8. Really Wild Show (1986 – 2006)
The Really Wild Show was a long-running British television show about wildlife, broadcast by the BBC as part of their CBBC service to children. It also runs on Animal Planet in the US. The show was broadcast each year from 21 January 1986. In April 2006 the BBC announced that the show would be axed that summer, and as such the last ever episode was shown in May 2006, giving the show a run of 20 years. However, in July 2017, it was announced that the BBC were in talks with Chris Packham and Michaela Strachan to bring the show back.
9. Blue Peter (1958 – Present)
Blue Peter is a British children’s television programme, currently shown live on the CBBC television channel. A significant part of British culture, it first aired in 1958 and is the longest-running children’s TV show in the world. Although the show has a nautical title and theme, it is a magazine/entertainment show containing viewer and presenter challenges, as well as the famous arts and crafts “makes”. During its history there have been many presenters, currently Lindsey Russell and Radzi Chinyanganya. The show is produced mainly in a television studio, but there is also a garden, often referred to as the Blue Peter Garden, used during the summer and for outdoor activities. The programme has always featured a number of pets, including a tortoise called Shelly, and a dog named Iggy, who is now helping blind people.
10. Grange Hill (1978 – 2008) TV Shows
range Hill was originally conceived by ATV writer Phil Redmond, who first approached various television companies with the idea in 1975, unsuccessfully. In 1976, he managed to sell the idea to the BBC, and the children’s drama executive Anna Home commissioned an initial series of nine episodes in a trial run, the first being broadcast on 8 February 1978.
From the start, the series caused controversy for its real-life, gritty portrayal of school life, which differed from the idealised portrayals of earlier school dramas. Redmond has said that he wasn’t really able to start pushing the boundaries until later series. This led to Redmond being summoned to lunch by BBC bosses and forced to agree that there would be no further series unless he toned things down. Grange Hill’s highest profile period was undoubtedly the mid-late 1980s. One of the most famous storylines during this time was that of Zammo McGuire, played by Lee Macdonald, and his addiction to heroin. This storyline ran over two series (1986–87) and focused on Zammo’s descent into drugs and how it strained his relationship with girlfriend Jackie and friend Kevin. The show’s other favourite characters during this period were Gonch and Hollo, played by John Holmes and Bradley Sheppard. During his time at the school (1985–89) Gonch took part in many moneymaking schemes, most of which were unsuccessful. There was a comedic element to the duo’s relationship that worked well with viewers. Script editor Anthony Minghella, who worked on the series for several years during the 1980s, later won an Academy Award for Best Director for the film The English Patient in 1996