Gates to shut for last time at Grange Hill
By Andrew Hough
LONDON (Reuters) - One of the longest-running and most popular British children's TV shows, Grange Hill, has been axed after three decades, the BBC announced on Wednesday.
The gates will close for a final time at the fictitious London school -- which has been entertaining children all over the world -- later this year, the state broadcaster said.
The hard-hitting show, which broke new ground in its depiction of teen pregnancy, drug use and racism, was created in 1978 by Phil Redmond.
It made stars out of its actors -- many went on to establish prominent acting careers in soaps, stage shows and film.
But in recent times the show's makers have been forced to comply with BBC policy that any afternoon programs must be suitable for young children, which Redmond criticized.
The head of the BBC's children's arm, Anne Gilchrist, said on Wednesday the show was being axed because it did not reflect modern British school life. She said the BBC had commissioned a new series to fill the void.
"Of course it's sad to say goodbye to such a much-loved institution," she said in a statement.
"The lives of children have changed a great deal since Grange Hill began and we owe it to our audience to reflect this." She later told BBC television that 30 years was a "pretty good life-span" and it was time to say goodbye. Continued...