Now I'm the king of the Hill . . .; TV chief Phil Redmond tells Peter Grant why he wants to bring the children's hit programme Grange Hill to Merseyside.
GRANGE HILL Grange Hill is a British children's television drama series which is shown on BBC One. The latest series was shown on the CBBC Channel and has not been shown on BBC One. The show began in 1978 and is one of the longest running on British television. is coming back to its true home - Liverpool.
Created in the city, yet filmed in London for the BBC BBC
in full British Broadcasting Corp.
Publicly financed broadcasting system in Britain. A private company at its founding in 1922, it was replaced by a public corporation under royal charter in 1927. , TV boss Phil Redmond Phil Redmond CBE (born 1949 in Liverpool, brought up in Huyton, Merseyside) is an English television producer and scriptwriter. He is well-known for having created several popular television series such as Grange Hill (BBC One, 1978—present), Brookside is on the verge On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning) is a play written by Eric Overmyer. It makes extensive use of esoteric language and pop culture references from the late nineteenth century to 1955. of striking a deal to bring back the children's show . . . and make it here on Merseyside.
Within weeks, filming should start at Mersey TV in Childwall which is already home to supersuccessful dramas, Brookside and Hollyoaks.
It is the icing on the cake for Mersey TV chairman Phil.
And he is looking forward to this 'family reunion': the 25-year-old Grange Hill, troubled teenager Brookside, 19, and bouncing baby Hollyoaks - the youngest at six.
Says Phil: "I will get such a buzz walking from the Brookside set over to the Hollyoaks set and then to the Grange Hill set."
Grange Hill has won numerous awards and accolades since its first series.
For the first 15 years, Phil was heavily involved in the storylines; for the past 10, he has been a consultant.
Under the terms of the new deal, Mersey TV has now been commissioned to make three, twentyparters of the series.
And says Phil: "When I say it is 'coming home', I mean it. Grange Hill was devised, conceived and written in our office in Rodney Street.
"Initially it was about a Liverpool suburban comprehensive, but it ended up being made by the BBC in London.
"For about eight years I was able to keep London buses and the Tube out of it because I wanted it to be an androgynous an·drog·y·nous
1. Biology Having both female and male characteristics; hermaphroditic.
2. Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior. comprehensive anywhere. But then Brookie brook·ie
A brook trout. came on, and the then producer had them going on trips around London using London transport London Transport could mean:
"So I am bringing it home - but Grange Hill will be a comprehensive anywhere in Britain. When I cast it, there will be accents that can be from anywhere in the country."
And there will be other changes: "It will certainly reflect our changing society, " says Phil.
"I said at the BAFTA Baf´ta
n. 1. A coarse stuff, usually of cotton, originally made in India. Also, an imitation of this fabric made for export. Award ceremony that I had missed that very real special sense of purpose that working in children's television provides.
"The issues facing children now are just as relevant and challenging as they were 25 years ago and I'm genuinely looking forward to exploring those issues as well as helping create a few more generations of fun, mirth and mayhem.
"It will obviously have a Phil Redmond slant on it.
"What we might bring in is more fun, japes and escapades - a bit more of the Tucker Jenkins element. Grange Hill does need something to focus the 8 to 14 age group.
So I've a vision to go back and find another Tucker Jenkins and I'll start off like that.
"But I have nobody in mind yet."
Phil has always maintained that you don't need to be in London to make good television. Now he's proving his point.
He says: "There will be more jobs at Mersey TV although I can't put a number on it yet. We will start work in summer for transmission in January 2003.
"I will be working closely with Jo Hallows, Head of Drama Production, but I will be running all the scripts, developing script-editing - and that's where the Mersey TV stamp will come from.
WHILE the new addition to the Mersey TV stable will take up his time, Phil won't be ignoring his other 'family' there, including his 'recalcitrant teenager' Brookside.
He says: "What I have to do with Brookie over the next nine months is re-establish its credentials.
"It's me, with my media guru Noun 1. media guru - someone who advises about the use of communication media
adviser, advisor, consultant - an expert who gives advice; "an adviser helped students select their courses"; "the United States sent military advisors to Guatemala" hat on, looking across the landscape and seeing that TV is changing again - because society has changed again. I think all the sensational storylines and titillation have run their course.
"With Brookie, I want to bring it back to the community - looking at family-related issues such as child care for single mums and how they cope.
"September 11 didn't cause the shift but it definitely contributed to that shift in society. It made everyone realise what is real and what is trivial in life. And a lot of what was in our TV schedules was trivial."
"I want to look at real people issues such as the National Health Service, mental health, child care - these all concern us in our everyday lives.
"I'm not interested in someone having a lesbian kiss with somebody's mother-in-law - we are past all that now.
"But that's not to say we won't be having mischief and mayhem as well."
So if Grange Hill is to see a new Tucker, will there be a Bobby Grant Bobby Grant was a fictional character in the popular Channel 4 soap opera Brookside. He was played by Ricky Tomlinson from its debut in 1982 until 1988. He was married to Sheila Grant, played by Sue Johnstone. returning to the Close?
Says Phil: "I don't want to saddle anyone with that type of label, but what I am looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. is another iconic family unit in Brookie."
