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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
Final Byker Grove episode filmed
Chelsea Halfpenny
Chelsea Halfpenny, who plays Lucy, completes her final scene
The clapperboard has come down on filming for the final episode of children's drama Byker Grove.

The BBC cancelled the show, which is set in a Tyneside youth club, to focus instead on a primary school audience.

Byker Grove has been running for 17 years, and launched the careers of TV favourites Ant and Dec and actresses Donna Air and Jill Halfpenny.

Filming for the final episode was completed in Newcastle on Thursday amid emotional scenes from actors and crew.

The drama was first shown as a pilot in 1989.

It has featured several hard-hitting storylines, including drug addiction, teenage pregnancy and abortion.

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly
Byker Grove launched the careers of Ant and Dec

In 1995, it became the first children's drama to tackle the subject of homosexuality, when Brett Adam's character, Noddy Fishwick, kissed another boy in the back of a cinema.

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly played PJ and Duncan in the programme before graduating to a career in pop music.

Patrick Miller, who plays Akili Johnson in the show, said: "No matter how you prepare, it is still very tough saying goodbye to people.

"This has been a big part of my life for seven years and it is like leaving a family."

Chelsea Halfpenny, who plays Lucy, added: "It has been a bit upsetting. Leaving everyone is very difficult."

The final series will be broadcast in September on BBC One.

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