John Alford’s Back On Screen!

robbies12John Alford (who played Robbie Wright) has always been one of Grange Hill’s most popular cast members. GH fans were delighted when last year’s ‘Fake Sheikh’ investigation saw allegations that had sent John to jail, thrown into doubt. John had always proclaimed his innocence and that his conviction was part of a newspaper sting, and last year’s trial involving Tulisa Contostavlos proved this to be the case.

Since then, John has been supporting the Hacked Off organisation which campaigns for a free and accountable press. Hacked Off is supported by a range of well known people including phone hacking victim, actor, Hugh Grant.

img_7046_1In October 2017, John took part in the filming of a promotional video for the campaign, alongside some screen legends.  The short film itself is based on ‘ The Class Sketch’ a satirical sketch from the 1960s, that originally starred John Cleese, Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker and looked at class divisions.

This new version stars John Alford alongside John Cleese and uses the ‘Class Sketch’ concept to explain the proposed ‘Section 40’ and why it is essential for victims of the press.

It’s great to see John Alford back on screen, particularly with the legendary John Cleese. Lets hope this is just the beginning of plenty more screen time for John.

You can find out more about Hacked Off here.

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Great Scott! It’s Claire!

12540581_10207313820496869_5692738589363409611_nIt’s been a long time coming, but it really is worth the wait!

Click this link to read our brand new exclusive interview with the truly lovely Paula Ann Bland. Paula played Claire Scott between 1981 and 1985 and tells us all about life at Grange Hill and what happens when you leave school behind!

Here Comes The Boys!

Our correspondent Simon Streek gives us an exclusive report about last week’s reunion in Wellingborough; reuniting one of Grange Hill’s best remembered duos!

Saturday 4th November saw the second Reunion in a year to the day of two of Grange Hill’s most notable characters, George Wilson and John Alford, or Ziggy Greaves and Robbie Wright as some may know them better.  The Reunion was the mastermind of Fan, Gemma Patrick, and brought fellow fans to Wellingborough just outside London, for an evening with George and John coupled with an 80s disco.

After introductions, a question and answer session began, revealing some interesting insights.  George (Ziggy) explained about how on his first day he met John (Robbie) on the coach, he thought he was cocky and disliked him straight away (this brought about fits of laughter from John), but by the end of the week they became pals and never fell out.  John was asked about his singing career, but he declined a request to sing his hit “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”!  In response to a fan question as to whom they would have liked to have had a storyline with on Grange Hill, both said that they would have loved to have had a big storyline with Mr Bronson, played by Michael Sheard.  George in particular admired Michael’s acting talent.  John added that for him Danny Kendall and Terence Ratcliffe were two of Grange Hill’s best characters.

After questions had finished, there was an opportunity for fans to have their photos taken professionally with George and John.  80s music played throughout the evening and the dance floor boasted a number of Madonna and 80s clad ladies and gents strutting their stuff.  The evening was a thorough success and left the Fans eager for more Grange Hill Reunions!

Thanks to Simon Streek for report and photos

Giggling With Gwyneth

ManDown2Head-teacher Mrs McCluskey was rarely remembered for her jokes, yet actress Gwyneth Powell has been hugely successful in the world of television comedy with roles in Moving Wallpaper, The Gemma Factor and of course Channel 4’s hit comedy ‘Man Down’. Playing ‘Mum’ to writer Greg Davies’ lead character Dan, Gwyneth has appeared in all four series of the sitcom, in a role that was personally written for her. The latest series begins on
Wednesday 25th October on Channel 4. Earlier series can be found here.

 

In Need Of The 80s

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(L-R Gwyneth Powell (Mrs McCluskey), Alison Bettles (Fay Lucas),  Erkan Mustafa (Roland Browning), Todd Carty (Tucker Jenkins) and Lee Macdonald (Zammo Maguire))

BBC Children In Need runs a range of fundraising events every year, but this year there is a special Grange Hill connection. On Thursday 19th October, Wembley SSE Arena played host to ‘Children In Need Rocks The 80s’; a concert showcasing the chart stars of the 80s, including Bananarama, Jason Donovan, Boy George, Nick Heyward and er…. the cast of Grange Hill!

Of course the Grange Hill cast had a top ten hit in 1986 with ‘Just Say No’; but more importantly Grange Hill was a huge part of 1980s youth culture and something the audience would definitely remember.

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Selfie time for Zammo and Boy George

Cast members Erkan Mustafa (Roland), Lee Macdonald (Zammo), Gwyneth Powell (Mrs McCluskey), Alison Bettles (Fay Lucas) and original star Todda Carty (Tucker) were invited as special guests to appear on stage in-between some of the musical acts.

” We were there with all these huge 80s acts, and then we get up on stage, and the cheers were so loud, Gwyneth couldn’t even say her words as she got drowned out!” Erkan told us. It was an event that these key cast members were delighted to be invited to, and very surprised by the reaction they received.

Children In Need Rocks The 80s is due to be broadcast on BBC1 in November 2017. You can donate to Children In Need here.

Here’s Claire!

paula ann blandComing soon is an exclusive interview with Paula-Ann Bland who played Claire Scott from series 4 onwards. Paula talks to us about life at Grange Hill and why she’s looking forward to celebrating the 40th birthday of such a special show.

Keep your eyes open for the interview online soon. Whilst you’re waiting; check out our wide selection of cast interviews by clicking the interview tabs.