A self-made loser, Billy is 41 with naturally curly hair and has lived all his life in South East London. His father, something of a locally known bruiser who in his own defence only battered his own, died ten years ago.
Billy has always lived at home with his Mum, Rose, a Henry Cooper and Dale Winton fan in equal measure. Billy, vehemently anti-drugs and pro-Steely Dan, is the doyen of the evening class, from Thai cookery to handicrafts, and once found himself on a double decker bus full of yardies at the Notting Hill Carnival. He'll tell you all about it if you ask him. And if you don't.
A no-nonsense, say-what-you-see, old-school Sweeney-style copper from Salford, DCI Leonard 'Lennie' Maddox is moving with the times. While others at the Met of his age and experience are stuck in their ways, getting fatter and slower, Maddox has embraced the 21st century, albeit reluctantly at first.
Since being teamed with the more progressive DI Veal, Maddox has come out of his shell, experimenting with the internet, hands-free mobile communication, al dente pasta and even Greco-Roman wrestling. A part of him will always belong to Jack Regan, and he hates not being in control.
Known to Billy as 'Heartbeat' and to his parents as Craig, Harriet is an ambitious, fresh-faced young cog in the vast, well-oiled crime-solving machine that is the Norfolk Constabulary. He dreams of leaving Little Mockwell, 26 miles from Kings Lynn, where his most exciting detail is doing security at the harvest festival, and joining the Met.
There he sees himself as a combination of his two favourite TV detectives, Sherlock Holmes and Quincy. He might even one day get on Police! Stop! Camera! Action! or The World's Clumsiest Serial Killers. He used to wet the bed as a child and now purchases stun guns off the internet.
The South to DCI Maddox's North, the yang to his yin, the Juliet Bravo to his Jack Regan, DI Marco Veal is the very essence of the modern CID policeman. Young, fit, active, pretentious, he's been on a number of courses - many of them in his own time - and appreciates that catching criminals is not all kicking down doors and eating burgers in cars. It's also about "supporting the head" (a concept he read about in Dr Roger Mossiman's Support The Head) and reading the situation.
A devotee of Terra Mai Reiki, a lesser-known martial art based on the Chakra System, Veal sees Maddox as an ongoing project. The fact he's gay isn't exactly hidden either.
Billy's younger brother has trouble written all over his face. Unlike Billy, who seeks to better himself through foreign languages and televised golf, Darren wants nothing more out of life than a smoke-filled room (filled with his smoke, of course) and five minutes with J-Lo.
Like almost everyone else in Little Mockwell, Jemima Cole comes from London. A qualified vet, she participated in a BBC docusoap during her final year at veterinary school but was cut out of the final edit. Billy certainly has a soft spot for Jemima.
The only black watercolourist in Norfolk, Youssou is a skilful chef from Ghana in Africa who - despite Ben's misunderstanding on this matter - was not born a prince. He is just a humble African cook who is, he insists, not the fount of all wisdom in spiritual matters.
Ben came from London to Little Mockwell to forget. It's been so effective he's almost forgotten what he came here to forget. (His wife, who never appreciated him.) He decided to up sticks and move to the country to do what he'd always dreamed of: open a gastro-pub in a tiny village and educate the peasants in the ways of the world.