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I keep getting Emails from people asking me to re-upload the links and music etc. I think people are just getting to those particular pages so are not reading the reason for the dead links.

So I am putting this in place so hopefully people will read it and stop Emailing me about it.

The reason the links are dead is that my account with Media Fire has been closed with all 11,000 files lost. That is why you can not download the things and No I can not re-upload them.

Eventually I will start doing that again when I have found something suitable. In the meantime this blog will be information only blog.

Thank you all


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Monday, 8 August 2011

Grange Hill - Remembered

Every now and again I will revisit programs that I loved back in the 80's. This ongoing series will kick off with.....

Grange Hill was a British television drama series originally made by the BBC. The show began in 1978 on BBC1 and was one of the longest running programmes on British television. It was created by Phil Redmond, who is also responsible for the Channel 4 dramas Brookside and Hollyoaks; other notable production team members down the years have included producer Colin Cant and script editor Anthony Minghella.

The reason I have included it here was that I watched this programme from the start untill about 1986 when work prevented me from seeing it as often as I could. I had started going to, what we called 'Senior School' in 1978, the same time that the programme started so as the charactors progressed through the school years I did as well.

I loved the early years with the charactors of Tucker Jenkins, Michael Doyle, Trisha Yates, Suzanne Ross and Gripper.

I managed to get the series on DVD which took me to the 1986 - 1987 series so taking in some of the episodes that I hadnt seen but had heard about such as takling drug issues. Watching the series again brought back many memories of talking about the programme in the play ground on break with my other mates. Funny how things can jog memories of people you havent thought about in all these years.

Grange hill was a gritty drama depicting school life that was real to some extent in my school so I feel that it's place in the 80's remembered series is well justified.

The drama was centred on the fictional comprehensive school of Grange Hill in the (equally fictitious) borough of North London called "Northam" and follows the lives of the students as they progress through school. The series was to have originally been called "Grange Park", which would go on to be used as the name of the school in another Redmond creation, the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside (1982–2003)

Grange Hill was originally conceived by ATV comedy writer Phil Redmond, who first approached various television companies with the idea in 1975, unsuccessfully. In 1976, he managed to sell the idea to the BBC, and the drama executive Anna Home gave the series a trial run of nine episodes, the first being broadcast on 8 February 1978.

From the start, the series caused controversy for its real-life, gritty portrayal of school life, rather than the more idealistic school dramas that preceded it. Redmond has said that he wasn't really able to start pushing the boundaries until later series. This led to Redmond being summoned to lunch by BBC bosses and forced to agree that there would be no further series unless he toned things down.

Grange Hill's highest profile period was undoubtedly the mid-late 1980s. One of the most famous storylines during this time was that of Zammo McGuire and his addiction to heroin. This storyline ran over two series (1986–87) and focused on Zammo's descent into drugs and how it strained his relationship with girlfriend Jackie and friend Kevin. The show's other favourite characters during this period were Gonch and Hollo played by John Holmes and Bradley Sheppard. During his time at the school (1985–89) Gonch partook in many money-making schemes, most unsuccessful. There was a comedic element to the duo's relationship that worked well with viewers.

Grange Hill was originally filmed at real schools in London. The first of these would be Kingsbury High School in North London, which was used as the Grange Hill setting for the first two series. For the series 3, in 1980, exterior filming moved to Willesden High School in Willesden Green, which was similar in looks to Kingsbury and was also situated in a residential area of the capital. In 1981, Grange Hill moved to Holborn College (now Fulham Preparatory School) in Greyhound Road, Hammersmith. This school looked very different from the two that had been used previously, and it was also in a built-up area of London. Holborn College was the longest serving of the "real schools", remaining on screen until 1985. Up to and including 1985, studio scenes were shot at BBC Television Centre in London.

The programme has covered many controversial storylines, ranging from students throwing benches into the swimming pool (1978; as a result of which, following letters of complaint from teachers and parents, the episode was withdrawn from the repeat season), rape (2001), heroin addiction (1986), Asperger syndrome (2001), knife crime (1998) and attempted suicide (2005), prompting many complaints from viewers. Grange Hill broke new ground by the inclusion of a gay teacher, Mr Brisley, who was in the cast from 1992 to 1999.

On 6 February 2008, the BBC announced Grange Hill was to be axed after exactly 30 years. The announcement was made by CBBC controller Anne Gilchrist just two days before the show's official 30th birthday.

Grange Hill ended on Monday 15 September 2008 with a further return appearance by Todd Carty, in which Tucker persuaded his nephew Togger Johnson not to give up on school like he did. Other than that there would be no spectacular conclusion; characters simply walked out of the school gates after their end-of-term prom, an almost mirror-image of how pupils walked into the school gates in the very first episode.

The theme used for the first 12 years, which returned for the final series of Grange Hill was 'Chicken Man' by Alan Hawkshaw, a track from the Themes International music library composed one hour before it was recorded during a session in Munich, Germany. Grange Hill was the first programme to use it as a theme followed by the popular quiz show Give Us a Clue, whose makers wanted it despite it already being played on Grange Hill. The version used by Give Us A Clue was a special arrangement that was significantly different from that used by Grange Hill.

The theme was re-recorded in 1988 and updated along with the opening titles and lasted until 1990, when a brand new theme was specially written for the series by Peter Moss. Moss had previously written some special hip-hop music for a storyline in Series 11 of Grange Hill. His theme tune lasted until 2007, although as the years progressed less and less of it was heard as the opening titles got increasingly shorter, with the final version being no more than about 10–12 seconds long.

For the final series, 'Chicken Man' was reinstated as the main theme, albeit in a shorter form.

The last four notes of the original theme song were heard when Brookside, one of Phil Redmond's other TV series, aired its final episode in November 2003.

Grange Hill - Theme Music

Remembering Those In Grange Hill

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