School's out for ever at Grange Hill

The Grange Hill school bell rings for last time today as the final episode of the series is screened.

After 30 years, the long-running show has not been recommissioned and will end on BBC1 at 4.35pm.

Phil Redmond, creator of the drama set in a fictional London school, said earlier this year that "the point has been lost", claiming the BBC had abandoned the 12 to 16 age group which made up the show's core audience.

He said storylines had been softened to ensure the series appealed to a younger audience.

He said at the time: "I do now think the point of Grange Hill has been lost, and 30 years is a nice time for it to hang up its mortar board."

But writers have made sure the last show will be a memorable one.

Set on the last day of term, an unexploded bomb is discovered underneath the school and old favourite Tucker Jenkins, played by Todd Carty, will return to offer current pupils some advice.

Tony Wood, creative director of Lime Pictures, said: "It has been a privilege to be involved with one of the great titles in the history of British television.

"I am proud of the relationship that Lime has built and maintained with the BBC over the past few years and look forward to working with them on future projects."

The first episode of Grange Hill was broadcast on Wednesday 8 February, 1978 and soon outraged parents with storylines concerning drug addiction, teenage pregnancy and racism.

Perhaps the most controversial storyline was in 1986 when Zammo Maguire developed a heroin addiction.

The show's cast then participated in a Just Say No campaign and released a single which peaked at number 5 in the UK charts.

In May of that year, the cast and crew were invited to The White House by Nancy Reagan, who was involved the American Just Say No project.