‘Just Say No’ More Children’s TV

So there I was frantically building content for my Grange Hill 30th Anniversary special last week when the bomb dropped. Two days before its 30th, Grange Hill got the boot and another BBC institution bites the dust (RIP Grandstand and Top Of The Pops). Last month, the show’s creator Phil Redmond was scathing in his assessment of the Beeb’s plans to turn Grange Hill into a show for six to 12-year-olds. He called for it to end. Well, you’ve got your wish mate.

Once upon a time, Grange Hill was the punk rock of TV: gritty, shocking, uncompromising and in-yer-face. Thanks to the BBC’s editorial shift, it will end its life as the Westlife of kids TV: safe, homogenised, bland, square.

Anne Gilchrist, the CBBC controller, said: "The lives of children have changed a great deal since Grange Hill began and we owe it to our audience to reflect this." Changed how? Last time I looked, kids still have to go to school. They still get bullied. They still smoke. They still swear. They still write sick notes to get out of lessons. They still have fights. They still get pregnant. They still get racially abused. So Ms Gilchrist, I don’t accept your assertion. I think you’ll find it’s not kids that have fundamentally changed; it’s their viewing habits – especially that of adolescents and young teens. Remember them? They’re the demographic you don’t cater for anymore. 

Back in 1978, with no internet and no satellite/cable channels, the choice, if you were staying in, was BBC, ITV or homework. Now it’s surfing, downloading, texting, MP3s, Friends on E4, SpongeBob SquarePants on NickToons, Power Rangers Operation Overdrive on Jetix and too many others to name. The audience that should be watching Grange Hill is watching EastEnders and Hollyoaks instead. Playground chat isn’t about Togger Johnson’s escapades (Tucker Jenkins’ nephew) – it’s about the Mitchells and the Slaters. And that’s the rub.    

The axing of the iconic series will leave an undeniable void, especially if it isn’t replaced by home-grown dramas. Have any of you watched kids TV lately? It’s a foreign country out there. Literally. Y’see, the decline in British-made children’s programmes has reached such alarming levels, media regulator Ofcom has called for a national debate on the future of children’s TV. Just 17% of the UK’s output originates here thanks to an overwhelming reliance on (mainly) US imports. And the figure will fall further; the BBC has increased its children’s output only slightly, but ITV and the other main commercial channels have cut theirs by more than 50%.

So, nearest and dearest and others (you know who you are) to be clear; I am not just mourning the death of Grange Hill and yet another nail in the coffin of my childhood. I am also mourning the future of children’s TV in this country; it is not orange. It is not bright. It is dark. And if the BBC reckons Grange Hill no longer reflects the lives of children anymore, get ready to wave goodbye to Blue Peter which is 50 in October. It didn’t even reflect my life when Grange Hill started back in 1978 so gawd alone knows how it’s still on air. Be afraid for its survival. Be very afraid.

Today I am mostly lovin’ – Al Murray taking the rhymes-with-miss out of Westlife was absolutely hilarious

Today I am mostly hatin’ – UKTV Gold, where is Dallas??!? Cliff’s still in that poxy coma!

MSN Editor Coops
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56 Responses to ‘Just Say No’ More Children’s TV

  1. Demiii x says:

    i love kids tv

  2. Demiii x says:

    i love kids tv and dont want it to stop but i hate grange hill 😀

  3. tracey says:

    for godsake here we go again, another one bites the tv dust, i grew up on grange hill and had hoped my daughter would, it was great, funny sometimes poinient, it was one of the programmes myself and my friends would rush home to see, but that was then, there was not any computer games or todays technology that holds children hostage, R.I.P Grange Hill, lets hope someone will find it their hearts to show the repeats on uk gold maybe

  4. Coops - says:

    Coops, your really angry about this aren\’t you? I watched about 5 mins of kids tv the other day and I had to turn it over. It\’s terrible now, really bad. The cartoons are just awful – I don\’t know how kids these days watch them. But what\’s really bad is all the imports. If it doesn\’t stop soon, it\’s the end of kids tv as we\’ve always known it.

  5. Edward says:

    Where have programmes like jeopardy, grnage hill and byker grove gone, now it\’s thumb wrestling and something called skunk fu, bring back the likes of Arthur, chucklevision, real kids t.v.

  6. debbie says:

    i grew up watching grange hill even bought the first series on dvd cant wait for the other series to come out

  7. Helen Quackers says:

    As a teenager, i would like to have my say. Since i was little TV has changed alot and i am sad to say, most of the programmes i loved like Zap and Grange Hill have now all been scraped (R.I.P i say). I now no longer look forward to TV, and spend all my time on my computer. Whoever, creates these programmes needs o have a rethink.  Childrens TV is now only aimed at Pre-School children, which older children and teenagers like myself find totally boring and stupid. Can\’t we get something decent on. Bring back proper TV. Oh and by the way, i love Spongebob Squarepants, and so do half the rest of the country. It seems to be the only decent thing on TV atm (thats At the moment for all those who r teenage illerterate).

