1 9 8 3 – 1 9 8 5 (UK)
27 x 30 minute episodes
The Grange Hill character Peter ‘Tucker’ Jenkins (Todd Carty) proved to be so popular with viewers that creator Phil Redmond developed this spin-off aimed at viewers who had grown up with Tucker and followed his life after leaving school with few qualifications.
Together with two friends from Grange Hill, Tommy Watson (Paul McCarthy) and Alan Humphries (George Armstrong), Tucker entered adulthood by joining the ranks of the unemployed and adapting to the harsh reality of life on the dole in the mid-1980s.
Set in the rundown council estates of London, the series attempted a realistic portrayal of life for teenagers in the Thatcher era.
The three lads topped up their dole cheques with some cash-in-hand building work for Alan’s dad, a building contractor.
Much of Tucker’s time was spent chasing girls and hanging around the local chip shop.
Also, in keeping with Tucker’s rebellious nature seen in Grange Hill, he had regular run-ins with figures of authority, as well as clashes with local thug and bovver boy Ralph Passmore (Peter McNamara).
The series ended on a relative high-note for Tucker with him eventually attending night-school to learn a trade as a painter and decorator.
The show proved to be less controversial than Grange Hill and was less popular with viewers, although its scheduling time did little to help as the show was broadcast on BBC2 opposite the early evening news on both BBC1 and ITV.
Todd Carty later went on to appear in the BBC soap EastEnders as Mark Fowler.
Peter ‘Tucker’ Jenkins
Chris ‘Creamy’ Eames