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1001 Press Gang
Added on 08th August 2020

Creator Steven Moffat
First shown 1989, ITV

Meet the young reporters of the Junior Gazette in this classic television series which successfully mixes sharp comedy and witty dialogue with the sensitive handling of serious issues facing teenagers.

Story

A group of secondary school students produce The Junior Gazette, a junior offshoot funded by their local newspaper. The plot follows the lives of the students who work on the Gazette, both while working on the paper and in their personal lives. Each episode revolves around a new story for the Junior Gazette and, although it is written to be funny, the show covered some series issues from the time including solvent abuse, child abuse, teen suicide and gun crime.

Why we chose it

A classic comedy drama which also sensitively tackled serious issues facing teenagers. Intelligently written and brilliantly acted, with sharp dialogue and a great will-they, won’t-they relationship at its centre, Press Gang is one of the best examples of television storytelling.

Where it came from

Headmaster, Bill Moffat pitched his idea to a producer who was doing some filming at his school. She loved the idea and Bill Moffat’s son Steven wrote the script for Central Independent Television.

Where it went next

Although the series finished in 1993 there have been several novels, a fanzine, two charity conventions for the NSPCC and for a while there was talk of a television movie called Deadline. Fans often ask what happened to the characters in the future and although Steven Moffat has said he would like to revisit Press Gang, his hugely successful career since then has meant he hasn’t found time so far.

Associated stories

Moffat was head writer and executive producer on Dr Who from 2010-2017. Before that he had written a number of stories for Dr Who including The Empty Child, The Girl in the Fireplace and Blink. With Mark Gattiss he created and wrote Sherlock for the BBC, a successful contemporary version of the Sherlock Holmes stories. He was one of the writers on the first Tintin film The Adventure of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (2011).

Added on 08th August 2020

Creator Steven Moffat
First shown 1989, ITV