  8. Unknown says:

    i want grange hill  back on im  44 yrs old i all  grew up with grange  hiil so please bring it back  all right  bring it up to date  but bring    it baok please  instead of rubbish like   scooby doo 

  9. gordon says:

    if Grange Hill no longer reflects the lives of children anymore thay shud have got sume new righters to updayt it not cansal it

  10. simon says:

    To all these early thirty people who are complaining that Grange Hill has come to an end. When was the last time you watched an episode of it.  Bet it was back in the early 90\’s, pre the time before we all started going to work

  11. Gwen says:

    I think Grange Hill was fab. Children\’s TV in general does seem to have gone right downhill in recent years, although some of the british programmes / chidlren\’s series are still pretty good. however as the choice of what to watch on the box increases, the content has weakened. There\’s too much rubbish on TV which is too readily available. A lot of kids I know love watching Jeremy Kyle. God forbid that they relate to this as \’normal\’ adult behaviour. And why do some children\’s TV presenters mostly shout (and not just talk) to kids and why are all the sets in bright primary colours? Are the producers suggesting that children today have such short attention spans that to talk normally wouldn\’t hold their attention at all? Although Blue Peter was all a bit \’jolly hockey sticks\’ for my liking when I watched it many years ago, it at least didn\’t talk down to kids. The lurid bright sets and shouty presenters today all comes across as a bit patronising to children and young people these days. The thing I remember about Grange Hill was it\’s true-to-life characters and attention to the real detail of children\’s lives. It managed to be both meaningful to a lot of children and also good fun to watch.      

  12. Burt says:

    Judging by the awful grammar and lazy spelling on this blog I would say its time they stopped all children’s television before all the youth end up completely delinquent. Turn off them idiot boxes and do your home work. Do children’s programs really have to be about pushing social boundaries and attitudes? I for one do not think so! Children have the rest of there lives to fight the world\’s injustice let them have a childhood and watch some fun entertaining and mildly educational programs. Grange Hill was junk from day one.

  13. beth says:

    I am a teenager who grew up watching Grange Hill, it is awesome. The stuff now on is seriously crap, Grange Hill is just like school now, though I do agree with the BBC when they say it isn\’t that suitable for 6-12 year olds, but they should just put it on later not on CBBC instead of just completely getting rid of it.

  14. Coops - says:

    Mylife is mine, you start your comment by saying: "Judging by the awful grammar and lazy spelling on this blog…" only to commit a couple of errors yourself. Nice irony. 🙂 

  15. Burt says:

    Coops care to enlighten me! Or is it a secret?

  16. Jenny says:

    Mylife – just to be a pedant: a TV programme is spelt with an extra \’me\’ added on the end, the spelling of \’programme\’ you used is usually associated with software programs, don\’t let the computer geeks see that; they\’ll go mental! Also, you forgot an apostrophe in \’its\’, it\’s \’it\’s\’ if it\’s an abbreviation of \’it is\’ – it\’s ONLY \’its\’ with possession. You also made the very hideous \’there\’ mistake: it should be \’their\’ not \’there\’. If I\’m also being incredibly nit-picky, you could also use some commas in that paragraph. Sorry. Just thought I would defend the spelling, punctuation and grammar insults headed towards teens. Don\’t mean to cause offence with that :).
    Grange Hill and programmes such like were British TV gems – it really is a shame that they\’re all being cancelled one-by-one, and in their place, naff US imports that really are inferior! I would really love some new, decent British TV programmes on our TV screens.

  17. Burt says:

    Guilty as charged my lord and no need to be sorry I\’m not offended infact I am copacetic about it as I never said, "I could spell".  In fact I never had the chance to learn so understandably I hate to see education wasted.
    As for Grange Hill we will beg to differ. At Least teenagers no longer have to suffer Magpie, English or not!

  18. Coops - says:

    Thanks for all your comments guys. Pull up a chair and make yourselves at home… burty, you asked me to enlighten you:"Tathagata Buddha, the Father Buddha said, \’with our thoughts, we make the world…\’." I borrowed it from Monkey  🙂 Is that existential enough for ya? Once upon a time, that was a BBC show; a generation of kids grew up loving it. To Grange Hill\’s detractors, I will always insist that this is a programme we Brits can be proud of.

  19. Nadine says:

    I grew up with this show, and yes it was educational though i think it has lost its appeal in this day and age. However childrens tv now seems full of repeats and as for that awful TRACY BEAKER which is helping to make children act like spoilt brats is appalling, i really think it should be axed …i have even banned mine from watching it, but of course i can not stop them round their friends and to see how attitude changes is unbelievable.  Kids TV used to be such great programmes and cartoons now it seems all attitude and violence.

  20. Burt says:

    I watch Tracy Beaker with my daughter some times. I think it is well written with some good substance and just a little tongue in cheek. Unlike that dire, over acted, over the top Hanna Montanna but thats the point in question. Why is there so much bad american t.v.  I think it is because we do not like change and we keep the some old thread tills its worn out.ie Grange Hill.  Yes I know Tracy Beaker is not teenage programs but teenagers are not really intrested in television programs they perfer jack ass and aliens vs predator these days.

  21. Peter says:

    "Last time I looked…They still get bullied. They still smoke. They still swear. They still write sick notes to get out of lessons. They still have fights. They still get pregnant. They still get racially abused." 
    Well actually, schools have changed now, for example, drug taking was always perceived to be a bad thing in Grange Hill, nowadays lots of schoolkids smoke weed recreationally in school toilets and think its a good thing. And swearing etc is far more acceptable in todays schools than it was 15 yrs ago. Then theres bi-sexuality and lesbianism, homosexuality, assaulting teachers, kids dating their teachers, kids rioting in classrooms and telling their teachers to "go f**k themselves," parents assaulting teaching staff, knive crime, this pathetic chav vs emo facade etc. A programme at 4.30pm would not be able to cover these issues intelligently as its well before the watershed. so Grange Hill should be axed. Even Waterloo Road which is on at 8pm tries to tackle these issues is very cheesy at doing it, a programme at 4.30pm won\’t be realistic at all.

