Let me take you back to 1987. I was 12 years old, about to start secondary school and was getting really into many TV comedy shows. June that year saw the U.K Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher win her third landslide victory for the Conservative Party and was still our Prime Minister!! But earlier in February that year, saw ITV launch a brand new sitcom, set in a large comprehensive school called Hardwicke House. Produced for ITV by Central Independent Television.
Episode 1 aired on Tuesday 24th February in 1987, with an hour length episode, starting at 8.30pm. I remember vividly sitting down to watch it, it had been given a good amount of publicity, and plus there were some very recognisable people in it that I liked. To me, a 12 year old girl embarking on secondary school life, this comedy was right up my street. I’d been a big fan of Grange Hill and the televised series of Adrian Mole. This new show felt a little bit like those, but quite a bit naughtier!
ITV, made a big mistake though, airing the first episode at 8.30pm. It just wasn’t the sort of show ITV usually aired at that time in the evening. Most people tuning in back then to ITV expected to see fairly light fluffy gentle comedy the whole family could sit down and watch together. If it had gone out after 9pm from the start, it would probably would have gained the cult following it was after. This was ITV trying to be ‘Alternative’. As a pre-teen though sitting down to watch on my own, I remember enjoying it and looked forward to episode 2. This was shown the following night on Wednesday 25th February at 9pm for the normal 30 minute slot. A far better time slot for the program and I was just starting to get into the show…
But then when I tried to tune in the next week, I discover that it wasn’t on, god I was disappointed, what had happened? Well, turned out there had been so many complaints about the show ITV decided to pull it and not air the rest of the series. Rik and Ade I discovered were due to make an appearance in a future episode too! In episode 5 – Old Boys.
Many of us thought we’d never get to see their appearance in the show, but fast forward 30+ years and some kind sole has uploaded the whole 7 episode series to YouTube, so finally those of us who were upset the show got pulled can now sit and binge the whole series.
It really isn’t that bad, admittedly it’s not great either! It’s a kind of 25 years earlier awkward version of Bad Eduction and those new to it now will probably think, what was all the fuss about?