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Cream over Britain

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Let’s see. Bumbling mumbling Professor Phil Redmond, the Cardinal Richelieu of Croxteth, goes on record to complain about the BBC scrapping Grange Hill…almost exactly one month since he urged the corporation to do just that.

First he’s unhappy with the Beeb for not cancelling the series. Now he’s unhappy with the Beeb for cancelling the series. And people wonder why, during the last few years when Grange Hill was produced by Redmond and Mersey Television/Lime Pictures instead of the BBC, the show had completely lost its way.

Not content with merely reversing his position 180 degrees, however, he goes on to suggest it’s all the fault of the 2012 Olympics. Or the price of DVDs. Or cultural elites.

Whatever, it’s nothing to do with him. Oh no. He’s just the bloke who created the series, wrestled it back off the BBC in 2002 and proceeded to rubbish the idea it was specifically set in a school in north London by a) saying “it was never made clear where the school was set” (despite characters continually referring to, and living in, London boroughs for 25 years) and b) bringing in a load of kids from Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. Oh, and who also went on to make the whole thing far less gritty and far more cartoon-like, prompting the Beeb to move it to 4.30pm instead of 5pm, then onto the CBBC channel instead of solely on BBC1, and finally to do what it had wanted to do for the last five years, which was pull the plug.

And now it’s all over. Bar all those DVDs reissues, of course, each one specially re-edited with a “filmic” look because “I thought it’d be nice to give them a 21st century twist”. Said Phil, yesterday.


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