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The Creator Of Grange Hill Wants To Bring The Series Back

The Creator Of Grange Hill Wants To Bring The Series Back

It's been more than a decade since we last saw what was going on with the pupils of Grange Hill. But that could all be about to change as the show's creator has said he wants to bring it back.

For people of a certain age, the BBC school drama was a childhood staple, running for more than 30 years and taking on some of the tougher subject matters of the day, such as teenage pregnancy, sexual assault and mental health.

And who could forget the famous Just Say No anti-drugs campaign, which saw Zammo - who struggled with heroin addiction - visit the White House.

It also helped launch the career of some of British television's most famous faces, such as Reggie Yates and EastEnders star Todd Carty.

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But now, 11 years since it last aired, the man behind it all Phil Redmond says he thinks it deserves another go, but this time with former pupils bringing up children of their own.

Speaking to the Radio Times about the kids' series, Phil said: "It could have fallen into Ofsted special measures and be threatened with closure.

The original series tackled some of the toughest subjects of the day, such as Zammo's drug addiction. Credit: BBC
The original series tackled some of the toughest subjects of the day, such as Zammo's drug addiction. Credit: BBC

"But a few of the old characters, who are now parents, or even grandparents, come together to save it as a community school.

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"Zammo could lead the campaign, remembering how his friends at school brought him back from the brink."

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The last episode of the series aired on 2008. However, Phil - who is also known for having created classic Liverpool series Brookside and Hollyoaks - says if it were to make a come back it could take on some of the biggest issues that affect young people today, such as gang violence, knife crime, and even the climate emergency.

He told the publication: "All of them, plus Extinction Rebellion and the cult of Greta Thunberg.

Reggie Yates starred in the hit series. Credit: BBC
Reggie Yates starred in the hit series. Credit: BBC
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"But underscoring them would be the root causes like self-worth, bullying, loneliness and isolation.

"Now, though, they'd be illustrated through the pressures of social media."

The 70-year-old said he believes young people are in need of a show that speaks to them, going on: "I still feel the BBC made a strategic mistake in overlooking those aged nine to 16 when it revamped the schedules a few years ago.

"That age group, the rites-of-passage audience, isn't well served by TV."

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He added: "The impact would be even greater today. The 'fractured audience' is just a distraction. What people mean is that technology has changed, so there's no longer any need to make 'an appointment to view'. But the BBC still has the same reach - it's just spread over a number of platforms.

"And it's the same challenge we faced in 1978. Back then, I was told that kids wouldn't watch a half-hour programme. Well, they did."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: TV and Film, UK Entertainment

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]