  22. Burt says:

    Sorry to disappoint no name but I can assure you all those things happened when i was there. The only real difference is that perhaps it is expected to be part of a daily school routine. There is also from what I see actually a lot less phsyical violence on school grounds may be thats because they are all tooled up now with knifes and screw drivers, oh hang on we all had flick knifes! fish hooks in our collars. Beat up teachers, smoked pot drunk special brew, skinhead vs rockers vs mods- No one admitted to being gay they would have been hung – Believe me the only difference is the biggest thugs in our school was the teaching staff they hit back!

  23. Peter says:

    yeah right, you havent even been into a school for 40 years by the sounds. You went to school in the 60\’s by the sounds and youre saying the education system hasnt changed that much, my god you are dumb, you should actually try teaching in a modern comprehensive or attending a teaching trade union conference and see read the trasnscripts of the delegates.

  24. Coops - says:

    (no name) – this is a local blog – I will have no flaming here. 🙂   burty is not \’dumb\’ – merely expressing an opinion that you don\’t agree with. Have a heated discussion by all means, but leave the name-calling out.

  25. Suzanne says:

    Whether or not Grange Hill is to your taste, it really is part of a dying breed of children\’s TV. There are so few British made live-action shows out there now, drama or comedy. When I was a girl (and you\’ll probably be able to guess my age from this) I watched Grange Hill and Byker Grove, Children\’s Ward, Maid Marian and her Merry Men, goodness knows how many book adaptations (Narnia, Five Children and It, Tom\’s Midnight Garden etc.), oh and Woof! Does anyone else remember that? Anyway, perhaps the cartoons of the day were less inventive than they are now, I don\’t know, but there aren\’t many I remember very well and certainly none I\’d bother to watch nowadays. I loved seeing real people having \’real\’ adventures (or perhaps escapades would be a better term for some of the above) I couldn\’t relate to secret agent mice, or plasticine figures or bloody wombles. Looking at the schedules now there is precious little well, acting going on. So, in conclusion to this nostalgia filled ramble, I\’ll say this: fewer unfunny US sitcoms, fewer repetitive and badly drawn cartoons, more narrative in programmes which can appeal to older kids/teenagers, and people too old to be watching kids TV like me (because I seriously adored The Sarah Jane Adventures recently).

  26. Nikki says:

    (no name), you are the one who is \’dumb\’ if anybody. You sound like you\’re still in education. Primary that is.
    We think we have[/had for those like me who have left in the past 5 years] it worse off now, well maybe in some ways we do. We have it worse off because teachers can\’t even shout at students anymore without being brought up on it and fired. We have it worse off because parents can\’t discipline their own children effectively anymore. We have it worse off because standards are slowly declining in this [damned] country and respect has been missing for a long time. We have it worse off because we\’re stuck in an era of over the top political correctness and obsessive \’needs\’ to cater only for the minorities now, instead of for everybody. We have it worse off because parents have stopped giving a damn about their kids enough to help them.
    So maybe we do have it worse off, but if anything, the situations have only changed in that now we have more high tech toys.
    & I was a 90\’s kids, and I think I know where children\’s TV went wrong: Teletubbies. After teletubbies came Tweenies (which was bad enough) and I\’ve got to say, If I was a kid now I\’d be terrified of that night garden show! And why is everything so… educational now days? I remember sitting down and not seeing one educational show come up, and now you can\’t get away from them! 😦

  27. Warren says:

    Three VERY scary things (from the point of view of one who grew up elsewhere and watches my kids grow up in England). 
    1) We have apparently two generations of British MSN-ers who don\’t realize that the British obsession with TV is not universal and that in many countries people actually LIVE life rather than watch it.
    2) MSN can secure the services of an Editor who understands grammar, punctuation, and some of the finer points of language, but most of the BBC and other producers of TV shows for children apparently consider that live presenters who can barely be understood and give the impression that they skipped school altogether are ideally suited for the job.
    3) We have an adult UK male seriously advocating (in a public forum) programs that he feels realistically reflect(ed) the more unpleasant aspects of his youth – aspects which he apparently wishes to relish (yikes!) – and using euphemistic words like "gritty, shocking, and uncompromising" to describe the representation of life experiences that every sane person would call "horrible", "awful" or "miserable" – and which hopefully none of us would ever wish upon any child in this country.
    Let\’s call a spade a spade guys – almost all of these UK-produced so-called "drama" programs for children are either soap-operas, completely mindless and banal naval-gazing, or attempts at politically-correct social engineering that frequently glorify the basest aspects of life.
    If we want our children to have a better life than we did then they need role-models, both on and off TV, that inspire them to greater heights educationally, vocationally, socially and personally. 
    If you can demonstrate to me that Grange Hill fulfills those criteria then by all means lets fight to keep it.  Otherwise, good riddance to it !