He adds: "I want to re-establish Brookside as the content leader, the agenda setter, the one that everyone else talks about, the one everyone else follows.
"We've brought Grange Hill home; Hollyoaks is now seen all over the world; and as for Brookside? Well, believe me, there is still so much more to come from my Scouse scouse
1. A lobscouse.
a. often Scous·er A native or resident of Liverpool, England.
b. often Scouse The dialect of English spoken in Liverpool. Sopranos."
GRANGE Hill was the first programme to show school days as they really were - and still are - for millions of children across the country.
The drama has never tried to patronise Verb 1. patronise - do one's shopping at; do business with; be a customer or client of
buy at, frequent, shop at, patronize, shop, sponsor
back up, support - give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to; "She supported him during the illness"; its young audience, a fact that has meant viewers continue to watch it into adulthood.
Instead it provides an insider view of pupils abusing teachers, smoking, truanting, bullying, shop-lifting, sex, pregnancy and drugs.
Everyone who watched Grange Hill during the 80s will remember Just Say No - when the cast sang their anti-drug message to the world.
The image of the camera moving in on Zammo as he lay in a drug-induced coma on a toilet floor will last in the minds of many forever.
The show has a moral tone, showing punishment, where it is due, being handed out. Kids are shouted at, given detentions, and forced to live with the consequences of their actions - from pregnancy to theft.
Tucker (Todd Carty Todd Carty (born 31 August, ]) is an Irish actor, although in most of his roles he has played a Londoner / Southerner. Personal life
Born in [Limerick City Ireland in 1963, he grew up in Kilburn, North London. ) was a real teen heart-throb and was so popular that producers decided to give him his own spin-off show, Tucker's Luck Tucker's Luck was a British television series made by the BBC between 1983 and 1985.
The series is a spin-off from the school drama Grange Hill and capitalised on the popularity of one of the series' original characters — Tucker Jenkins, played by Todd .
Grange Hill helps by showing parents that their children's behaviour is normal, showing teachers that they aren't alone, and giving education chiefs a real insight into what school is about.
BROOKSIDE burst the soap bubble soap bubble An adjective referring to a dilated, smooth-contoured cyst-like or ballooned, occasionally loculated space(s). See Physaliferous Bone radiology An expansile, often eccentric, vaguely trabeculated space with a thin, sclerotic, sharply defined margin, when i was first aired in November 1982. Phil Redmond went out, bought a real life Close, and turned it into the set of what is now one of the top soap operas This is a list of Soap operas by country of origin. Argentina
Brookside provided a down-toearth depiction of what life in Merseyside is all about.
Brookside used language viewers could recognise and believe in.
Gripping storylines and new talent added to the appeal. Life on the dole, rape, drup abuse, incest, murder, homosexuality, AIDS, suicide - Brookside has always been the first to break new dramatic ground.
The first family of Brookside Close will always be the Grants, Bobby and Sheila, played by Ricky Tomlinson Ricky Tomlinson (born 26 September 1939 in Bispham, Blackpool) is an English actor. Early life
Tomlinson was born Eric Tomlinson in Blackpool and has lived in Liverpool most of his life. and Sue Johnston Sue Johnston (born 7 December 1943) is an English actress. Biography
Johnston was born in Warrington, Cheshire, and grew up in Prescot, Merseyside. After working as a tax inspector, she attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London. .
Their children, Barry, Karen and Damon, played by Paul Usher Paul Usher (b. 20 April, 1961) is an English actor. He was born in Liverpool, and educated at Wirral Grammar School for Boys, he is best known for playing Barry Grant in Brookside , Shelagh O'Hara and Simon O'Brien, completed the family and played out scenes echoed in houses all over Liverpool.
Perhaps the most memorable Brookside first was the lesbian kiss between Beth and Margaret, Anna Friel and Nicola Stephenson. But the murder of Beth's abusive father, Trevor, and his burial under the patio are the stuff of real soaplore
HOLLYOAKS is one of the great success stories of the 90s. Phil Redmond wanted to take on the Aussie soaps Home And Away and Neighbours. He succeeded.
Six years on it has a very strong fan base. Its stars are mobbed whenever they make personal appearances and they have helped put the city of Chester on the map all over again.
The series has helped develop new writers and the Hollyoaks babes are seldom off the front covers of the glossy magazines and also feature in the showbiz party columns.
Actress Joanna Taylor (pictured below) who played Geri has been tipped for even greater things while Will Mellor (Jambo) for example has gone from strength to strength in such dramas as Casualty.
There has also been a late-night version, again with Redmond breaking new ground. It has never been scared to tackle issues with date rape date rape n. forcible sexual intercourse by a male acquaintance of a woman, during a voluntary social engagement in which the woman did not intend to submit to the sexual advances and resisted the acts by verbal refusals, denials or pleas to stop, and/or physical and male rape storys.
Hollyoaks is now sold around the world.
DRAMATIC SUCCESS: Scenes from Mersey TV's Brookside (top), Hollyoaks (centre) and Grange Hill, now to be filmed on Merseyside HOME ON THE GRANGE: Stars of the old series of Grange Hill including Todd Carty (left) who played Tucker