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
Head-teacher Mrs McCluskey was rarely remembered for her jokes, yet actress Gwyneth Powell has been hugely successful in the world of television comedy with roles in Moving Wallpaper, The Gemma Factor and of course Channel 4’s hit comedy ‘Man Down’. Playing ‘Mum’ to writer Greg Davies’ lead character Dan, Gwyneth has appeared in all four series of the sitcom, in a role that was personally written for her. The latest series begins on
Wednesday 25th October on Channel 4. Earlier series can be found here.
BBC Children In Need runs a range of fundraising events every year, but this year there is a special Grange Hill connection. On Thursday 19th October, Wembley SSE Arena played host to ‘Children In Need Rocks The 80s’; a concert showcasing the chart stars of the 80s, including Bananarama, Jason Donovan, Boy George, Nick Heyward and er…. the cast of Grange Hill!
Of course the Grange Hill cast had a top ten hit in 1986 with ‘Just Say No’; but more importantly Grange Hill was a huge part of 1980s youth culture and something the audience would definitely remember.
Cast members Erkan Mustafa (Roland), Lee Macdonald (Zammo), Gwyneth Powell (Mrs McCluskey), Alison Bettles (Fay Lucas) and original star Todda Carty (Tucker) were invited as special guests to appear on stage in-between some of the musical acts.
” We were there with all these huge 80s acts, and then we get up on stage, and the cheers were so loud, Gwyneth couldn’t even say her words as she got drowned out!” Erkan told us. It was an event that these key cast members were delighted to be invited to, and very surprised by the reaction they received.
Children In Need Rocks The 80s is due to be broadcast on BBC1 in November 2017. You can donate to Children In Need here.
Coming soon is an exclusive interview with Paula-Ann Bland who played Claire Scott from series 4 onwards. Paula talks to us about life at Grange Hill and why she’s looking forward to celebrating the 40th birthday of such a special show.
Keep your eyes open for the interview online soon. Whilst you’re waiting; check out our wide selection of cast interviews by clicking the interview tabs.
As Grange Hill’s Gripper Stebson, Mark Savage was an expert at extorting dinner money from his fellow pupils. However, Mark could not be more different to the nasty bully he played on screen; he’s fund-raising for an amazing cause; Maytree, which provides a sanctuary for the suicidal. We urge you to support this.
Not only is Mark performing a one man play ‘Human Issue’, coinciding with World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th), he is also cycling from London to Brighton to raise funds for Maytree. You can sponsor Mark here
Mark spoke exclusively to us, explaining exactly what he’s doing, and how important this cause is.
“My trade union, Equity, in collaboration with three other industry organisations; British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BPAM), Spotlight(www.spotlight.com) & The Stage(www.thestage.co.uk), set up www.artsminds.co.uk to bring together into one place a raft of resources for performers and creative practitioners facing mental health issues. This created www.artsminds.co.uk
The trigger for the project came with a series of suicides from within the community of the entertainment professions, which resulted in a call for some kind of action.
The four organisations came together to consider how we might support people in our creative industries who are dealing with emotional stress and mental health challenges and the result is this resource hub. We also hope ArtsMinds will encourage more people to talk about their situations and go some way to help raise awareness.
Suicide is the most common cause of death in males in the UK & Republic of Ireland.
I read the script for the one man play I am currently producing & performing at The Etcetera theatre. Camden. London, as an awareness & fundraiser for The Maytree (www.maytree.org.uk), the UK`s only FREE sanctuary for people feeling suicidal, which is funded entirely on donations. I first heard about The Maytree & the amazing work they do on the documentary Professor Green-Suicide & me: www.imdb.com/title/tt5171056/
The script for Human Issue, written by Dean Moynihan, is a genius piece of writing & theatre. Frank is a stand up comedian, he`s intelligent, he`s funny, he`s frustrated, he`s frank & he`s about to kill himself, but first he has one or two important things he`d like to say. The bailiffs have repossessed almost everything he owns, leaving him an eviction notice & existential questions & although told with a dark philosophical wit is a story of hope & a celebration of the tenacious nature of humanity. We had a successful run at The Hope theatre early in 2017. To coincide with World Suicide Prevention Day on Sunday 10th September, in association with the Etcetera theatre, Camden, London, my Theatre Company is performing an awareness & fundraiser for The Maytree. Performances at 12.30pm matinee 9.30pm evening performance. It`s a 60 minute one man play. Tickets available at: http://www.ticketea.co.uk/tickets-theatre-human-issue/ Men remain more than three times more likely to take their own lives than women across the UK and Republic of Ireland, although, unfortunately suicide affects both genders & the recent rise in female suicide could be an indication of the picture of suicide risk changing. It now appears that male rates are decreasing and female rates are increasing. The Samaritans research suggests that the causes are political, socio-economical. deprivation, unemployment, social disconnection and triggering events, such as relationship breakdown or job loss, increase the risk of suicide. Since 2010 the suicide rate has increased, along with those struggling on social security due to low wages & unemployment, along with the class warfare being unleashed, such as economic violence in the form of sanctions of social security payments for the most vulnerable in our society.
I am also cycling from London to Brighton on Sunday 17th September to raise money for The Maytree. I`m an everyday London commuter cyclist who uses a bicycle as transport, it`s the quickest form of transport in London, cheap, healthy for my body & the environment & exercise. Cycling is like life. You need balance, determination, direction & by taking one step at a time can cover miles. As a test of fitness on myself I cycle to Brighton at least once a year as transport, so decided to do it for charity. You can sponsor me here. “
Grange Hill Gold urges you to support this extremely worthwhile cause.
They say you never forget your school-days and the friends you made there. The cast of Grange Hill might have had their own real schools to go to, but that didn’t stop them forging life-long friendships at BBC Elstree!
Last week, some of the cast from 1986’s Series 9 were reunited at a gathering to catch up and reminisce about old times. Hosted by John Holmes (Gonch Gardener), guests included Ruth Carraway (Helen Kelly) who was visiting from New Zealand, and George Wilson (Ziggy Greaves) who came down from Liverpool.
As our photo shows, a good time was had by all. Thanks to George Wilson for sharing this picture with us.