  28. BassCadetRich says:

    It\’s interesting that Coops mentioned Monkey because as a kid in the 80s Monkey and the Young Ones were the two of the best (and most popular in my school) things on TV and for me the best \’kids\’ shows were never the ones that were intentionally made for kids! If you need any proof this is still the case today look at the popularity of the Simpsons and South Park which appeal to both kids and adults alike. The thing about Monkey that I liked was it was good fun and different but also always had a sound moral message and taught you something about different cultures and ideologies without talking down to you or being boring or preachy about it.
    Some children\’s programs were okay but generally they were either dull, condescending or both and no matter how much time you spent on that yoghurt pot it was never going to look like a dalek ;o) Even though Grange Hill was considered \’gritty\’ it never came that close the reality of going to an inner city comprehensive, as the Young Ones pointed out in a Grange Hill inspired snippet \’C\’mon sir, we\’re the only kids who never say Fu..\’ I appreciate with the watershed that kind of thing wasn\’t possible but it was the truth, I used to watch Grange Hill and think \’Hmmm looks nice, wish I went there\’.
    Maybe it\’s just me but I always preferred the programs made for adults that could be shown to kids as well. In the summer holidays I\’d watch the Flashing Blade, Robinson Crusoe (even though it was repeated EVERY summer), Laurel & Hardy and Flash Gordon but when it came to \’Why Don\’t You…?\’ I did turn off my TV and go and do something more interesting instead because the TV made for kids certainly wasn\’t :o)

  29. Shanice says:

    It\’s just a television programme being taken off the air, calm down will you! I\’m 15 and I have never watched an episode of Grange Hill in my life. When I came home from school in primary school I went out to play, then in the winter I\’d have friends in my house or go over their houses. It doesn\’t really bother us what\’s on t.v, we only watch it when we\’re bored and half of the time we\’re not paying any attention to it.
    And seriously, where have you got all these ideas about what goes on at school? Yeah, ok so people misbehave a bit, a few of them have a fag in break times, but we\’re not that bad! Smoksing weed in the toilet? Dream on, most teenagers that do actually smoke weed only do it on the weekends, dont you think they\’d get caught if they tried it at school? And since I\’ve been at comp I\’ve heard of about 5 assaults on teachers at my school, and not aimed at the teachers, just chucking a chair across the room.
    Also, you seem to think we\’re all idiots but we\’re not! My lowest predicted G.C.S.E grade is a B-, and before you ask, no I\’m not a computer geek or something, I\’m one of the ones who misbehaves a bit.
    Someone mentioned the emo vs. chav thing. I dont know what i class as but most girls in my year get on. There used to be a few arguments about it, but when we got to year 10 everyone just began to accept that everyone was different. Obviously there\’s always going to be a few people who dislike others for no reason, but so what? It\’s just part of life and growing up =]
    You all think you know what\’s best for us, but to be honest you\’ve all got some seriously messed up ideas about what happens at school, and what we think about whats on the t.v. 🙂

  30. billy says:

    I received the first two series of Grange Hill on DVD for Christmas. My 8 year old son absolutely loves it! It\’s much more innocent and funny compared to how the programme developed in it\’s later years.
    BassCadetRich – you missed out the best summer kids programme of them all – White Horses! – a badly dubbed, black and white import from Yugoslavia. The theme tune was so evocative of the hot summers we seemed to get in the seventies.

  31. Coops - says:

    (no name) with regard to this: "We have an adult UK male seriously advocating (in a public forum) programs that he feels realistically reflect(ed) the more unpleasant aspects of his youth – aspects which he apparently wishes to relish (yikes!) – and using euphemistic words like \’gritty, shocking, and uncompromising\’ to describe the representation of life experiences that every sane person would call \’horrible\’, \’awful\’ or \’miserable\’ – and which hopefully none of us would ever wish upon any child in this country."
    He? He!!!? What\’s all this \’he\’ stuff? Last time I looked in the mirror, I was female! The gender confusion is probably due to my short hair and nickname of \’Coops\’. However, I am most definitely a \’she\’. 
    In response to your post: I make no apology for my original assessment of Grange Hill. In its day, it was \’shocking\’, it was \’uncompromising\’ and it was \’gritty\’. But Grange Hill wasn\’t just about the negatives. The point is, it reflected all the experiences of school life – including the less savoury ones – in a way no other programme aimed at kids had done up to that time. It was truly groundbreaking.
    The outcry isn\’t about us Brits and our (supposed…surely?) obsession with TV! How simplistic of you sir/madam. It\’s about far more than that. As I said in my original post, the axing of Grange Hill has grave implications for the future of kids TV in this country. It isn\’t about the TV show per se, it\’s about what it represents.

  32. Tia says:

    I\’m 14, and I have never seen an episode of Grange Hill, maybe I\’ve missed out, but, as I\’ve never been to a school where drugs are taken, or smoking occurs in the toilets, I think it sounds just a little bit over the top. However, there is no TV for teenagers nowadays, apart from soaps and sitcoms. All \’children\’s tv\’ is aimed at under 10\’s, and includes childish cartoons and incredibly annoying programmes like Hannah Montanna. I stick to Friends, Heroes and Hollyoaks. When they aren\’t on, I go out with my friends, or listen to music, like most teenagers nowadays. 

