Right, let’s sidestep all of the usual expected LOLZ FAT RO-LANDS HEROINS ZAMMO BRING BACK GRANGE HILL WHY DO PEOPLE FIGHT WITH GUNS IT’S A WORLD AT WAR IMHO! stupidity and get stuck straight into the many, many confusing things about this even-more-comically-bad-than-you-remembered-it awareness-raising anti-drug anthem performed by a bunch of stage school no-hopers with the collective acting ability of that bloke who went “…and a journey to an altogether more far-flung shore: Sylvester McCoy stars as – DOCtor Who!”:
- So what exactly is going on at the start?! Zammo is ‘pumping’ some ‘iron’, and notices his former partner-in-smack-injecting Rob, now apparently turned ‘pusher’ (now that’s a word that’s fallen out of usage if ever there was one) and trying to convince Robbie (see, it’s already getting quite confusing) to purchase some of the dreaded heroin in broad daylight in the middle of an ever-so-slightly well-appointed gym. He pushes the pusher, ‘destroys’ the heroin by standing on it, asks young Robbie what he’s doing “messing about with this stuff”, drives out the drug menace unarmed like something out of a rubbish eighties hip-hop movie, and with a great degree of irony tersely reminds TV’s John Alford to “just say no!”. That surely can’t be ‘canon’.
- Continuing this non-canonical theme, Danny Kendall is apparently no longer a surly anarchistic rebel with a passionate artistic streak and a serious illness that seems to change every week, he’s a comic relief figure to be hoisted aloft comically by Trevor Cleaver and Vince Savage. Erm, OK.
- ‘Ziggy’ boogieing in a cowboy hat. Oh dear.
- Bloody hell, who told ‘Gonch’ he could dance? Probably the same person who told Erkan Mustafa he could sing.
- Ah, it’s the bit everyone remembers: the cast in the studio with de riguer eighties massive headphones and microphones, and the very dictionary definition of am-I-doing-this-right? expressions. Note how they all appear to get their own moment in the spotlight, but the camera cuts away from the more unphotogenic ones very quickly indeed.
- “Allyougoddadoisbeyourselllf”, a line that is now impossible to hear without the violently and indeed frighteningly roared rejoinder “SHUT UP YOU FUCKING PONCE” also echoing around your head on cue. So whatever did happen to hotly tipped Ant Jones-portraying bouffanted bemulleted ‘hunk’ Ricky Simmonds, anyway? According to The Unofficial Ricky Simmonds “Ant Jones” Homepage, his onscreen acting career consisted solely of Grange Hill and portraying a member of a band resembling a less virile Kajagoogoo for woeful (in every sense of the word) latterday Children’s Film Foundation effort Pop Pirates, before life imitated art and he abandoned the acting life to form a pretty ropey looking band called Protocol. Apparently he’s now part of a dance music outfit named The Space Brothers, though that’s decidedly less interesting than his appearance on Saturday Superstore in 1986, which for reasons yet to be understood by anyone once provoked a baffling short-lived flurry of searches on TV Cream.
- What’s with that decidedly unsavoury ‘Uncle’-inviting Eric Prydz-prefiguring adolescent-girls-in-leotards aerobics interlude in the middle?
- Mmoloki Christie’s rap. Hilarious in itself, and replete with traditional ‘hard-hitting’ echo on the final word, but it also brings with it a still-unresolved mystery. For when plans for the single were formally unveiled on Blue Peter, the presenters spared no effort in enthusing over the fact that “the b-side features a rap by Mmoloki”. If other ear-witnesses are to be believed, this exact same phrase was repeated by the presenters several times over the coming weeks as they tried to, oh the irony, push the single to viewers, and many others over the years have been heard to offer unprompted that the b-side was Just Say No (Rap Version). In that case, how come nobody upon nobody has ever seen a copy that features anything other than Just Say No (Instrumental) on the flip? Was the ‘rap’ version withdrawn for being just too hard-hitting? If anyone can shed any light on this mystery, please do…
- And on a similar tack, how come it’s officially credited to ‘The Grange Hill Cast’, when chart rundowns of the day routinely referred to them as ‘The Grange Hill Mob’?
- So many faces, so much youthful arrogance and misplaced belief in their own abilities as across-the-board performers. Little did they know that all the future held was performing sealdom at the behest of Justin Lee Collins.
Now, if anyone can find the video for You Know The Teacher (What A Smash-Head)…