It’s very rare that we mention a programme other than Grange Hill on GHG, but as it’s Christmas, and this has some GH links, we’ll make an exception…….. AND we have a special festive gift for our readers!
As part of our work to persuade DVD companies to release Grange Hill on DVD, we were delighted to discover that another contemporary children’s drama was being released; Jossy’s Giants!
Broadcast in 1986/7, the show is fondly remembered by a generation of football mad kids that grew up in the ’80s. Directed by Edward Pugh (Grange Hill / Byker Grove) and written by much-loved TV personality and darts commentator Sid Waddell.
As a special offer for GHG Readers you can receive a 10% discount when you order Jossy’s Giants on DVD from Simply Home Entertainment. Following the link will automatically take 10% off your order when you visit, or alternatively enter the code GRANGE10 at the checkout.
PROMOTION PROVIDED BY SIMPLY HOME ENTERTAINMENT
As if our interview with Paula Ann Bland wasn’t enough for you, you can hear more from Paula in her recent interview with Mad Wasp Radio’s ‘My 80s Show’. Originally broadcast on 30th November 2017, the show can be listened to on Mixcloud.
As well as picking her Favourite Five 80s Tracks, Paula talks about playing Claire, her love for Duran Duran and her own singing career! The interview starts around 17 minutes in.
Next year, Grange Hill celebrates its 40th anniversary and as part of those celebrations the BBC has gathered together some of the former cast for a special edition of Celebrity Pointless.
Michelle Gayle (Fiona Wilson), Gwyneth Powell (Mrs McClusky), Paula Ann Bland (Claire Scott), Lee Macdonald (Zammo Maguire), Erkan Mustafa (Roland Browning), Francessa Martinez (Rachel Burns), Stuart Organ (Mr Robson), Alison Bettles (Fay Lucas) and Todd Carty (Tucker Jenkins) gathered back at Television Centre in late November to film the special episode. Whilst Erkan, Lee, Gwyneth and Michelle have all appeared before, this was a new experience for the rest.
As well as celebrating Grange Hill’s anniversary, each cast member was aiming to win money for a cause close to their heart. Paula Ann Bland was representing her former co-star Linda Slater’s (Susi McMahon) charity The Good Grief Trust (Keep visiting GHG for a feature on this charity soon). As a result Linda Slater joined her co stars backstage!
A great time was had by all, and whilst we can’t reveal the result, we can reveal that one cast member gave another a pointless answer, whilst another was accused of cheating!
Celebrity Pointless – Grange Hill is set to be broadcast on BBC 1 in 2018.
John Alford (who played Robbie Wright) has always been one of Grange Hill’s most popular cast members. GH fans were delighted when last year’s ‘Fake Sheikh’ investigation saw allegations that had sent John to jail, thrown into doubt. John had always proclaimed his innocence and that his conviction was part of a newspaper sting, and last year’s trial involving Tulisa Contostavlos proved this to be the case.
Since then, John has been supporting the Hacked Off organisation which campaigns for a free and accountable press. Hacked Off is supported by a range of well known people including phone hacking victim, actor, Hugh Grant.
In October 2017, John took part in the filming of a promotional video for the campaign, alongside some screen legends. The short film itself is based on ‘ The Class Sketch’ a satirical sketch from the 1960s, that originally starred John Cleese, Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker and looked at class divisions.
This new version stars John Alford alongside John Cleese and uses the ‘Class Sketch’ concept to explain the proposed ‘Section 40’ and why it is essential for victims of the press.
It’s great to see John Alford back on screen, particularly with the legendary John Cleese. Lets hope this is just the beginning of plenty more screen time for John.
You can find out more about Hacked Off here.
It’s been a long time coming, but it really is worth the wait!
Click this link to read our brand new exclusive interview with the truly lovely Paula Ann Bland. Paula played Claire Scott between 1981 and 1985 and tells us all about life at Grange Hill and what happens when you leave school behind!
The previously mentioned Children In Need Rock The 80s concert, which features some of the Grange Hill cast as special guests, is set to be broadcast on BBC1 on Monday 13th November. For more details, click here.
Our correspondent Simon Streek gives us an exclusive report about last week’s reunion in Wellingborough; reuniting one of Grange Hill’s best remembered duos!
Saturday 4th November saw the second Reunion in a year to the day of two of Grange Hill’s most notable characters, George Wilson and John Alford, or Ziggy Greaves and Robbie Wright as some may know them better. The Reunion was the mastermind of Fan, Gemma Patrick, and brought fellow fans to Wellingborough just outside London, for an evening with George and John coupled with an 80s disco.
After introductions, a question and answer session began, revealing some interesting insights. George (Ziggy) explained about how on his first day he met John (Robbie) on the coach, he thought he was cocky and disliked him straight away (this brought about fits of laughter from John), but by the end of the week they became pals and never fell out. John was asked about his singing career, but he declined a request to sing his hit “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”! In response to a fan question as to whom they would have liked to have had a storyline with on Grange Hill, both said that they would have loved to have had a big storyline with Mr Bronson, played by Michael Sheard. George in particular admired Michael’s acting talent. John added that for him Danny Kendall and Terence Ratcliffe were two of Grange Hill’s best characters.
After questions had finished, there was an opportunity for fans to have their photos taken professionally with George and John. 80s music played throughout the evening and the dance floor boasted a number of Madonna and 80s clad ladies and gents strutting their stuff. The evening was a thorough success and left the Fans eager for more Grange Hill Reunions!
Thanks to Simon Streek for report and photos