  33. Tia says:

    I agree with \’Teenager\’, and (no name). My school is nothing like this Grange Hill. The worst people do at our school is set off the fire alarm by accidently leaning on it. I don\’t know whether my school is a tame school, or most schools are like mine, and Grange Hill was a bit over the top! I\’ve never seen it so I wouldn\’t really know. All I know is that I don\’t really care about TV. I\’d rather go out than sit in front of TV all day, and so would most kids. Maybe that\’s why Grange Hill stopped showing, because the number of people who actually watch it has dropped. There\’s an uproar about obese children. Maybe lowering the number of TV programmes that kids watch would get them out of the house a bit more? Then they could keep the money they spend on TV programmes and put it into feeding all the starving people in Africa, and in relief for the innocent people caught up in the Iraq war.

  34. jess says:

    Guys – if you havent seen grange hill then you shouldnt really say anything – it was awesome it had everything you wanted in there cool kids – geeky kids that you loved, great scripting and good story lines! Kids these days have nothing – sometimes i may feel as though i\’m stuck in the past when i think of what is entertaining for kids but come on 10 or 12 year olds watching hollyoaks and eastenders – no way!
    I here byker grove is coming off as well? to be honest that show should be inspiring the nation to get youth centres up and running – cus if they haven\’t got the programmes they need then they surely need other entertainment!
    if we pay to watch BBC shouldnt we the people take a vote on what we want to watch more of?
    keep on keeping on.

  35. Coops - says:

    Young teen (no name)s, thanks for your valuable input. You\’ve both reinforced my stance – albeit unintentionally. As I have previously stated, Grange Hill wasn\’t just about the negatives. It wasn\’t only a depiction of the worst things kids get up to in school (like smoking by the bike sheds, getting pregnant or bullying). It presented all aspects of school life: exam stress, getting homework in on time, fancying a teacher, trying to make friends…gonna tell me that doesn\’t go on in your schools too? 🙂 And remember, it\’s a drama not a documentary – so there will be poetic licence in some respects. But the key revelation concerns the lack of programming for young teens. I echo Jessebelle: to think some of you are watching EastEnders and Hollyoaks instead! Sad….

  36. Burt says:

    Quote (No Name 14 Feb) "see read the trasnscripts " and you called me dumb?
    Sorry I have been involved away for a few days, part of my dumb life helping children and teenagers born into troubled "Real troubled" families. I spend alot time in schools some of the worst, believe me the only thing different in schools is the kids are to stupid to have respect for how good most modern schools are.

  37. Tia says:

    The thing is though, if this show was aimed at teens and older children, shouldn\’t it really be our oppinion on whether it finishes or not. If no-one really watches it anymore, and everyone would rather do other things, maybe it was time for it to end. To me it sounds like the adults here are more interested in keeping it on air, and most of the kids and teens aren\’t really bothered. This just shows that it doesn\’t really entertain us anymore. I agree there should be some more programmes for teens. I agree Eastenders is rubbish, it is the only place where no one ever smiles, and nothing good happens! But Hollyoaks to me sounds like the new up to date Grange Hill, not one of those things in the list you mentioned aren\’t in hollyoaks, and they also deal with other problems kids deal with. But, even if you agree or disagree with our oppinions, it\’s the tv we like. Grange Hill was aimed at us, we don\’t like it. It would be like me arguing that rosie and jim was the best TV programme for babies. At the end of the day, I don\’t watch it any more, and it\’s whatever that age group enjoys. I may have enjoyed it when I was younger, but nowadays younger children preferre other things.

  38. Unknown says:

    I\’ve never watched Grange Hill and I have no idea what kind of school the (no name) people went to but I\’ve never heard of a school without those problems. I\’m 15 and go to an all girls school, and apparently its a very good school and people usually leave this school with pretty good  GCSE results but it doesnt mean they\’re well behaved. In my school, theres smoking in the toilets, smoking behind the buildings, people bunk off lessons they don\’t like (even though its stupid because they always get caught), I\’ve seen girls with drugs (not often but people have come in stoned before :S), sometimes if theres a test going on the fire alarm is set off by one of the girls, people get bullied, things get vandalised. teachers get sworn at and once or twice i\’ve seen a teacher be pushed by a student (which i think is really really out of order considoring the teacher cannot defend themselves or they get in worse trouble), i know three people who got pregnant in my school and a lot of other stuff happens and still people are leaving school with really good grades and I\’m not saying everyone at my school is bad because mostly its very good but just with any school, if you actually open your eyes, people do bad things all the time, even in the best of schools. The worst I\’ve done is shout at a teacher and I know I was wrong and I probably just made a bad day for a teacher even worse so I know it was wrong but everyone does some things wrong in school and some worse than others, no one can be 100% perfectly good in school and I know there are things like taking drugs and smoking which i think is totally wrong expecially for people in schools but honestly, the worst things happen in schools and some people are too blind to see it, apparently someone from my school once attempted to take a knife to school but accidently injured themselfs and got caught. And my school is right next to a police station. Basically, my point is even though I\’m against it, some teenagers get up to really bad things but people are either too blind or too ignorant to notice so all extreme issues in school need to be shown so people can see what its like and learn from it

  39. Mia says:

    I too mourn the loss of Grange Hill, as I was there at the beginning with Tucker and gang.  But, if the kids don\’t think it relates to their lives at school these days, perhaps we should listen.  Maybe, that\’s where we\’re going so wrong in our communities and society, we just don\’t listen!!  If you want the bbc to listen kids, try telling them yourselves what you want to see and keep on telling them until they listen. Power to the teenagers.  (Citizen Smith)

