Grange Hill FAQ Who created Grange Hill?
What was the idea behind Grange Hill?
When was Grange Hill first transmitted?
Where was Grange Hill filmed?
Why was Grange Hill axed?
How many episodes have been made to date?
What schools have been used as Grange Hill?
Can I get Grange Hill on DVD?
I'm looking for copies of the later series. Can you help?
How controversial has Grange Hill been over the years?
Were there any Grange Hill spin-offs?
Some series were shorter than other - why?
Why did Grange Hill move to Liverpool?
How many changes of uniform were there?
Can I buy a Grange Hill badge and tie?
And what about that sausage?

Phil RedmondWho created Grange Hill?
Grange Hill was the brainchild of Phil Redmond, a former quantity surveyor turned TV producer. Phil went on to produce Brookside and later Hollyoaks.


What was the idea behind Grange Hill?
Phil Redmond felt children's TV in the 1970s was too middle-class in its outlook, so he came up with an idea for a contemporary series that all children could relate to. Phil created Grange Hill in his native Liverpool back in 1976. ITV rejected the idea but as luck would have it, the BBC was looking to make a show about school life and Grange Hill was the right idea at the right time. Originally, Grange Hill was to have been called Grange Park until it was pointed out there were many real schools with that name.


When was Grange Hill first transmitted?
Episode 1 of Grange Hill was broadcast on BBC1 on Wednesday 08 February 1978. The first show was filmed in a day in Studio 3 of BBC Television Centre on 08 September 1977.


Where was Grange Hill filmed?
In the beginning Grange Hill was filmed at a variety of real schools in the London area, the first of which was Kingsbury High in north London. Then in 1985 production moved to the BBC's new Elstree Centre in Hertfordshire, where the show remained until 2002. The final six series were made at Mersey TV (later Lime Pictures) in Childwall, Liverpool, when the company took over production of the series.


Why was Grange Hill axed?
On Wednesday 06 February 2008 the BBC brought to an end much speculation about Grange Hill's future by announcing there would be no further series. CBBC controller Anne Gilchrist believed Grange Hill was no longer relevant as children "no longer saw themselves as just schoolchildren". In response, Phil Redmond accused the BBC of abandoning its commitments to children over 12 but Grange Hill legend Lee MacDonald supported the decision, saying the reality of school life had become too violent for a tea time show.


How many episodes of Grange Hill were made?
Grange Hill ended its 30-year run in September 2008 with a grand total of 601 episodes, comprising 31 series and two Christmas specials.


What schools doubled as "Grange Hill"?
Many schools in the London and Merseyside areas have doubled as Grange Hill over the years. Further details of these, and other locations used in the series can be found in the Locations microsite. The following is not a comprehensive list (awful pun not intended!), but these include:
1978-1979
Kingsbury High, North London
1980-1981
Willesden High School, Willesden Green, London NW9
1982-1985
Holborn College, Greyhound Road, Hammersmith (now Fulham Preparatory School)
1985/1990
Hillside School, Hertfordshire
1989
St Audrey's School, Hatfield, Hertfordshire
1994-2002
Nicholas Hawksmoor School; Bushey Meads School, Bushey, Hertfordshire
2003-2008
Croxteth Comprehensive; Holly Lodge Girls' School; Ashfield School (all Liverpool)


Can I get Grange Hill on DVD?
Yes! The first four series (originally shown between 1978 and 1981) are now available on two box sets from BBC Children's DVD. More information from www.bbcshop.com, but shop around for the best prices.


I'm looking for copies of the later series, can you help?
GH Online regrets that due to the amount of such requests, recording of programmes is restricted to cast and crew only. We hope you'll find the episodes you need some other way.


How controversial was Grange Hill?
Very - especially in the early years! When it began, many parents believed Grange Hill was unsuitable viewing for children and the show was blamed for encouraging copycat behaviour. Among the storylines most parents were up in arms about were the SAG canteen protest (1979 - it was even debated in Parliament!), Jeremy Irvine's drowning (1984), and Zammo's heroin addiction (1986). Society gradually became less shockable but Grange Hill continued to push the boundaries with tales of AIDS, homosexuality, rape and racism. Go here to find out more about these storylines.


Tucker's LuckWere there any Grange Hill spin-offs?
The only Grange Hill spin-off was Tucker's Luck which ran from 1983-1985 and followed Grange Hill's original hero after he left school and struggled to find work. So popular was Tucker that Phil Redmond saw this opportunity to continue his story once the character had to leave Grange Hill. Paul McCarthy (Tommy Watson) and George Armstrong (Alan) also reprised their roles, as did Michelle Herbert (Trisha) who appeared in the final episode.


Some series were shorter than others - why?
The length of Grange Hill series varied enormously. Series 1 had just nine episodes as it was seen as very much an experiment at the time, but from Series 2 Grange Hill adopted its twice-weekly, 18-part format. At the peak of its popularity Series 9 and 10 each had a colossal 24 episodes, but from 1988 the series length standardised at 20 episodes. Series 25 (2002) had just 18 episodes, however, and Series 3 (1980) a mere 16. Rumour has it this was due to cost-cutting.


Why did Grange Hill move to Liverpool?
In 2002 Phil Redmond signed a deal for his production company, Mersey Television (now Lime Pictures) to produce the next three series of the show. As Mersey TV were based in Childwall, Liverpool, filming moved 200 miles north, sharing studios which also made Brookside and Hollyoaks.


What major changes happened to the uniform?
There were three major styles of Grange Hill uniform. The original "GHS" badge lasted until 1987 when it was replaced by the yellow and purple design. A third uniform introduced in 2002 introduced the green badge and more modern clothing but lasted just one series. Among modernisations creeping in over the years included the introduction of a blue sweatshirt in 1994 and girls wearing trousers from 1996. The yellow and purple Grange Hill badge was the brainchild of BBC marketing men - they wanted to create a brand property which symbolised Grange Hill as quality children's programming.


Can I buy my own Grange Hill badge and tie?
Sadly no. They were made specifically for use in the show and are not sold to the public.


The famous flying bangerAnd what about THAT sausage?
Perhaps one of the most fondly remembered things about Grange Hill was the sausage on a fork in the original opening titles. It was the brainchild of award-winning BBC graphic designer Liz Friedman who created the title graphics: "I was trying to convey the idea of kids throwing stuff around the canteen," Friedman told The Face in 1998. So well-remembered was the sausage it was brought back in the 2003 Grange Hill titles, latterly appearing as a weapon which felled a dinner lady in the 2004 "computer game" titles.