Barry Purchese should be a familiar name to Grange Hill fans, but not such a familiar face. As a writer his name appeared in the credits for 54 episodes of Grange Hill between series 5 and 13, as well as writing for spin off series Tucker’s Luck. Barry was responsible for writing the scripts for many of Grange Hill’s best remembered moments, ranging from Gripper’s expulsion to the culmination of Zammo’s drug addiction, as well as creating many of the best loved characters. This Summer, Grange Hill Gold was fortunate enough to interview Barry and discuss his career writing for Grange Hill. We are pleased to finally add this extensive interview to our site. Click here to read our Barry Purchese interview.
It is with sadness that Grange Hill Gold has to report the loss of two Grange Hill alumini.
Firstly, after trying to locate her for a cast reunion, it was discovered that Joann Kenny who played Jane Bishop between 1985-1988 passed away three years ago. Joann continued to act after leaving Grange Hill, appearing in the Doctor Who story ‘The Curse Of Fenric’ and The Bill. She was also a keen dancer. GrangeHillEvents have decided to dedicate their first event to Joann and will be raising money for the charity Dandelion Time in her memory.
Secondly, writer Robert Leeson died in early October aged 85. Though he never wrote an episode of Grange Hill, Robert brought the characters to life in 6 of the best selling early Grange Hill novels, which he insisted would not be rewrites of previous episodes but his own new stories using the familiar characters. Robert was a highly regarded writer for young adults and his contribution to the success of Grange Hill outside the medium of television was invaluable. An obituary can be read here.
Cast member Terry Sue Patt (aka Benny Green) recently launched an exhibition of his own (and other artists’) artwork on a Grange Hill theme. As well as Terry himself, the launch evening was packed full of GH stars who came to admire the art! Thanks to Terry and George Christopher, we have been able to share an exclusive gallery of photos from the event. How many Grange Hill stars can you spot?
Click here to visit our Grange Hill – Schools Out – Exhibition Gallery
Gwyneth Powell (aka Grange Hill’s Mrs McCluskey) is back on our screens this week in a hilarious new Channel 4 sitcom. Entitled ‘Man Down’ the show is a comedy series written by and starring Greg Davies as Dan, a childish idiot whose world is on the brink of collapse. Dan’s inability to navigate life’s simple tasks is driving his girlfriend crazy. He hates his job and his two best friends don’t exactly have a firm grasp of reality. Gwyneth plays Dan’s mother, whilst his father is played by Rik Mayall.
Gwyneth told us all about this when we interviewed her a few months ago. “”Presently I’m filming a new 6 part sitcom for Channel 4 called Man Down, with Greg Davies and Rik Mayall. It’s due to screen in September and, naturally, we hope it will be a terrific success!”
You can make up your own minds when Man Down airs on Channel 4 for the next 6 weeks.
MAN DOWN, Channel 4, 21:30
Starts Friday 18th October.