  40. Tia says:

    To (no name) 20 feb 17:59. I can promise you, none of that goes on at my school. Our head is too strict for any of it to happen. We can get sent home for our uniform being slightly wrong. And our uniform is really strict. (for example, all hair bobbles must be navy, all coats must be navy with no fur or labels, all bags must be navy or black with no labels) No student has been pregnant whilst I\’ve been there, or my older brothers have been there. I\’m not going to lie and say no bullying happens, but any bullying gets the person expelled, and all bullying is reported. We aren\’t even allowed within 6 inches of opposite sexes, and some of the teachers tell us off for even being within 6 inches of people the same sex as you. Our school is one of the top in the country for exam results, and we are about to become an academy. Some times we all wish it was way less strict, but when I hear about things that happen in other schools, and hear of what my old friends get up to in their schools I\’m glad our school is stricter. I know it\’s a bit OTT, and we often get called the snob school, but the truth is, we have none of the violence, especially towards the teachers. And as for drugs, well bags have been searched for chewing gum, so I doubt anyone would get away with drugs. Lockers are checked. Toilets are monitored regularly by staff. Anyone shouting at a teacher would be expelled. This is the truth. I think schools in the country go from one extreme to another. I would rather go to my school than one with the violence and drugs.

  41. Aleczandra says:

    Well, I have to say I agree with you MSN Editor-san.Schools are all the same and always have been.

  42. Coops - says:

    Hello Ninja Girl – nice to hear from you. Hope you had a pleasant half-term holiday. 🙂

  43. Kat says:

    I have always enjoyed Grange Hill as a kid, and Byker Grove as they were about teenagers and you could kind of relate to some of the issues. And as for some people saying nothing like this happens in there school, well it doesnt mean it doesnt happen in some schools. And also, the things that happened in Grange Hill, are probably not all going to happen in the same school to all the same people, but, like in Hollyoaks, Eastenders and the other soaps, it was trying to show all the different things that could happen in a school.I dont think they should axe it, because school hasn\’t changed that much and any way, if it has, does it matter? It made a good, enjoyable  tv show to watch.

  44. Sam says:

    I didn\’t watch Grange Hill, I was an ITV kid, so I don\’t really have an opinion on that one.
    However, I would like to reply to previous posters who say that the issues covered on Grange Hill don\’t apply to real schools. They may not happen at yours but they sure happened at mine. Smoking (tobacco and weed) in the fields, on the tennis courts and in \’the lane\’ was an everyday occurrence. Teenage pregnancy was only a minor scandal. Plenty of teacher/pupil scraps. Teachers were driven to tears on a regular basis. There were a few fires. Two suicides. Handful of racially motivated insults. One or two serious assaults and of course your garden variety bullying and vandalism. They all happened. We weren\’t the only ones either I was told of a near by school where oral was given in the back row of a French class!
    Now this may sounds extreme but these things happened before I got there and since I left so you\’re looking about 9 years of history. Doesn\’t seem so much now but there isn\’t an horrific accident that wipes of half my local area every Christmas like in Emmerdale either. TV can\’t be as tame as real life, if it were you won\’t watch it.
    Ps. Before anyone mentions the quality of the secondary school I attended, it\’s situated in Cornwall and is considered an \’outstanding provider\’ by Ofsted. Imagine what the failing schools of London or Manchester are like!

  45. Nikki says:

    I can\’t believe how perfect you lot think your schools are. Please open your eyes and actually look. You know that toilet you all avoid because it\’s too far a walk from anything? Yeah, smoking in there. Those girls that misteriously miss days of school or just disappear, could be pregnancy. All you need to do is look at the "bad kids" (the really bad ones) and you\’ll see it. And maybe not now but when you leave school too.
    I went to two high schools. I was bullied physically and mentally in both. People don\’t think bullying happens because the victims don\’t tell. But it does. There is no such thing as a bully-free school. Year 10 and 11 science I sat next to a boy who turned up stoned to most lessons. He wasn\’t the only one. I was friends with a teen Mum through year 10. I think moving schools was the catalyst for me to see what actually went on, because on my first day (beginning of year 9, 13 years old here) the girls I was sat with started talking about sexual acts and I thought it was a joke, until they seriously asked me what I\’d done. Many of the girls in my year group had abortions through the three years I was there. Many of those had children. Now, three years after I left the school, roughly a third (if not more) have now got kids and are living off of benefits. This was a good school with high pass rates and one of the best in my area. You are all pretty naive to think it doesn\’t happen to be honest.

