Remembering Mr Griffiths

IMAG0002George A. Cooper who played Grange Hill care-taker, Mr Griffiths between 1985-1991, died on 16th November, aged 93. 

Having started his career as an architect and an engineer, his acting career began in earnest after the Second World War. He became an integral part of Joan Littlewood’s legendary Theatre Workshop, alongside Harry H Corbett.

George would appear in numerous stage, film and television productions, including Coronation Street, The Avengers, Doctor Who and Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em, but his longest lasting role was that of caretaker Mr Griffiths in Grange Hill.

The role of officious, but kind hearted, Mr Griffiths saw George working with a range of younger actors, many of whom reveled in the fact that they were working with someone so experienced.

George Christopher who played Ziggy Greaves said ; “Rest In Peace. George always had a smile on his face and had time to tell us all stories. He could have been in Zulu, but chose to stay with his pregnant wife instead of Africa and Hollywood. Legend. “

Ian Congdon-Lee who played Ted Fisk paid tribute by saying ; “In the whole 6 years of Grange Hill, he was a constant joy. I never saw him angry even though the poor man had to deal with us mental lot. Any time I think of George I have a smile. Thank you for your time, your wisdom and your smile. “

Gwyneth Powell who worked closely with George, in her role as Mrs McCluskey, contacted Grange Hill Gold to share her own memories of working with him.

“Deeply saddened to hear of the death of my very dear friend, George A. Cooper at the age of 93. We had a special working relationship, and remained good friends long after Grange Hill.
He was a brilliant actor and a kind and wonderful man. I shall miss him and the laughs we always enjoyed together.”

For a more detailed obituary please click here.

For Grange Hill fans, George will forever be associated with the role of Mr Griffiths, a role of which he was, quite rightly, fiercely proud.

George A. Cooper 1923-2018.

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Alan! Interview Now Online!

alanhargreavesDespite three name changes, alongside Benny and Tucker, Alan Humphries became one of Grange Hill’s key original characters. Played by George Armstrong from the first episode until Series 5, the character joined Todd Carty’s Tucker Jenkins for three series of the spin-off ‘Tucker’s Luck’. Grange Hill Gold was fortunate enough to chat to George about early auditions, on set friendship, favourite moments and much more, in our exclusive interview which you can read here. Check it out – he truly is a TV legend!

 

This Morning On Grange Hill!

image004With Series 5 and 6 of Grange Hill released on DVD on Monday 19th November, some of the best known stars of Grange Hill are on the promotional trail.

Keep a look out for Grange Hill legends Erkan Mustafa (Roland Browning), Paula Ann Bland (Claire Scott) and show creator Phil Redmond, as they appear on the following shows :

BBC London News – Monday 19th November – 6:30pm

ITV This Morning – Tuesday 20th November

“There seems to be a real resurgence of interest in Grange Hill lately. I’m so excited to see series 5 and 6 finally released on DVD” Paula told us.

Make sure you purchase your copies of series 5 and 6 here.

Special McCluskey Christmas

IMAG0001The Classic Television Organisation, Kaleidoscope, have had a very successful year in 2018 with a wide range of events. To Grange Hill fans the most notable of these was the 40 Years Of Grange Hill event at Royal Holloway University in April. Reuniting many of the early cast of the show with creator Phil Redmond and Executive Producer Anna Home, the event provided a series of interview panels and screenings. Read our review here.

Kaleidoscope continue their Grange Hill celebration with their Christmas Event; ‘The Parkside Christmas Party!’. Alongside screenings of festive episodes of Coronation Street, Rentaghost and The Magic Roundabout, they will also be screening two Grange Hill related programmes.

Firstly, a screening of 1981’s Christmas special of Grange Hill, featuring Tucker & Co, will be introduced by Gwyneth Powell (Mrs McCluskey). This will be followed by ‘Gwyneth Powell in Conversation’ in which Gwyenth will be interviewed on stage about her time at Grange Hill. To end their Grange Hill segment, there will be a screening of Sky TV’s Little Crackers 2011 episode featuring Shappi Khorsandi reminiscing about her love for Tucker Jenkins. The drama features guest appearances from Gwyneth and Todd Carty who played Tucker.  The line up provides a real festive treat for Grange Hill fans!

As well as all this, the day promises a selection of panel interviews, classic screenings, punch, cakes and a book launch!

‘The Parkside Christmas Party’ takes place on Saturday 8th December at Birmingham City University (10:00 – 18:00). Tickets and further details are available here.

Superman Clark Trent Tells All!

collection-28-grange-hill-cast-cards_360_b7144411cee6d760e3601ee9fb488c822018 is all about celebrating 40 years of Grange Hill, but 30 years ago, a new group of first years arrived at Grange Hill. Amongst those was Clark Trent (played by Darren Cudjoe) whose cheerful nature saw him befriend Matthew Pearson and escape from an Alsatian and Mauler McCaul! In an interview exclusive, Darren Cudjoe-Cole talks to Grange Hill Gold about his two years on the show. Check out the interview here.

