An event marking the 25th anniversary of Byker Grove has been booked to take over the Tyneside Cinema next month.
The former cast and crew of the popular children’s BBC1 drama, set in a youth club on Tyneside, will be gathering at the venue on November 7 for Byker Grove - All Grown Up, which will celebrate the achievements and the legacy of the series, a quarter of a century since the first episode was broadcast.
Hosted by the regional branch of the Royal Television Society (RTS), the public are invited to join in with the occasion and hear the ‘Grovers’ talk about what went on behind the scenes on the long-running series, which put the North East on the map for youngsters all over the country.
Chris Jackson, of the RTS in the North East and the Borders as well as the BBC’s Inside Out, said: “It was such an influential production and changed the landscape in the industry up here.
“The anniversary deserves to be marked and celebrated by the people who worked on it and enjoyed it for all those years.”
Although Byker Grove hasn’t been on screen since 2006, Chris said its legacy can been seen in current children’s dramas such as Wolfblood and The Dumping Ground, both CBBC series which are filmed in the region.
“Although of course people remember the stars like Ant and Dec and Jill Halfpenny, who started their careers on Byker Grove, there were also many young actors and crew members who went on to develop great careers behind the camera,” he added.
The full panel for the evening will be announced in the next couple of weeks, but sadly, it won’t include the show’s most famous stars, Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, who will be filming I’m A Celebrity.... Get Me Out of Here in Australia. The pair, who own all 18 series of Byker Grove have offered support though, giving permission for a selection of archive clips to be screened.
* Byker Grove - All Grown Up takes place from 8.30pm on November 7 at the Tyneside Cinema. Tickets, priced £7.95 are available from the box office on 0845 217 9909 or online at www.tynesidecinema.co.uk