  46. Tia says:

    Honestly, I\’m not being naiive, none of the drugs or smoking goes on at my school, every one gets their bags checked for chewing gum, any fags or drugs would be found. I can also once again promise you no-one is pregant, and there are no toilets far away from any thing else. You are seen as one of the naughty kids if you wear make-up, or swear a bit. No teacher pupil scraps, nothing like that. Teachers have actually been seen stood on the corners chatting to kids. If you saw our website, you might realise that I\’m not lying. Heres what the website says about uniform, just to show you how strict our school is.
    UniformThere is an expectation that all members of the School will strive to look their best. For students this will mean wearing the school uniform correctly and with pride travelling to, from and within the school. Hair should be an appropriate length, which will be decided by the Headmaster and there should be no evidence of dye or tints applied to the hair. Jewellery should not be worn and earrings should be replaced by discrete studs for girls. Advice is always available from the School and parents are encouraged to ask when uncertain. Students can and will be disciplined if they are not wearing the correct School uniform, in school, to and from School as well as School trips.
    And that doesn\’t mention that any hair bobbles must be navy, all hair clips should be plain and either navy or your hairs colour, that all socks must be plain grey, all heals on shoes must be less than 4 inches, and boys hair has to be longer than a number 1 cut in dark hair, 2 in blonde hair, but not passed the collar. Our school is so strict, but it gets better results than most other schools, and is in the top 5 schools in GB.
    And some people come to our school thinking it is all talk. I know someone who has been sent home for having their hair dyed a shade lighter. Only the people who want to learn come to our school, the rest go to other schools. It helps people get into universities and colleges a lot more than any other school in our area, and has 100% pass rate for a levels and gcse\’s. It is a selective school, so it only takes the people with no record at primary school and who pass the test. Call us snob school, call me naiive, at the end of the day, no one would dare smoke in our school, teachers actually check every toilet at lunch and break for girls putting on make up, and you aren\’t allowed to go during lessons. I\’m sure people smoking would be spotted. I\’m not saying that every school is like ours, I\’m just saying that I can\’t relate to Grange Hill, like many other kids my age, and if no-one watches it, which they obviously don\’t because other wise it wouldn\’t have ended, then it was time for it to go!!!!!!!!!

  47. DeadisTheNewAlive says:

    I also went to a very strict school, where people were sent home for dying their hair, wearing the wrong shoes, etc. Hell! I\’ve lost count of the number of times I got earrings taken from me! You were punished for not pulling your socks up, wearing your tie too low, etc. I went to one of the better schools in my area, but it didn\’t stop us from sneaking in vodka and coke in a coke bottle and stashing it in our lockers for lunch break. There were lots of crushes on teachers, one or two girls ended up pregnant.  There was bullying and a lot of it. Girls would smoke after school in the hockey pitches. I had some friends who were gay and who were dating each other, but never dared come out until they left school. There was a lot of experimentation, people pushing the limits, pranks pulled on teachers that back fired (I don\’t want to get into that lol). 
    The girl \’no name (26 Feb 21:33)\’ who commented about her school being perfect… you ARE being naiive. You don\’t know what every person in that school does outside hours, and your school is a tiny minority of \’perfect\’ ones. Take a moment to consider that not all schools are like yours, and the issues raised in Grange Hill affect a majority of people. You must be the 1% out of the 99% who don\’t have to face up to the reality of most schools. 

  48. pam says:

    i am definately mourning the loss of grange hill. children\’s tv today is too americanised / sugar coated, which for somebody under 12 is fine, but pointless for the rest. i used to watch it and pay attention to some of the issues raised, (it certainly informed me and a few of my friends what could happen if we were to do certain things…) dear no name, you points may seem naive, but if that really was the reality of your school to you, then you were quite lucky to have an exstended childhood where you didn\’t need to grow up faster, like others i know did. in my school, there was the usual smoking in the toilets, drug dealing (though only saw this once) teeenage pregnancy (one girl had her child in the 2nd year of high school) abortions and under-age sex was quite common amongst the \’popular\’ kids, there were rumours of the drama teacher having an afair with one of the year 11 students, favourism in classes, (one teacher always favoured the boys over girls in class), assult in claases (one poor teacher – my form tutor- had a chair thrown at them in class) i, myself was once attacked in class by another student, and the teacher (also the one who favours boys) didn\’t even bat an eye lid or send him (the guy who hit me across the head with a chair) out of the room! (fortunately, i put my hands up so they bore the brunt of it, n not my face), as well as bullying in all shapes and forms…. my school sounds quite bad when you look at it like that… but it wasn\’t always so bad, there were good times too, like the fun we all had on the trips, or the time my science tutor made silent fireworks for us and set them off in class (they were tiny tho, so couldn\’t have hurt us from the back of the room)… and most of us still did ok in the end (though granted most of the \’popular\’ kids were parents by their 19th birthdays)so i will mourn the loss of grange hill, for its realism and how it tackled / shed light on how school really was, for how are the  next generation of us (as the teens that we were) going to learn about such things and hopefully learn from it and not make quite so big mistakes as some of our peers did?  they can\’t all watch hollyoaks (though this does sometimes touch upon issues that college students / uni students and young adults face) or eastenders… where\’s the realism in that?

  49. justin says:

    well at the under 5 level they killed bill and ben( the puppets) cos they did not speek properly, sacked andy pandy for sleeping with louby lou, culled muffin the mule(possible sexual conotations) and now grange hill, a hard hitting not scared to show the issues of the day, who cna forget zammo and his coke addiction, tegs ratcliffs suicide, teenage pregnacy tackeld, racial abuse tackled,
    they even covered the problems with school closures amd mergers
    now it is a namby pamby place unlike real life where kids are cruel, confused, and tring to make sense, mrs mclusky must be turning in her grave to see what the beeb did to the place,
    but as ususal the beeb seem to be so out of touch with the world that they feel they can do what they like, paramount pulled the startrek contract from them cos of editing and chaging the order of transmission, they have lost neibours, and seem destined to be a channel of repeats cos they cannot afford new programs( even with the extoionate tv licence fee) i mean they must make enought money out of their hidden commercial channels( UK gold is owned by the beeb as british sky broadcasting) but then again they cannot be botherd to pay for their own sports repoting( all the footage you see comes from setanta sports, unless they own that as well)
    conspricy theorists have a good time
    yours from ripoff uk

