Keep visiting Grange Hill Gold for even more exclusive features. Coming soon are two brand new interviews with some of Grange Hill’s best known pupils.
We spoke exclusively to Fiona Lee Fraser who played Laura Reagan (s9-11) who tells us all about playing a teacher’s daughter and her favourite Grange Hill memories.
Our second interviewee Abigail Brown played Judy Preston, a key member of the original cast of Grange Hill. Abigail talks about her time on Grange Hill and reveals exactly what happened to the school hamster when filming stopped!
These brand new interviews are exclusive to Grange Hill Gold and will be online soon as part of our Spring season. Keep visiting!
Exciting news for Lee Macdonald, who played one of Grange Hill’s most iconic characters, Zammo Maguire; he’s joining the cast of Eastenders!
Playing the part of a bus driver who takes on Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) in a radio competition, Lee will initially appear in two episodes in the Spring. As well as a return to TV screens, it also marks a return to Elstree; the Eastenders set is just round the corner from the former Grange Hill studios!
Lee said “I am absolutely chuffed to bits and excited to be joining the cast of Eastenders.”
Lee’s role as Zammo saw Grange Hill tackle its most controversial storyline; that of teenage heroin addiction and the ‘Just Say No’ campaign.
The full story can be read on the BBC News website here.
You can read our exclusive interview with Lee here.
Original GH cast member, Donald Waugh, who played ‘Hughesy’, has been hard at work using his theatrical skills for another good cause. His new production SOZO opens on Tuesday for four nights.
Donald told us ; “I have created a production called SOZO and the production highlights the plight of survivors of homelessness, addiction, mental health and disability. The production opens on Tuesday March 26th at the Streatham space project a new theatre on South London. The production runs for four nights and l have the task of trying to fill as many seats as possible for each night. I’d love for Grange Hill fans to come along and support our production. SOZO uses real people going through mental health challenges, disability, and addiction and homelessness. The characters collectively go on a journey together and come out the other side feeling empowered and with a renewed vision of how to move forward with their lives. Any Grange Hill fans are welcome!”
More details available here.
Jack Grossman’s Pop Pirates (1984)
As well as the fantastic series 5 and 6 of Grange Hill being released on DVD, the end of 2018 also saw some other great GH connected material released.
The Children’s Film Foundation was responsible for many fantastic projects, lots of which were shown on Children’s BBC in the 80s as ‘Friday Film Specials’. Of course some of these films would feature GH alumini, and two such appearances are included in a new release ‘Children’s Film Foundation Bumper Box’.
The classic ‘Pop Pirates’ featured Ricky Simmonds (Ant Jones) alongside The Who’s Roger Daltrey and has been sought after for many years on DVD. Ricky talks about ‘Pop Pirates’ in our interview here. Lisa East, who played Christine Everson, features in the highly regarded ‘4D Special Agents’. Both films are featured in this new box set, which also includes a documentary detailing the history of CFF.
Ricky and Lisa are both very happy to see their CFF Films finally released with Lisa telling us she received a copy as a birthday present last year.
You can purchase the Children’s Film Foundation Bumper Box here
You can purchase Grange Hill series 5 and 6 here.
As well as television episodes, Grange Hill fans were also able to enjoy the exploits of their favourite characters in a range of spin-off media. Besides annuals and novels, Grange Hill saw several comic strip incarnations. One of the most successful of these was ‘Grange Hill Juniors’ ; a weekly 3 page comic strip in ‘School Fun’ comic between 1983-1984. As part of our examination of Grange Hill in print, we are delighted to be able to share the first eight episodes of this classic strip here.
Paula Ann Bland played Claire Scott, one of Grange Hill’s most memorable characters, throughout the early 1980s. A keen advocate for Grange Hill Gold, Paula has always been a huge supporter of Grange Hill and its fans.
Unfortunately, Paula recently received the news that she has breast cancer. Following her diagnosis, Paula had part of her breast removed and is now urging women to “check your boobs!”.
Remaining her usual witty and upbeat self, Paula has given an interview to the Express (click here to read) and also made an appearance on ITV’s Lorraine (click here to view) to promoting the importance of checking your breasts for lumps.
To find out how to check your breasts for lumps please visit Lorraine’s link here or the Coppafeel website here.
Grange Hill Gold sends Paula love and best wishes as she continues her fight.
Grange Hill’s 40th Anniversary was certainly celebrated in style. Two of the biggest events were those organised in aid of The Good Grief Trust and took place in September. Now a special DVD screening evening is looking back at the highlights of those events.
The two events took place at Elstree Studios and Television Centre last year, and reunited Grange Hill cast and crew in aid of the Good Grief Trust charity. Fans were able to meet the cast, see on stage interviews and get photos and autographs at these events. All events were filmed and now after much work, the footage has been put together as a DVD.
The DVD will receive an initial screening at a special event in Central London on Monday March 11th from 6pm. Tickets can be booked here
DVDs will initially be available at the event, before becoming available to order for those unable to attend. Further ordering details will follow.
The event is run in aid of The Good Grief Trust.