Obituary: Kevin Lloyd

FOR 10 years, the down-at-heel detective "Tosh" Lines was a mainstay of The Bill, the television series acclaimed for its true-to-life portrayal of the police. Through more than 400 episodes of one of the small screen's most popular series, DC Lines's trademarks were his moustache, raincoat and expanding waistline as he chased drug dealers, sex offenders and other baddies. But, in later years, the actor's personal problems overshadowed his screen image and led to his dismissal from the programme, less than a week before his death at the age of 49.

Born in Derby, he was the son of a policeman, Ellis ("Taft") Lloyd, who was killed when his car skidded off the road during an emergency call, leaving Kevin's mother a widow with young children to bring up. As a child, he enjoyed playing football and cricket after battling successfully against the bone condition Perthes disease, which left him with a limp and severe pain.

On leaving school, Kevin Lloyd trained to be a solicitor but, after finding his vocation in amateur dramatics, switched career and trained at the East 15 Acting School, between 1970 and 1973. He did repertory seasons in Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton, Crewe, Birmingham and Sheffield, and made his London stage debut in What the Butler Saw at the Royal Court Theatre, before transferring to the Whitehall Theatre. His other West End stage roles including Ducking Out (Duke of York's Theatre), The Foreigner (Albery and Whitehall Theatres), The Love Girl and the Innocent (Aldwych Theatre) and Fat Harold (Shaw Theatre).

Lloyd also appeared in half a dozen films, including the director Lindsay Anderson's acclaimed Britannia Hospital (1982), and on television in Z Cars, The Sweeney, Minder, Hazell, The Borgias, the screen version of Victoria Wood's stage play Talent, By the Sword Divided, Shine on Harvey Moon, Bergerac and Dear John before enjoying a short run in Coronation Street (1983-84) as Don Watkins, who managed the Graffiti Club for Mike Baldwin but disappeared after helping himself to the takings. More television roles followed in Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Up the Elephant and Round the Castle, Dempsey and Makepeace, All in Good Faith, Andy Capp and Boon.

Then, in 1988, Lloyd was cast as Detective Constable Constable Alfred "Tosh" Lines in The Bill, shortly after it had been transformed into a highly successful, all-year-round, twice-weekly drama following its previous run, since 1984, as a series of hour-long programmes. In 1993, an extra weekly episode was added and, three years later, Lloyd accepted the Best TV Drama award on behalf of the whole cast at the National Televeison Awards ceremony.

"When I first read the script breakdown of the Detective Constable Lines character, I felt they were describing me - 5ft 8in, overweight, scruffy and married with three sons and two daughters," recalled Lloyd, who became one of The Bill's longest-running and most popular stars, seen on screen keeping his hunger at bay by eating crisps, sandwiches and cola.

Off screen, Lloyd often talked of his happy family life with his wife, Lesley, and a houseful of children, although the couple suffered the loss of one of their daughters, Chloe, from meningitis at 17 months. In 1991, despite already having six children aged from two to 19, they adopted a Romanian girl. Pictures of the happy family became commonplace in newspapers and magazines; so it was a surprise when the couple split up in 1995, after 22 years of marriage, amid newspaper headlines about the star's heavy drinking and his wife's claims of violence. Lloyd blamed his difficulties on commuting home to his family in Duffield, Derbyshire, every day after long hours of filming in London.

As he battled with his problems, the actor found some stability in continuing in his television role and, earlier this year, The Bill's producers paid for him to receive treatment for his drinking at a Birmingham clinic. Last Tuesday, a day after being sacked from the programme for arriving on set drunk, he booked into a clinic in Rolleston, Staffordshire, in a final, unsuccessful effort to beat his alcoholism.

Lloyd's autobiography, The Man Who Loved Too Much, was published in 1997.

Kevin Reardon Lloyd, actor: brn Derby 28 March 1949; married (four sons, two daughters, one adopted daughter, and one daughter deceased); died Burton, Staffordshire 2 May 1998.

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
filmEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
booksRiddling trilogy could net you $3m
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Systems Administrator (SharePoint) - Central London - £36,500

£35000 - £36500 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator (SharePoint) -...

Biology Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are currently recruiting...

.NET Developer / Web Developer / Software Developer - £37,000

£30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

Biology Teacher

Main Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Biology Teacher to A Level - Female...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering