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1001 Byker Grove
Added on 06th August 2020

Creators Andrea Wonfor and Adele Rose
Director Matthew Robinson
First shown 1989, BBC

A popular teenage TV drama set in Newcastle that was not afraid to cover controversial topics.

Story

The series follows the lives of the teenagers who attend Byker Grove youth club. Over years storylines were gritty and not afraid to tackle difficult and sometimes controversial subjects - growing up in foster care, teenage pregnancy, homelessness, child abuse, drug addiction - as viewers were introduced to a regularly changing cast of Newcastle teenagers.

Why we chose it

Byker Grove was a ground breaking television series. With its Newcastle setting and storylines that reflected contemporary teenage life it quickly became a hit and ran for eighteen series.

Where it came from

The BBC Children’s Department had been looking for a drama specifically for teenagers. To create the pilot BBC producer Andrea Wonfer worked with Adele Rose, a successful soap opera writer who wrote for Coronation Street for over 30 years. The first episode saw Julie, who had moved with her family from London, joining the club and meeting the regulars.

Where it went next

Byker Grove ran until 2006 when the BBC changed its focus to making more programmes for younger viewers. A number of well known actors started their careers at Byker Grove, including Jill Halfpenny, and Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (Ant and Dec).

Associated stories

Byker Grove was one of a number of highly acclaimed British television series aimed at teenagers and taking place in a real world setting. Others include Press Gang about a group of teenagers running a newspaper, Grange Hill, set in a comprehensive school and Children’s Ward which told the stories of the staff and children of Ward B1, South Park Hospital.

Added on 06th August 2020

Creators Andrea Wonfor and Adele Rose
Director Matthew Robinson
First shown 1989, BBC