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Behind the Bike Sheds

1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 5 (UK)
17 x 25 minute episodes

Headteacher Mr Braithwaite (Cal McCrystal) ruled over the students of Fulley Comprehensive in this Yorkshire Television production with all the dictatorial menace of Adolf Hitler – aided and abetted by Poskitt (Kjartan Poskitt), the school caretaker.

Adam (Adam Sunderland) was a plucky, fresh-faced student whose main role was to open each episode with a narration on the current events at the school and to update the plot throughout the episodes.

Adam’s headphone-wearing friend Paul (Paul Charles) was a talented individual who could move like a young Michael Jackson but had aspirations of becoming a broadcast journalist as evidenced by his “Jim Raving’s Newsround” sections in series two.

Jenny (Jenny Jay) was a fifth-former blessed with a precocious savvy and a determination to highlight her singing skills, matched only by her swooning passion for boys, particularly older ones.

Marion (Marion Conroy) was a young punk bristling with attitude and a mocking wit which was curiously juxtaposed by her beautiful singing voice and twisting dance moves.

Fanshawe (a puppet) lurked eccentrically in the school boiler room – a Phantom of the Opera-type who had been injured and scarred by a radioactive school dinner in the Great School Canteen Disaster some years earlier. He had not aged since and kept the Sacred School Dinner on the wall and worshipped it.

The pupils of Fulley Comprehensive found themselves careering through musical slapstick songs and sketches on sucking up to parents and the horror of school uniforms (pink, in this case – at least for the first series).

In the first series, the show also featured interviews with pop stars such as Altered Images and The Thompson Twins. These were dropped for the second series.

The characters of Braithwaite, Poskitt, Fanshawe and Marion also departed for the second series. Replacing Braithwaite as headmaster was cruel, overbearing Megan Bigge (Val McClane) – aka “Mega Pig” – a clear parody of Margaret Thatcher and just as dominating.

New deputy head Whistle Willie Jones (Ken Jones) turned out to be a wet blanket and pushover and was soon sacked. More confident was Joe Winter (Tony Slattery) who arrived on a tidal wave of charisma, impressing staff and pupils alike.

What Joe hadn’t expected, though, was the level of anarchy awaiting him at Fulley Comprehensive which forced him through several personality changes, emerging as a child-hating maniac with fascist overtones.

New students included GBH (Linus Staples) – a thuggish punk with a Mohican and a penchant for cockney rhyming slang; Gertrude (Martha Parsey) – a neatly dressed, polite goody two shoes; Chas (Lee Sparke) – a slick and confident Cockney wide boy; AWOL (Andrew Jones) – a scruffy, slightly dirty lad from Yorkshire who joined Chas in running many scams and rackets from the school boiler room; and Skids (Julie MaCauley) – who had a natural talent for song and dance.

Trolley Molly (Sara Mair-Thomas), was a dinner lady who carted her culinary wares around in a trolley and had a sweet spot for Joe Winter (she created ‘Jonuts’ in his honour).

Many of the pupils who danced in the background were provided by The Harehills Dance Group.

Paul Charles
Jenny Jay
Adam Sunderland
Andrew Jones
Julie Macauley
Martha Parsey
Lee Sparke
Linus Staples
Tracy Place
Miss Megan “Mega Pig” Biggie, Headmistress
Val McLane
Whistle Willie Jones
Ken Jones
Trolley Molly
Sara Mair-Thomas
Mr “Pericles” Braithwaite, Headmaster
Cal McCrystal
Ivan Poskitt
Kjartan Poskitt
Joe Winter
Tony Slattery