This children's Soap Opera
ran on The BBC
from 1978 to 2008. The series was set in the fictional school of the title somewhere in East London (where there is a real place called Grange Hill that has a London Underground
station) until 2003, when the entire school magically moved to Merseyside. It was eventually discontinued in 2008 after running 30 years.
The original circus-beat theme tune
continues to be used as the soundtrack to any appearance by school children or a class room, regardless of the fact that it was used for less than half of the 30-year run.
There was a game adaptation of it for the ZX Spectrum
and Commodore 64
, which sold poorly because Real Life
offered the same gameplay options with vastly better graphics, but is notable for the following Have a Nice Death
"You see a shifty man in a leather jacket. "Hey, Son. Want to buy some of this?" The man offers you a packet of white powder. He is a pusher."
[Player selects "Yes"]
"There is an empty look in his eye as he snatches the money from your hand. His face is pale and drawn; His body thin and unfed. He steals to keep his habit; And makes addicts of children. He is dead, and soon you will be too."
There is a fan site at: http://www.grangehillfans.co.uk/
This show contains examples of:
- Bully Hunter: Tucker had this reputation in the early seasons.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Highly prevalent in the first few series, there were at least a dozen schoolkids that disappeared without trace and were never mentioned again by any of the schoolkids, which included previously major characters such as Tracy Edwards and Penny Lewis, and several teachers came and went without trace too, often replaced with identical personality replacements.
- Dean Bitterman: Mr Bronson
- Disturbing Statistic: Martin thoughtlessly mentions that Britain had the highest divorce rate in Europe to a girl whose parents are divorcing.
- Goshdang It To Heck/Curse Cut Short: "We're the only kids in the country who never say fu..."
- Hot for Student
- Long Runners: And how. Lasted for 31 years, from 1978 to 2008. The only longer-running show on CBBC is Blue Peter.
- Misplaced Retribution: In one mid-'90s episode, a guy and a girl try to escape from a fire by climbing out of a window. She slips, falls to her death, her boyfriend blames the guy who was with her and spends the rest of the season stalking and harassing him.
- Model United Nations: One 1980s storyline had Grange Hill students attending one as Tanzania.
- Remember the New Guy: Happened a few times, the most obvious example being in Series 3/4. Duane Orpington's best friend in Series 3 was a girl called Tracy Edwards and was seen with her in every episode he was featured in. In Series 4, Tracy had vanished and his 'new' best friend was Claire Scott, who was virtually the same character as Tracy personality wise and was treated by everyone as having always been there.
- Sadist Teacher
- Mr Bronson, who had very rare Pet the Dog moments.
- Mr Bronson's actor, Michael Sheard, also played Adolf Hitler in four films (including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) and a TV series, Himmler in two films and a mini-series, Goering's double in 'Allo 'Allo!, an Imperial Admiral in The Empire Strikes Back and a villainous headmaster in the classic Doctor Who serial "Remembrance of the Daleks''. He clearly just had one of those faces.
- In a poll run as part of Comic Relief one year, viewers were asked to nominate someone, out of all the people appearing on BBC Children's TV, to be dropped into a "gunk tank" on Red Nose Day. Mr Bronson swiftly became the top choice. But then he appeared with the link presenter during one of the links between the shows, and sternly warned the nation's children to stop voting for him. And it worked. Or...
- An early 2000s storyline had "Mr. Deverill", who was actually an impostor who had already been banned from teaching for his behaviour. He developed a grudge against one of the school's top football players due to accidentally being given inaccurate directions to the school on the first day (the road was closed off for maintenance and he should've gone around instead), and started a vendetta against said boy that led to him being suspended, temporarily expelled, being rejected by the Army (his chosen career path), and very nearly driving him to suicide. And then when he was exposed as a fraud at the end, started a fire and fled the school right before half of it exploded!
- Spin-Off: Tucker's Luck followed Tucker Jenkins after he left school. It lasted for three seasons.
- Given the amount of former Grange Hill cast members who end up on EastEnders...
- Teen Pregnancy: Grange Hill was the first British soap opera to deal with it.
- Two-Teacher School: Averted, there's about the same amount of teachers you'd expect in a British secondary school.
- Very Special Episode: Many, most famously the "Zammo takes drugs" storyline, which completely averted Compressed Vice by lasting for months, and led to the cast record "Just Say No!"
- Vote Early, Vote Often: In one episode, a student helping to tally the votes in a student council election is introduced to the concept of 'spoiled ballots'. He then proceeds to destroy a large number of ballots in an attempt to grant his favoured candidate the win. He is found out because his number of spoiled ballots is so much higher than any other tallyer.