IT may well be the next best thing to ­appearing in former ITV police drama The Bill for an aspiring star.

Police Scotland is planning to spend around £75,000 to hire actors to star in role-play training exercises.

It wants an acting company to provide thespians for 29 scenarios that will be used to help equip officers for life in the force.

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The successful applicants will be required to play assault and sexual offence victims who are interviewed by officers and police staff.

Scenarios to be acted out include an employee approaching a senior officer for help with bullying or coming out as gay.

The actors will appear in interactive, online training videos throughout the three-year contract.

A force spokeswoman said: "The actors will work with officers and ­partners such as social work to fulfil a variety of training needs.

"These include training of sexual offences liaison officers and courses in joint interview protocols.

"The actors will play the parts of victims."