Here we’ve listed some of the memorable characters that appeared in the series, which started in 1978, and researched what they’ve been up to since their days in the school.
From sad stories of alcoholism to success stories of Hollywood fame, with everything in between the cast of Grange Hill have a wide range of career paths to read about.
1. Todd Carty – (Tucker Jenkins)
It was said that after leaving Grange Hill, Todd was given his own series Tucker’s Luck which aired for three years. He then went on to play Mark Fowler in Eastenders until 2003, before joining The Bill as the evil Gabriel Kent. It was said that Todd made two returns to Grange Hill, with an appearance in the 2008 finale being his most recent. Carty has directing credit to his name also, with 6 episodes of Doctors under his belt. He’s also turned his hand to skating and cooking, appearing as a contestant on ITV1’sDancing On Ice as well as BBC’s Celebrity Masterchef. In addition the versatile actor toured and played a part in the theatre production, Spamalot.
2. Paul McCarthy – (Tommy Watson)
Did you know that Paul was a member of the original Grange Hill cast? playing Anthony Underwood who didn’t return for the second series. However, he was invited back in series three to play Tucker’s mate, Tommy Watson.
After leaving the show Grange Hill, Paul went on to star in Tucker’s Luck. Since then, Paul has racked up a handful of film and TV credits including Torment and The Bill.
Paul is part of the group Smashing Time who originally formed in 1967. He also completed work on the film Through The Looking Glass in which he played the lead.
After a ten year break and a move to Spain, Paul has returned to acting and has appeared in Essex Vendetta. He is currently working on The Long Road, where he plays a lawyer.
3. Michelle Herbert – (Trisha Yates)
Michelle played Trisha Yates for 5 years from the outset. After leaving Grange Hill Michelle gave up acting and worked for a major sweet manufacturer. She did however make a brief return as Trisha, in the final episode of spin-off Tucker’s Luck. Michelle moved to Dundee in the early 1990s to bring up her family, where she works alongside her husband running their family glazing business; All Glass and Glazing. In 2015, Michelle had to have a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She later spoke to a national newspaper to raise awareness of a lesser-known symptom of cancer.
4. Donald Waugh – (Joseph Hughes)
An original member of Tucker and Trisha’s class, scaredy-cat ‘Hughesy’ was played by Donald Waugh. As a child actor Donald had appeared in many productions including Bugsy Malone and Are You Being Served. Upon leaving Grange Hill after four series’, Donald begun to concentrate on his theatre career. He went on to appear in the original West End cast of Cats and La Cage Aux Folles.
5. Vincent Hall – (Michael Doyle)
‘Sly’ Michael Doyle and his gang clashed with everyone from Tucker Jenkins to Trisha Yates, yet in real life Vincent Hall was really good friends with his co-stars.
Appearing from the first episode, Vincent was already an experienced child-actor after starring in films alongside Roger Moore and Susannah York. He left Grange Hill in 1981 and continued to act, but eventually lost interest, becoming a delivery driver and going on to work in a supermarket. The last we heard, Vincent now lives in Bognor and has been described as being “very quiet and shy” compared to the “bit of a lad he used to be”.
6. Lindy Brill – (Cathy Hargreaves)
Lindy made a big impression as Trisha’s friend, Cathy Hargreaves. Not only was she led astray by Madelin Tanner, she also got the cane for missing school to perform with her group.
Lindy was very disappointed to be written out of Grange Hill in 1982, as she really enjoyed her time on the show. The actress went on to appear in the West End as The Mistress inEvita during the mid 1980s.
Lindy continued to act, but eventually gave up acting to work for an educational publishing company. Lindy got married in 2003 and also gave birth to her first child.
7. Sheila Chandra – (Sudhamani Patel)
Sudhamani was a diligent student who was befriended by Trisha Yates and Cathy Hargreaves. Played by Sheila Chandra, Sudhamani appeared in series two through four.
After leaving Grange Hill, Sheila turned to music and produced a top-ten hit with Ever So Lonely as the lead singer of Monsoon. After becoming a solo singer, Sheila became one of the world’s leading artists on the Asian Fusion music scene, before burning mouth syndrome forced her to give up singing and rendered her barely able to speak.
8. Sara Sugarman – (Jessica Samuels)
Jessica Samuels was behind the campaign to ban school uniform, and also launched a lunchtime protest in the school canteen during series two. Jessica was played by Sara Sugarman who, after a series of television roles, stepped behind the camera to direct the successful award-winning film Very Annie Mary starring Rachel Griffiths.