Series 5 and 6 On DVD!

It’s been 11 years since series 1-4 of Grange Hill were released on DVD by the BBC. Unfortunately there wasn’t deemed to be a big enough market for further releases and the range stopped. However, here at Grange Hill Gold we receive constant requests for DVDs of the series, and finally someone has stopped to listen!image004

Eureka Entertainment are proud to announce the most anticipated release of the year, Grange Hill Series 5 & Series 6 Box Set

Available to own for the very first time from 19th November 2018. Here is your chance to relive your childhood watching this classic BBC Children’s series introducing us for the very first time to such famous characters such as Zammo, Roland, Fay, Annette,  Julie, Jonah and not forgetting “Gripper” Stebson.

The new collection features all 36 episodes from series 5 and 6, originally broadcast in 1982 and 1983. In case your mind needs refreshing about exactly what goes on in these two series, here are some handy summaries!

Grange Hill series 5 synopsis – First broadcast on 5th January 1982

It’s a new term at Grange Hill & new pupils including Zammo McGuire, Roland Browning, Annette Firman & Fay Lucas start at the school; “Gripper” Stebson quickly finds himself a new victim.   Jonah Jones & Zammo create havoc with stink bombs, much to the amusement of the boys. The offer of sex education lessons causes a mixture of mirth, embarrassment and consternation to both pupils and parents alike. An accusation of impropriety rocks the school and Stebson’s bullying culminates in a tragic accident. These are just some of the issues dealt with by head teacher, Mrs McClusky, as the term unfolds at Grange Hill

Grange Hill series 6 synopsis – First broadcast on 4th January 1983

A school trip to St Albans takes a potentially dangerous turn when Annette Firman & Julie Marchant foolishly accept a lift from strangers. Romance blossoms for Claire Scott & “Stewpot” as they get caught necking in a cupboard. Despite recent events, “Gripper” Stebson’s bullying escalates into racism that results in his suspension from the school. Mr McGuffey, often a quiet champion of satirical subversion, is suspended by Mrs McClusky leading the pupils to organise a rally for his return.

You can pre-order the DVD here.

Grange Hill Events!

Grange Hill Gold might have been quiet over the Summer, but it doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy. In fact, we’ve been working on something very big, alongside The Good Grief Trust; a true celebration of 40 years of Grange Hill!

The two events will reunite cast from all eras of Grange Hill and are taking place in September 2018.

GH15thFinalThe first event is a ‘Fan Event’ (Saturday 15th September) at Elstree Studios and is a chance for fans to meet cast members, see interview panels, have autographs signed and photos taken, as well as a specially served school dinner. Tickets are available here. Cast attending are : Michelle Herbert, Abigail Brown, Lucinda Duckett, Linda Slater, George Armstrong, Paul McCarthy, Mark Baxter, Tony McPherson, Joanne Boakes, Lisa East
Brian Capron, Gary Hails, Erkan Mustafa, Lisa York, Alison Bettles, Nadia Chambers, John Harris, Carleen Beadle, Andrew Cornell, Karen Lewis, Lucinda Curtis, Aran Bell, Fiona Lee Fraser, Fleur Taylor, Norman Pickles, Rachel Victoria Roberts, Ian Congdon Lee, Alan Cave, Renee Montemayor, Spud Hudson, Jalpa Patel and Tracey Murphy. (All guests appear subject to work commitments and may cancel at any time). The event runs from 11am-5pm and has been arranged in aid of The Good Grief Trust, by charity founder and former GH cast member, Linda Slater (Susi McMahon).

GalaBallCasteditThe second event is on the 22nd September at the Bluebird Restaurant at Television Centre; another former home of Grange Hill. The evening event involves a sit down meal, entertainment from Tight Fit, and 80s disco and on stage presentations. Cast confirmed for this event are : Todd Carty, Michelle Herbert, Abigail Brown, Lucinda Duckett, Linda Slater, George Armstrong, Donald Waugh, Mark Baxter, Tony McPherson, Joanne Boakes, Lisa East,Brian Capron, Lisa York, Alison Bettles, Nadia Chambers, John Harris, Carleen Beadle,  Fiona Lee Fraser, Simon Vaughan, Sara McGlasson, George Wilson, Ricky Simmonds, Fleur Taylor, Rachel Victoria Roberts, Ian Congdon Lee, Alan Cave, Colin Ridgewell, Kate Bell, Luisa Bradshaw White, Renee Montemayor, Spud Hudson, Tracey Davis and Niki Grosse. (All cast appear subject to work commitments and may cancel at any time). Tickets are currently sold out for this unique event.

All events are raising money and awareness for the Good Grief Trust and will provide a unique one off experience to help celebrate 40 Years Of Grange Hill. Grange Hill Gold will be bringing you all the latest news and reports from these events.