Bring Back...Grange Hill (11/05/2005)

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Channel Four jumped on a good idea, played with it a bit, like a cat with a mouse and then sicked it up on the carpet. We were not impressed...

Bring Back...Grange Hill... well it sounded like a vaguely interesting idea, plugging into that nostalgia that creeps over anyone of a certain age, when thoughts turn back to schooldays and old friends that we have not seen in an age.  So, what could be better than a reunion of Grange Hill Cast members?  the show was hugely popular back in the day and even now, watching this show I could rattle off the character's names without hardly a thought.

This show was just handled badly though.

For a start off, the presenter Justin Lee Collins.  I don't know who he is or where the hell he has come from, but suddely there he is lolloping all over over my TV screen looking like Bill Bailey's younger brother.  Whoever he is, the Channel 4 execs like him as he was on another show called FaQ-U that started right after this one finished.  Blimey.

You may wonder why I have devoted so much writing space blethering on about a presenter when the show was about reuniting the Grange Hill cast.  Ah well, you see, the reuniting bit seems to have been a clever ruse for JLC to flick his hair and shout enthusiastically at the camera. There wasn't much reuniting to be seen.

In an hour the programme managed to accumulate four cast members Erkan Mustafa (Roland Browning), Lee MacDonald (Zammo McGuire), George Christopher (Ziggy Greaves)and Alison Bettles (Fay Lucas).  The reuniting was supposed to be for a one-off performance of their anti-drugs song "Just Say No".  Things did not seem to be going well, when suddenly herds of ex-cast members descended onto the stage, including characters such as Gripper Stebson, Immelda Staunton and Jackie Wright.  Did the show try to interview these memorable characters. No.  That would have meant a reduction in air-time for JLC's hair flicking.

The programme was quite obviously heavily staged.  Throughout it, JLC was making comments like "We've heard that Erkan Mustafa is in the building."  From whom?  I enquired to no-one in particular.  This was not answered (naturally!)

Then the four cast members that had agreed to show up kept arriving by car. The Same Car!  JLC made a big deal about how surprised he was that they had showed, even though we could work out that it was a Channel 4 car they must be arriving in and therefore their appearance was pretty much guaranteed.

Lies.  Lies.  Lies. Wasted viewing time.  It could have been a really interesting show but it failed on every account.

If you really want to know what happened at the Grange Hill Reunion,  I found this cute-as-a-button site with all the info you could possible ever want to know about Grange Hill.  It turns out they were the people who put the reunion together and got all the cast at it as well, Channel 4 just filmed it.

What worries me is the "Bring back..." part of the title.  Does this mean that they have planned further programmes in this series? Oh the humanity.

Page Last Updated Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at 15:58:37