Written by John Godber. Tx 6th March 1985
Sion Tudor Owen makes the first of two appearances as English teacher Mr Dean. The actors name might be a bit of giveaway, as it turns out that Mr Dean is Welsh, very Welsh. He’s one of those teachers who attempts to adopt a chummy attitude with the pupils (as they dash off for their next lesson he tells them to be “careful out there” – clearly he was a fan of American police dramas).
Zammo tells Mr Bronson to keep his hair on. Oh dear. Zammo wasn’t referring to Mr Bronson’s still-unconfirmed hairpiece, but it irritates the touchy teacher. Michael Sheard continues to entertain ….
The Zammo/Jackie/Banksie triangle is still simmering away. Zammo can’t take Jackie to the UB40 concert as he’s working in the chipshop, leaving Banksie free to escort her to the gig. And the other love triangle – Stewpot/Claire/Annette – is reaching critical mass as Stewpot is taking Annette but starts to panic when Claire decides she wants to go as well. There’s a memorable encounter in the hallway between Claire and Annette. Claire tells Annette that if she was any thicker she’d clot!
Love continues to be in the air as Fay and Julian arrange a date at the concert (clearly UB40 have the power to bring numerous couples together). I do like the way that Stewpot greets Annette with a friendly kiss on the top of her head, given the difference in their heights it makes sense – he would have had to crouch down awkwardly to kiss her on the lips!
The fun stops when Claire turns up and Annette proudly tells him that Stewpot’s her man now. Claire offers him to the chance to leave with her, but he declines. Later, Precious tells her not to worry as there’s plenty more fish in the sea – we then cut to the fish shop as Kevin serves up a piece of cod. Well it amused me anyway.
3 thoughts on “Grange Hill. Series Eight – Episode Six”
I am intrigued by both the concert and the locations used in the UB40 storyline. The venue is referred to as “The Riverside” on occasions – Riverside Studios? Interesting outing for a 1985 ILEA schools party.
Yeah, the venue is clearly the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith which presumably was chosen because it was close to the schools used for location shooting. It was then, however, quite a small theatre-type venue and I cannot imagine a band as big as UB40 would have played there. But perhaps most teenage viewers of the show wouldn’t have realised that.
UB40 were in their imperial phase here, just after the enormous success of the Labour of Love album and their first number one single with Red Red Wine, a hit a year before this episode was filmed, so it’s a stretch of the imagination to picture them playing the Riverside Studios. In fact a quick check shows they only played one concert in London in 1984, at the Apollo.
Jackie was arguably the best looking girl in the history of the series, what on earth she saw in Zammo and Banksy is anyone’s guess.