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1001 Grange Hill
Added on 11th June 2020

Creator Phil Redmond
First broadcast 1978, BBC

School and friends

A TV-drama set in a comprehensive secondary school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Story

The stories focused on the everyday lives of the pupils and teachers at Grange Hill Comprehensive School. Storylines dealt with day to day school life and issues such as bullying, friendship, relationships. From the start it was gritty and true to life. In later series it was able to tackle more hard hitting subjects like the drug taking Zammo MacGuire storyline

Why we chose it

Grange Hill was one of the longest running children’s television series ever and one of the first to feature school life as most of the children watching would know it.

Where it came from

Writer Phil Redmond had an idea for a school story which he was taking to television companies. Anna Home, executive producer of children’s drama at the BBC happened to be looking for a school story. Redmond had gone to one of the first comprehensives so had his own schooldays to call on for inspiration. He thought that television could do more to appeal to working class comprehensive school children.

Where it went next

Young viewers loved it but particularly in the early days the programme attracted controversy with parents and teachers who were less enthusiastic than the teenagers. Spin offs included a number of annuals 1981-88 and a series of short story books and novels, co-written by Phil Redmond with other authors including Robert Leeson and Jan Needle. A video game followed in 1987.

A second television series, Tuckers Luck, ran from 1983-85, telling the story of poplar character Tucker Jenkins and his mates as they left school without qualifications in Thatcher’s Britain.

Associated stories

Phil Redmond was also the creator of television soap operas Brookside and Hollyoaks.

Added on 11th June 2020

Creator Phil Redmond
First broadcast 1978, BBC

School and friends