Grange Hill star, John Alford, who played Robbie Wright between 1984-1990, returned to BBC 1 this week after 18 years in the TV wilderness. John who went on to star in London’s Burning, lost his home and career when in 1996, the News Of The World ran a story claiming he was a drug dealer. Involving the infamous ‘Fake Sheikh’ reporter, Mazhar Mahmood, the story lead to John being imprisoned in 1999, for six weeks for supplying drugs. London’s Burning terminated his contract and John found it hard to get regular acting work after his release.
However, in July 2014, pop singer Tulisa Contostavlos found herself on trial following a similar ordeal at the hands of the News Of The World reporter. Unlike John Alford’s trial, Tulisa’s collapsed after the judge claimed there were “strong grounds for believing” that Mr Mahmood had committed perjury in court. This then threw a spotlight on to the Fake Sheikh’s previous ‘sting’s’, particularly John Alford’s.
BBC1’s Panorama ran an investigative special this week in which they interviewed victims of Mr Mahmood and showed unseen footage of his stings.
Talking to Panorama, John revealed that after the conviction he had considered suicide. He was quoted as saying, “No one can give me the 18 years I’ve lost, no one can give me that back. I hope this is the first day of a new life for me.”
It is thought that, after the events of July’s ‘Tulisa’ trial, further legal action will follow from victims of the ‘Fake Sheikh’.
Panorama gave John Alford the chance to honestly and openly discuss his own side of the story, which up until July, he had been unable to do.
Read The Guardian’s report here.
It is with sadness that Grange Hill Gold has to report the passing of Adam Ray, Grange Hill’s Mr Brisley.
Joining Grange Hill in 1992, Adam played Tom Brisley, the school’s art teacher until 1999. Fair, creative and firm Mr Brisley became a popular teacher at Grange Hill. The character caused controversy when it was revealed that he was gay, but Adam’s portrayal and sensitively written scripts received positive praise from critics.
Adam left Grange Hill after moving to Australia with his family, where he continued to act and work in design, proving he was just as talented artistically as his alter ego; Mr Brisley.
Adam Ray – 21st June 1958 – 12th October 2014
Coronation Street viewers and Grange Hill fans had a pleasant surprise this week when actress Karen Ford appeared in Weatherfield. Karen, best known for playing Grange Hill’s art teacher Miss Booth, arrived on Coronation Street as ‘Kerry Waddle’ ; a potential client for Carla Connor’s Underworld.
To find out about Karen’s time at Grange Hill and what she’s been up to since hanging up Miss Booth’s painting smock, read our exclusive interview here.
Popular History teacher, Miss Roz Partridge found time to care for the pupils of Grange Hill as well as her own child. As an unmarried single mother Roz Partridge faced a hard time from colleagues and school governors. In an exclusive interview, actress Karen Lewis discusses her time playing Ms Partridge, her friendship with Anthony Minghella and the joy of working on Grange Hill. Click here to read!
Grange Hill Gold has been fortunate enough to interview actor Brian Capron who played woodwork teacher Mr Hopwood between 1980-1983 . You can read the full interview here in which Brian recalls his favourite moments from Grange Hill and his career-to-date.
As well as this exclusive interview, GHG also has five other exclusive interviews being prepared for the site. Keep visiting GHG or follow us on Twitter @grangehillgold so you don’t miss out on upcoming interviews with Margo Selby (Julie Corrigan), James Wynn (Mr Sutcliffe), Karen Lewis (Ms Partridge), Chris Jury (Mr Knowles) and Anna Home, the lady who originally commissioned Grange Hill.
Beeb – Issue 2
Grange Hill might have been hugely successful on television, but it also had a very successful time in print too! Grange Hill Gold has begun to look at some of these ‘imprints’ as part of our Grange Hill In Print feature. As well as our Golden Wonder Photo Stories gallery, we have also been able to post some of the Grange Hill features from ‘Beeb’ magazine. Published by the BBC as a rival to ITV’s LookIn!, Beeb only lasted for 20 issues, but have a look at some of the magazine’s fantastic GH features in our new Beeb gallery.
Grange Hill Gold’s most visited page is always ‘Where Are They Now?’ with visitors always very keen to find out what their favourite stars of Grange Hill are up to nowadays. We’ve recently updated this page with plenty more familiar faces and will continue to do so in the coming months. You can visit the page here.
UPDATED 28/6/14 Check out further updates for the 1985-1990 yeargroup (including Ziggy, Robbie, Gonch and Trevor).