Update: Oxford Mail success in television fan's desperate search for The Bill episodes

A DRAMA devotee has appealed for help to fill the hole in one of his favourite television box sets.

Russell Highsmith has spent years trying to squirrel away all 2,400 episodes of discontinued police drama The Bill, of which he claims to be the 'number one fan', and needs just one more DVD to complete his collection.

The 31-year-old has been thwarted by part of series 19, which he cannot find despite countless trawls of shops and websites.

Abingdon resident Mr Highsmith, who has cerebral palsy and learning disabilities, said: "I have been slowly building up a collection of DVDs of my favourite TV series' and have come to an abrupt end with The Bill. I like to watch them in order of the year they came out.

"I like The Bill because it seems to be true to life of what actually happens in the police force. I enjoy watching the ins and outs. It's quite gripping.

"I have tried lot of outlets online but with no luck. Even the companies who have produced them in the past are no longer doing so."

He needs parts one, two and three of the series and hopes to find it by 2024, when The Bill will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The ITV show was broadcast over 26 series between 1984 and 2005, following fictional tales of The Metropolitan police force and introduced iconic characters such as Reg Hollis, Tony Stamp and June Ackland.

Television inspires Mr Highsmith's passion for scriptwriting, which hit a milestone last year when his play The Big Shock was performed at Cornerstone arts centre in Didcot.

He volunteers at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he was born 16 weeks premature, as well as at the Information Centre in Abingdon.

His mum Christine Highsmith, who he lives with in Thesinger Road along with dad John, said his flair for the dramatic had also helped to improve his vocal stutter.

She added: "His confidence has gone through the roof. He's got a wall full of DVDs, from Dad's Army to Shaun the Sheep, and a whole collection on its own of The Bill."

Drayton resident Paul Mayhew-Archer, co-writer of Mr Highsmith's favourite television show The Vicar of Dibley, often sends feedback on his scripts.

Mr Mayhew-Archer said: "Russell is an extraordinary chap. I went to see his play and it was tremendous. Writing and seeing your stuff performed is an amazingly exciting, thrilling thing. He went on stage and took a bow and gave a very touching speech - you could see it meant the world to him."

Mr Highsmith wants to push production companies of The Bill to continue distributing the DVDs, but hopes to source the missing series elsewhere if unsuccessful.

Email sgrubb@nqo.com if you can help complete his collection.