis (Sgt Stone) talk about The Bill’s new look