1 9 9 0 (UK)
13 x 30 minute episodes
This children’s drama series from Central Independent Television was broadcast between March and July 1990 on ITV.
Billed as “Grange Hill for the nineties”, the series introduced a group of children at a state boarding school run by Mr “Jacko” Jackson (Adrian Mcloughlin), ably assisted by Mrs Grace “Soupy” Campbell (Mary Sheen).
Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, the youngsters and staff of Phoenix Hall coped with drama and intrigue – as well as the occasional lesson.
During the 13 episodes, many of the dorms were destroyed in a fire when Derek (James Hooton who went on to be Sam Dingle in Emmerdale) left an iron switched on, and although the school managed to remain open, everyone had to squeeze in together.
Runaway Linda (Melissa Lambert) – big sister of Maureen (Kerry Stacey) – made an appearance, though she had to spend most of her time hiding in the chimney,
Terry (James Boaden) was diagnosed with polio and ended up in a wheelchair, Sam (Mark Dexter) was expelled for stealing money, and in the final episode, Dawn (Natalie Hand) – who was moving to Canada – had to face up to the fact that she must leave the school – and Mike (Steven Ryde) – for good.
The theme tune was by Debbie Wiseman.
Mr “Jacko” Jackson
Mrs Grace “Soupy” Campbell