RIP Grange Hill: Here's 10 YouTube clips to say goodbye
Those bastards at the BBC! They’ve cancelled Grange Hill! How could they? Even though nobody who’s eagerly joining the ‘Save Grange Hill’ Facebook groups has actually watched it in the last, ooh, ten years.
Anyway, with those rose-tinted glasses firmly affixed, it’s time for a trip down memory lane with ten of the best classic Grange Hill clips on YouTube. Starting with…
1. The classic opening credits and theme tune from its glory days. Sausage-tastic (above)
2. Just Say No! No! Just say no! Drugs are bad, kids.
3. Mr Bronson’s leaving speech. Should bring tears to the eyes of even the most hard-hearted Hitler lookalike.
4. Kevin Jenkins takes LSD by accident. Because there’s shedloads of mind-expanding 1970s drugs floating about in present-day playgrounds.
5. And yet more drugs, except this time, it’s the famous scene with Zammo that led to video number two…
6. Mr Bronson appears in the broom cupboard with Andy Crane to promote Comic Relief. If you’re a puzzled American viewing this, yes, in the 1980s it was the HEIGHT OF TECHNOLOGY to present children’s programmes from a broom cupboard. And you haven’t even seen the puppets yet…
7. Gym class with Gonch, Ziggy, Trevor Cleaver and co. For those of us who went to school during the 80s, this is actually a grittily realistic documentary. With plimsolls.
8. To be serious (for just a minute), if you want to know why people are so sad about Grange Hill being cancelled, it’s because once upon a time, it didn’t shy away from the big issues like racism and bullying. Although yes, it’s a tad unrealistic to think you can drown someone simply by turning on a shower while they’re standing in it.
9. Oh, and they did shoplifting too. Until Julia Sawalha turned up in Press Gang, a generation of teenage boys spent their evenings getting cow-eyed over Cally and/or Georgina. Happy days.
10. Roland and Zammo on TV in 2006. It’s the childhood role that just keeps on giving.
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It makes me feel nostalgic and slightly nervous watching the opening credits all over again. Back in around 1979/1980 when I started watching it aged 10/11, I was petrified that secondary school would be really like that. In the end it was nowhere near as bad – GH was a teenage soap after all – but I do think Grange Hill was ground breaking stuff. I used to set up the massive Philips V2000 recorder (pre-VHS) to record every episode and sit there rapt as Tucker, Alan and Benny got up to their exploits. Amazing stuff.