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Kevin Lloyd

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Kevin Lloyd, was born Kevin Reardon Lloyd on 28th March 1949 in Derby, died 2nd May 1998, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

In Coronation Street he played:

Until he was sacked from the show in late April 1998, Kevin Lloyd played Detective Constable Alfred "Tosh" Lines in the popular ITV police series The Bill. Overweight and scruffy, with an undisciplined moustache, Tosh was a policeman content to plod. But he was affable, honest and dependable in a crisis. Lloyd turned him into a stalwart of Sun Hill police station, and made him one of the best-liked characters in the show. In 1996, when The Bill was named "Best TV Drama" at the National Television Awards, it seemed entirely fitting that it was Lloyd who collected the honour on behalf of the rest of the cast.

The son of a police sergeant who was killed in an accident at the age of 46 when responding to an emergency call, Lloyd was to draw on aspects of his father's personality and manner in creating the character of Tosh; his grandfather and an uncle were policemen too.

As a child Lloyd suffered from Perthes' disease, a painful and debilitating condition which left him with a withered right leg but did little to curb an early enthusiasm for sport of all kinds. Educated locally, he trained to be a solicitor after leaving grammar school, but abandoned his legal studies in favour of the stage.

He attended the East 15 drama school in London from 1970 to 1973, making his stage debut on graduation in The Importance of Being Earnest. His West End debut shortly afterwards was in Joe Orton's What the Butler Saw. This was followed by work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic. One of the biggest disappointments of Lloyd's career was the death of Laurence Olivier two weeks before they were due to start rehearsing together for a production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard in Los Angeles.

His initial television appearance was in a children's show, Bob and Ben the Removal Men, but he first achieved celebrity with a regular role as Don Watkins, the flash, loud-mouthed manager of Mike Baldwin's doomed nightclub in Coronation Street. Other television credits included Z Cars, The Sweeney, Minder, Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Misfits (1981), Boon (ITV, 1988 'Charity Begins at Home') as Langford, Dear John (BBC1, 1987) as Rick and The Young Charlie Chaplin (TV movie, 1989) as Fred Karno. Film credits include Lindsay Anderson's Britannia Hospital (1982) and Link (1986) as Bailey.

With its cast of regulars pounding the inner-city beat, and its format of two and later three 30-minute episodes each week, The Bill aimed to combine the investigative excitement of earlier police dramas with the running human interest of a soap opera. It quickly became a hit with viewers. Lloyd joined in 1988 as the lovably chaotic Constable Lines, and stayed long enough to see it attract audiences of up to 14 million.

Even at the height of his success, Lloyd was determined to remain close to his Derbyshire roots. Not only was he a lifelong Derby County supporter, but for years he commuted daily from his home at Duffield, north of Derby, to London's Notting Hill where The Bill was filmed - a round trip of six hours and some 270 miles, accomplished at an annual cost of £17,000.

The gruelling regimen took its toll on his marriage and on his health. He and his wife separated with great acrimony amid much publicity in 1995, and were subsequently divorced. Another relationship was short-lived, and early in 1998 Lloyd sought treatment for drink problems in a private Staffordshire clinic.

The attempted cure was unsuccessful. After several ultimatums, and nine years as Tosh, Lloyd was sacked with immediate effect by the producers of The Bill in late April 1998, having reportedly turned up drunk for his first full day back on the set. He returned to the clinic, but following a drinking binge six days later was admitted to hospital in Burton-on-Trent where he died.

He left four sons and three daughters, one of them an adopted Romanian orphan. Another daughter died in infancy.

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