  50. justin says:

    To (no name) 20 feb 17:59.
    "I can promise you, none of that goes on at my school. Our head is too strict for any of it to happen. We can get sent home for –our uniform being slightly wrong. And our uniform is really strict. (for example, all hair bobbles must be navy, all coats must be navy with no fur or labels, all bags must be navy or black with no labels) No student has been pregnant whilst I\’ve been there, or my older brothers have been there. I\’m not going to lie and say no bullying happens, but any bullying gets the person expelled, and all bullying is reported. We aren\’t even allowed within 6 inches of opposite sexes, and some of the teachers tell us off for even being within 6 inches of people the same sex as you. Our school is one of the top in the country for exam results, and we are about to become an academy. Some times we all wish it was way less strict, but when I hear about things that happen in other schools, and hear of what my old friends get up to in their schools I\’m glad our school is stricter. I know it\’s a bit OTT, and we often get called the snob school, but the truth is, we have none of the violence, especially towards the teachers. And as for drugs, well bags have been searched for chewing gum, so I doubt anyone would get away with drugs. Lockers are checked. Toilets are monitored regularly by staff. Anyone shouting at a teacher would be expelled. This is the truth. I think schools in the country go from one extreme to another. I would rather go to my school than one with the violence and drugs."
    must be a private school cos at the one i attended the head would have been beaten up by the puplis(JK) but seroulsly the student body would have taken the rules like the no closer tha 6 inches as a violation of human rights and gone to the EU court( as was done when the deputy head tried to cane me after the ban( BTW he los his job and was put on the offenders regester for life)
    it sounds like your school either lives in the dark ages or is in for some serous trouble soon

  51. tommy says:

    Grange Hill not relevent to today\’s kid\’s ?
    Well then Beeb, make it relevent ! It\’s what we pay you for. To make good programmes for all age groups.
    I\’m now 50 but even though I had left school years before Grange Hill started, I watched it. I related to losts of the issues tackled by the show, and I felt that it gave me an insight into the changing attitudes and needs of children at school.
    But should Grange Hill be classed as only a kid\’s program ? Now that my kids are in High school this show would be a valuable asset to allow myself and other parents to see the problems faced by their children daily, and help us to explain issues to them in terms they would understand and accept.
    Of course it would need realistic scripts written by talented and dedicated writers, overseen by management who understand that although the show is a nice big paycheque for them, it means so much more to the viewers.
    Or is that the real reason it\’s been scrapped ? Poor management ? Even worse scripts ? And it\’s so much easier to just buy some rubbish from overseas, isn\’t it ? But just how relevent are these shows to the average British child ?  

  52. Coops - says:

    Old boring dad – spot on. I couldn\’t agree more.

  53. Tia says:

    To cyberzombie, our school is not stuck in the dark ages, we have more technology etc than any other school in our area, and no it\’s not private, though it is selective. We are about to become an academy, which I doubt will bring trouble… How can people criticise a school where the kids either don\’t do those things, or at least don\’t do it in school? And to Princess, in theory, haven\’t we grown up quicker than others, rather than the other way round? If no-one smokes, no-one has been attacked, no-one gets pregnant, (call me naiive, but if this did happen, just like in any school, news spreads fast, I would know!) aren\’t we are more grown up, we realise the problems and consequences of our actions. I feel lucky to go to a school where we are actually safe, and not in danger of being attacked! Yeah, we do get the odd amount of bullying, but any bullying is ended straight away with the bully being expelled. All the people who think of themselves as \’hard\’, left in the first year, as they couldn\’t hack it. But this is besides the point, personally, I never enjoyed Grange Hill, I accept that many people did, and they will miss it, but I just didn\’t find it interesting.

  54. Runa says:

    I was never a big fan of Grange Hill but I watched Byker Grove once in a while. Children\’s television has really gone down the toilet with only the BBC showing anything decent (e.g. Newsround, Blue Peter, MI:High). It seems like ITV have completely reduced childrens tv programming because there\’s no kids shows on after school. I think it\’s mostly due to the effect of BSkyB and the competition between the channels, children\’s television is not seen as very important or a great profit maker therefore it is an easy sacrifice.     
    I agree with you in regards to the comments made by Anne Gilchrist, school experiences and teenage life haven\’t changed at all.  
    ps. Don\’t forget Neighbours, that was somewhat of a BBC institution-21 years at the BBC. I know that it\’s on Channel 5 but I really hate the adverts.  

  55. Liz says:

    I liked both Grange Hill and Byker Grove- who here remembers the theme tune of it. I do. A lot of young adult stars have come from them. My schools did have all that going on- I knew the kids involved and to a certain extent, did some of it, so it did relate to me. It was hard and uncompromising and thats what we need- what the kids of today need to knw and understand more about the realworld out there and the extent of the bullying. It helped me to know I wasn\’t on my own. Life is hard and uncompromising- you get what you\’re given and Byker Grove reflected this. Now childs television has changed completely- its gone to pot. The lack of effects in the 1990\’s, the Britishness and not the americanism of it, the accents, the need and the ability to escape reality… it was all there, so I say take out th special effects and bring it all back. TOTPs too.

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