Who Wrote Grange Hill (and the Theme Music)?

Who Wrote Grange Hill

Grange Hill was staple watching for any kid growing up in the 1980s. With its gritty story lines, relatable characters and teachers (Mr Bronson scared me), plus the amazing opening credits and theme tune, what was not to love?

But who was the mastermind behind Grange Hill? Who was it that actually wrote the show and the theme music? For all you need to know, take a trip down memory lane with this quick nostalgia trip.

Who wrote the Grange Hill TV series?

Who wrote Grange Hill? Grange Hill was written by Phil Redmond originally broadcasting on the BBC in 1978. Acclaimed Hollywood filmmaker Anthony Minghella also worked as a script editor on Grange Hill during the 1980s.

Other writers worked on the series too, but there were also some books that were published when Grange Hill was at its peak popularity in the 1980s.

Annuals and short story books were released which were written by Phil Redmond with help from other authors. These authors included Robert Leeson and Jan Needle.

You might have heard of the name Phil Redmond before, and that won’t be a surprise. In TV terms he is an absolute legend.

As well as writing the Grange Hill series, he is also responsible for writing the following UK TV shows:

  • Brookside
  • Hollyoaks
  • Hollyoaks in the City
  • The Courtroom
  • Waterfront Beat
  • Damon and Debbie
  • Going Out
  • Sally Ann
  • Horse in the House
  • Adventure
  • The Squirrels
  • Potter’s Picture Palace
  • Doctor at Sea
  • Doctor in Charge

Who wrote the theme tune to Grange Hill?

Who wrote the Grange Hill music? Alan Hawkshaw wrote the music for Grange Hill. His song “Chicken Man” was used as the theme tune from 1978 to 1989 which was set against the comic book style intro. In 1990, new music was used written by Peter Moss. 

There’s only really one Grange Hill theme tune for me though, and that’s the original Alan Hawkshaw version. But who is he?

Well, he’s a British composer born in 1937 who started out being a band member in a group called The Crescendos. He even featured on a David Bowie album in the 1960s.

But it’s his TV work that he is most known for having written the theme tunes for the following shows and ads:

  • Grange Hill
  • The Dave Allen Show
  • Dave Allen at Large
  • On the Move
  • Cadbury’s Milk Tray adverts
  • Channel 4 News
  • Give Us a Clue
  • Countdown
  • Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious Worlds
  • BBC Midlands Today

You can hear the Grange Hill music by watching the YouTube video below which is titled “Grange Hill: Theme Tune”.

The “Just Say No” music from Grange Hill

And whilst we’re on the subject of Grange Hill music, who can forget the classic “Just Say No” campaign. If you need reminding this was the music single released to raise awareness on the dangers of drugs.

In the show, Zammo develops a heroin addiction, and the music was used during the episodes, and then was released into the singles charts in 1986.

But who wrote the Just Say No music in Grange Hill?

Just Say No was written by Al Gorgoni and George McMahon. No, I haven’t heard of them either, so who were they exactly?

Al Gorgoni is an American guitarist and composer, and as for George McMahon… I can’t find any references to who he was or what else he may have written.

Final thoughts…

Whenever I hear the music from Grange Hill the first thing that pops into my head is a sausage getting jabbed into some cold mashed potato! I am sure you might have similar nostalgic memories.

Finding out who wrote the music to Grange Hill and who wrote the stories has been fun. It’s brought back a lot of my childhood memories?

Did you watch Grange Hill? Did you love the music? If you did I would love to hear your memories in the comments below.

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