Byker Grove axed
Tyneside drama series Byker Grove - which launched the careers of Geordie duo Ant and Dec - is to come to an end after 17 years, the BBC has announced. The 18th series of the children’s show, which is set in the Byker district of Newcastle upon Tyne, is to be the last. The decision to take the show off the air comes as CBBC focuses more tightly on the primary school age-group as its core audience. Byker Grove, which portrays the lives of children aged 11 to 16 who attend a Tyneside youth club The Grove, was first screened as a pilot in the autumn of 1989. It was commissioned as a series the following year. Its 344 episodes have featured a number of controversial storylines, including drug addiction, child abuse, teenage pregnancy and abortion. In 1995 it became the first children’s drama to tackle the subject of homosexuality when Noddy Fishwick kissed friend Gary Hendrix at the back of a cinema.Richard Deverell, Controller BBC Children’s, said: “It has been a great programme for CBBC with some ground breaking storylines over the years. “It has spawned some excellent talent both on and off screen and the production has always been of the highest standard. “We’ve made the decision after considering carefully how it fits with our portfolio of programmes and services and our focus on the primary school age group.“The final series of Byker Grove will go out on CBBC ONE in September 2006.
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .