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Friday, 8 February, 2002, 10:26 GMT
Redmond set to revamp Grange Hill
Grange Hill
Grange Hill has tackled controversial issues over 24 years
The creator of BBC series Grange Hill, Phil Redmond, is set to return and take over production of the children's drama 21 years after he handed over the reins.

The BBC is in discussions with Mersey Television, an independent production company founded by Mr Redmond founded after he left the BBC in 1981.

Grange Hill, set in a comprehensive school in London, was first shown in 1978 and begins its 25th series on Friday.


It's about making sure Grange Hill remains relevant to kids' lives

BBC spokesman
Mersey Television has made the Channel 4 soap Brookside since 1982, and more recently developed the teenage drama Hollyoaks for the same channel.

A spokesman for BBC children's TV told BBC News Online: "The deal is on the table.

"If it goes ahead, Phil Redmond will make the next series, which will start later this year or early next year.

"It's about making sure Grange Hill remains relevant to kids' lives - after 25 series, it was time to say 'Does it connect with a new generation?'."

'Special buzz'

Mr Redmond told Broadcast magazine: "Any long-running show can always do with a fresh injection of ideas every now and then.

Phil Redomond
Phil Redomond created Hollyoaks and Brookside
"I had forgotten what a special buzz you get with working with children - I will really enjoy doing that again."

The series, which has hooked generations of young viewers, has tackled many controversial issues over its 24-year life, including racism, glue-sniffing and truancy.

It has also been a breeding ground for TV acting talent.

Todd Carty and Susan Tully both went on to appear in EastEnders, and Alex Kingston later found success in the US medical drama ER.

Even supermodel Naomi Campbell had a walk-on appearance as a Grange Hill pupil in 1978.

The show's former producer Anna Home went on to become the head of children's programmes and the children's TV production house Ragdoll.

See also:

05 Jun 01 | Vote2001
Hollyoaks stars support Labour
28 Aug 01 | TV and Radio
The 100 Greatest TV Kids' Shows results
26 May 01 | Entertainment
EastEnders triumph at UK soap awards
04 Aug 00 | Entertainment
Grange Hill plans lesbian storyline
26 May 99 | Entertainment
Drugs downfall of child star
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