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.
Grange Hill Gold is sad to report that Jamie Lehane, who played Jacko Morgan between 1990, and 1996, died in December 2018 following a seizure.
Jamie became one of Grange Hill’s longest serving cast members after joining the cast in 1990 as part of a new intake of first years. Initial story-lines included Jacko’s dog following him to school and dealing with his friend Brian’s leukemia. Eventually Jacko got together with fellow pupil Becky Stevens, and left the series as a sixth former, flying off in a hot air balloon with his girlfriend.
After leaving Grange Hill Jamie made appearances in The Bill, Thief Takers and Keen Eddie. As well as acting work, Jamie worked in the hospitality business, becoming a bar manager for the Soho House Group.
Co-star Ian Steele, who played Jacko’s friend Brian Shaw, and also went to school with Jamie, gave this tribute : “Jamie was a funny, clever and talented actor. Sad to hear he passed away recently. Going to spend the evening thinking about the good times at school, Grange Hill and working at the Anchor Pub years after the show. Happy happy memories.”
You don’t expect to bump into people you know on holiday….. but you definitely don’t expect to bump into your former Grange Hill co-star.
As our photo shows, this is exactly what happened to former cast members Peter Moran (Pogo Patterson) and Mark Burdis (Stewpot Stewart), when they went on separate holidays to Lisbon in Portugal.
Lets hope that no crazy money making schemes were involved!
And so as we wave goodbye to 2018, we also wave goodbye to Grange Hill’s 40th anniversary year….. and what a year its been.
As well as a TV reunion between Trisha Yates and Tucker Jenkins, there has also been 3 reunion events, reuniting cast from all eras of the show. Besides this, there have finally been some more official DVD releases, with Series 5 and 6 released in November. Cast members also said a sad goodbye to George A. Cooper who played Mr Griffiths. Here at Grange Hill Gold we were able to publish a range of brand new interviews with cast including Fleur Taylor (Imelda Davies) and George Armstrong (Alan Hargreaves). We were also fortunate enough to interview many of the cast on stage. It has been a truly celebratory year.
So from Grange Hill Gold……… Happy 40th Birthday Grange Hill . . . . .welcome to 2019.