Grange Hill creator Phil Redmond says BBC show could be revived

Redmond said a revived Grange Hill would take on the “pressures of social media”

Phil Remond

Grange Hill could return to TV screens 40 years after it first aired, creator Phil Redmond has revealed.

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Redmond, 70, was the mastermind behind the show which followed the fictional lives of secondary school children at Grange Hill, and believes it would make an even greater impact today than when it first aired in 1978.

Asked by Radio Times if it could be revived, Redmond said: “Yes, it could have fallen into Ofsted special measures and be threatened with closure. But a few of the old characters, who are now parents, or even grandparents, come together to save it as a ‘community school’.”

He continued: “Zammo could lead the campaign, remembering how his friends at school brought him back from the brink.”

Grange Hill was one of the longest running shows on British TV when it wrapped in 2008. It kick-started the careers of several soap stars including Todd Carty and Letitia Dean (EastEnders), Danny Miller (Emmerdale), John Pickard (Hollyoaks) and Brian Capron (Coronation Street) among others.

The children’s series tackled several hard-hitting story lines from drug use to homelessness, sexual assault and cancer, and Redmond said a revived Grange Hill would take on the “pressures of social media” as well as “Extinction Rebellion and the cult of Greta Thunberg”.

Redmond said: “The impact would be even greater today. The ‘fractured audience’ is just a distraction. What people mean is that technology has changed, so there’s no longer any need to make “an appointment to view”. But the BBC still has the same reach — it’s just spread over a number of platforms.

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“And it’s the same challenge we faced in 1978. Back then, I was told that kids wouldn’t watch a half-hour programme. Well, they did.”