We are talking about a kids show, shown in the UK for the first time in 1978. I was eleven, and was just a year away from starting what we call in the UK as *Senior school* (Now called Upper School I think). This was the education from 12-16 at that time.
The programme I'm talking about is Grange Hill and it covered many controversial storylines (From Wiki)
"...students throwing benches into the swimming pool (1978), 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...."
Yep. It covered all this as well as bullying, cliques, social issues, rich vs poor...
Grange Hill was a TV show that was something very new. We'd never had anything quite as subversive on children's TV before. Good kids went on to Crackerjack and won prizes (at five to five), well behaved kids had respect for authority and were a little cheeky at school, but were NEVER knowlingly disrespectful or devious, or bullying, or drug taking, or any of the other awful things my dad said were on this show.
Let's just say, Grange Hill was NOT Saved By The Bell, this was edgy and kind of dark at times, and it had so many naughty kids on it, no wonder my dad banned me. (I like to think those were his reasons anyway ROFL).
See, as much as i wanted to, as much as ALL MY FRIENDS WATCHED IT, I wasnt allowed to watch it. Yes, I was the only person in the ENTIRE WORLD that wasnt allowed to watch Grange Hill. (It seemed like that way anyway!) - until I met my husband and found out his dad banned it as well!
Seriously, I felt utterly isolated in my ignorance of what was in this show. And I let my parents know how angry I was to be excluded. A lot...
Of course they didn't listen, but after a while things eased off. I was thirteen, fifteen and I would catch the this subversive, boundary pushing show... Then there was THAT SCENE...
Anyone in the UK who watched it, will recall one scene in a show as a kid. For a lot of UK kids it will be a scene in Grange Hill...
Tucker picking his nose outside the head teacher's office. Tucker doing everything Tucker did, Benny at his side, the Just Say No campaign, that had characters releasing an anti drugs song... so many scenes.
So, what has me writing about Grange Hill today. The sad news that the young guy who played Benny (Tucker's sidekick - second from right) has died aged 50.
Really got me thinking about the show, and what I learned from it, and how it shaped my view of education.
Really, a part of my childhood. :(