9. Michael Cronin – (Mr. Baxter)
Well known as a character actor before Grange Hill, with roles in series such as Fawlty Towers, it was his role as no nonsense PE Teacher, Mr Baxter, that Michael is best known for. Michael joined Grange Hill in 1979 and saw his character promoted to Deputy Head, before eventually leaving to run a leisure centre. Since leaving Grange Hill in 1987, Michael has continued to act, taking on a range of television and theatre roles – including parts in a touring production of Hamlet and ITVs The Mayor of Casterbridge.
10. James Wynn – (Mr. Sutcliffe)
‘Sooty’ Sutcliffe was the dynamic and popular English and Drama teacher, who was romantically attached to fellow teacher Miss Mooney. Despite pupil Cathy Hargreaves having a crush on him, Mr Sutcliffe remained professional to the end.
The character left Grange Hill after breaking off his engagement. Actor James Wynn left Grange Hill to work for the BBC and in 1983 he gained a place on their Film Directors’ Course and went on to work on a range of programmes including Jim’ll Fix It, Comic Relief and Songs of Praise.
In the Independent sector he directed documentary programmes for Granada, STV and TVS. In 1991 he set up CVP Communications to make films and videos for the charity sector and has since directed and produced work for a range of major charities and international relief organisations, shooting in Mexico, India and Ethiopia.
11. Vivian Mann – (Antoni Karramanopolis)
Antoni Karramanopolis first appeared in series two, constantly falling asleep after spending his evenings working for his father.
Two years later the character was written out after plummeting to his death from the top of a multi-storey car park (some way to go). After leaving Grange Hill, Vivian, working under the name ‘Vinny Mann’, continued to act in a variety of different productions. During the 90s Vinny signed a record deal with his bandVelcro Fly. He also had a successful career as a model.
12. Mark Burdiss – (Christopher Stewart)
Did you know that Mark played ‘Stewpot’ for five series until 1985? during which time he also recorded and released the theme tune for a film.
Since leaving Grange Hill, Mark has continued to act, appearing in Operation Good Guysalongside his brother (and series writer), Ray. Mark also had a semi regular role in The Billas the brother of one of the officers.
In addition, Mark has recorded numerous adverts, and is particularly well remembered as the face of Morrisons’ Supermarket and more recently ‘Kev’ in The AA’s ‘Bev and Kev’ adverts. A keen follower of professional boxing, Mark can often be seen on televised bouts as a referee.
13. Paula-Ann Bland – (Claire Scott)
Claire Scott is one of the 1980s best remembered characters. Brought up by over protective parents, Claire first caused a stir by fantasising about teacher Mr Hopwood in her diary, leading to her father attacking the object of her affection. Paula-Ann’s success in Grange Hill lead to her being offered a record deal with Kay-Drum Records, with whom she released a cover version of The Locomotion. Paula continued acting even after leaving Grange Hill in 1985, making appearances in TV series like Spender and various British films. In 1988, Paula caused a stir by appearing topless for a special photo shoot in Mayfair magazine. In the early 1990’s Paula continued to act, but now, having spent several years living and working in LA, has returned to London. Paula is kept busy by running her own highly successful PR company and bringing up her family.
14. Susan Tully – (Suzanne Ross)
Suzanne Ross became one of Grange Hill’s most popular rebels.
Able to stand up to bullies like Gripper Stebson and Headmistress Mrs. McCluskey, Suzanne eventually left Grange Hill before completing her exams, a decision she would live to regret, despite finally winning her battle about wearing her own clothes in school.
Susan Tully headed to Albert Square to become Michelle Fowler, one of the original cast in BBC TV’s EastEnders. Susan portrayed Michelle for ten years, before going to become a television director, working on programmes such as EastEnders, The Bill, Stella and Truckers.
15. Mark Savage – (Norman Stebson)
Whether it was extorting dinner money, hounding Roland Browning or starting a race riot within Grange Hill, Gripper was unpopular with staff and pupils alike. Actor Mark Savage found that the public weren’t always able to distinguish between fact and fiction; despite playing such a horrible character Mark was very popular with the cast and was the exact opposite in real life to his character.
16. Fraser Cains – (Mr. McGuffy)
Few teachers made the impact that ‘Scruffy’ McGuffy did on Grange Hill. With his unprofessional appearance he was not thought of highly by other staff, especially headmistress, Mrs McLuskey.
However, when he was sacked, the pupils started a protest march to have him reinstated. In 1984 Fraser Cains left Grange Hill, but continues to act, particularly in his homeland of Wales. Fraser is fluent in Welsh and until 2004 played the part of Mr Nott is S4C’s Treflan, as well as taking numerous theatre roles.