“I remember the very first episode of the first series. Those were the days,” said Gary Ross on Facebook, recalling the episode in which Justin Bennett (Robert Craig-Morgan) and Judy Preston (Abigail Brown) felt rather intimidated by the new comprehensive school, Ann Wilson (Lucinda Duckett) had a spot of bother finding it, and a young man by the name of Tucker Jenkins (Todd Carty) was told to leave the nonsense out by Trish Yates (Michelle Yates).
Can you believe Grange Hill is turning 40 this week?Who was your favourite character? What did the show mean to you?…
“I loved Grange Hill – so much so that I’m dedicating my hospital radio show on Radio Wey to the memories of it on Sunday,” wrote Lara McNamee, who praised the show’s fearless approach to tough topics.
“I think no matter how gritty the subject matter, Grange Hill did not shy away from it,” McNamee added. “I remember being SO shocked when Zammo took drugs and you saw him lying on the floor. I don’t think I was very aware of drugs and that was a real eye-opener!”
But the show also holds special sentimental value for McNamee, who said her favourite character was the loveable and kind-hearted Roly: “Even to this day, Grange Hill means so much. I have so many memories, like having a Grange Hill annual at my late gran’s and reading every time I went there (and being devastated when she said she had taken it to the charity shop). I used to dream I was on Grange Hill and was one of the cool kids. Oh happy days!”
Grange Hill (BBC)
For Mat Batty, the anniversary invokes memories of “rushing home from school to have my tea so I could watch Grange Hill.” And he’s not the only one.
“My mum used to do my favourite dinner, sausage, chips, and beans, as a treat so I could eat it when it was on,” recalls Moss Cat. “Tucker was my favourite, I loved the show.”
Todd Carty’s lovable rogue Tucker, who became the star of his own spin-off series, Tucker’s Luck, remains one of the show’s most popular characters.
“Flippin’ eck! He was cool,” wrote DJ Patterson. “His spin-off Tuckers Luck was good as well.”
“He was a hero to all boys taking on the establishment,” Robert David Greenwood added.
And, of course, some fans fell head over heels for the fictional schoolkids.
“Kids miss out nowadays on their own soap,” wrote Glen Worrall. “It had humour, was fun but also gave lessons like the drug addiction storyline. I even warmed to Mrs McClusky, other teachers like Mr Baxter, and the old Caretaker, Mr Griffiths.”
“Grange Hill was a great part of my childhood,” he added. “They should definitely have re-runs.”