Byker Grove cast then and now – what happened once the credits rolled?

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For a lot of the hit Newcastle drama Byker Grove shaped the backdrop to their lives as they grew up, the on-screen antics of its younger solid placing a chord with college age viewers all over the place.

And within the North East even mere point out of the long-running sequence has us feeling nostalgic.

The recognition of the drama, set round a fictional youth membership in Byker, made family names of its solid, probably the most well-known being in fact Ant and Dec who we knew method again as PJ and Duncan.







Ant and Dec at Byker Grove's 10th anniversary celebrations in 1998

Ant and Dec at Byker Grove’s 10th anniversary celebrations in 1998


We all know that they’re busy getting ready for the brand new sequence of I’m A Superstar, Get Me Out of Right here however what about a number of the others within the solid?

5 years in the past, each solid and crew from the youngsters’s drama reunited at Tyneside Cinema to have fun 1 / 4 century because it made its debut on TV.

However the place are they now?  Right here, to mark 30 years since Byker Grove launched in November 1989, we meet up with a number of the actor who performed its hottest characters.

Ant & Dec







Ant & Dec


We’ll get these two out of the way in which first as they’re most undoubtedly the most important success story to return out of the Grove.

After releasing their debut single as PJ and Duncan, the a lot beloved duo have by no means appeared again.

With three albums to their identify in addition to a string of prime 20 hits together with Everlasting Love, U Krazy Katz and, in fact Let’s Get Prepared To Rhumble, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly grew to become Saturday morning and prime time TV stars internet hosting the likes of SMTV Reside, Pop Idol, Saturday Evening Takeaway and Britain’s Obtained Expertise.

Whereas Ant has very publicly confronted his demons, followers have welcomed him again with open arms and – after final 12 months’s hiatus – he’ll resume his rightful place at Dec’s facet to host the brand new sequence of I’m A Superstar, Get Me Out of Right here!

And we haven’t lengthy to attend earlier than we meet up with the pair Down Below.

Jill Halfpenny







Jill on Strictly Come Dancing

Jill on Strictly Come Dancing


One other family identify spawned by Byker Grove is that this common actress who appeared on the present between the ages of 13 and 17,

Again within the early days of the present, Halfpenny’s character Nicola Dobson was a giant favorite with viewers and the now 44-year-old actress stays in-demand and massively common with followers many years on.

She’s been a TV common, with stints in Coronation Road and as Kate in Eastenders – which led to a profitable run in Strictly Come Dancing and a West Finish profession within the likes of Chicago and Legally Blonde, for which she received an Olivier award

Different dramas have included Waterloo Highway, In The Membership and Darkish Cash – which noticed her talk about being put by the emotional wringer -while stage roles have seen her star in Abigail’s Celebration.

Halfpenny lately spoke emotionally about tragedy in her private life which received her a lot reward for her bravery in opening up within the podcast interview. 

Donna Air







Donna Air opening TK Maxx


After initially discovering fame as Grover Charlie Charlton  from the age of simply 10, Air and co-stars Jayni Hoy and Vicky Taylor set their sights on the pop charts, with single Love Your Horny peaking at quantity 46.

She and Jayni then tried to ‘do a PJ and Duncan’, launching the double act Crush.

Their singles Jellyhead and Luv’d Up didn’t make the High 40 right here, however received them followers in Japan and America.

Air, from Newcastle, turned TV presenter which noticed her on the helm on the likes of The Huge Breakfast, MTV’s Complete Request Reside and Reside from Studio 5 and dramas embrace Hollyoaks and Lodge Babylon.

She is now identified for being one thing of a style entrepreneur and has additionally proven off her abilities on Dancing on Ice. 

Andrew Hayden-Smith







Andrew filming Byker Grove back in 1998

Andrew filming Byker Grove again in 1998


After his unhealthy boy character Ben was killed off, Hayden-Smith, from Gateshead, landed himself a couple of presenting gigs on the likes of Reside & Kicking and CBBC.

He then added a formidable string to his appearing bow by showing often on Physician Who. He’s now a recogniseable voice introducing programmes on ITV and writes a column for Angle journal.

Different subsequent TV roles have seen him in Russell T.Davies’ new Channel four drama Cucumber and Hollyoaks as DS Gavin Armstrong.

He additionally does common voice-over work. 

Charlie Hunnam







Charlie Hunnam


Sure Charlie Hunnam! Okay, so he appeared in solely three episodes as Jason however the Newcastle-born 39-year-old has to have a point out as he’s gone on to have worldwide success, firstly starring in Russell T Davies’s Queer as People and secondly touchdown the lead function in smash hit US drama Sons of Anarchy.

Roles – which very almost included Fifty Shades of Gray movie – have ranged from the lead in 2002’s Nicholas Nickleby to the star spot in Man Ritchie’s 2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. 

Lyndyann Barras







Lyndyann Barras


Now not such a family identify, throughout her time on Byker Grove, Lyndyann was most undoubtedly one of many present’s most well-known faces.

Spuggy was a devoted Grover for six sequence and though she hasn’t made such an influence on the small display screen since, she has appeared on stage in native newbie productions of Annie Get Your Gun and Excessive Society and nonetheless lists herself as an actress in addition to a businesswoman on Twitter and She’s additionally a mam-of-two. 

Billy Fane







Billy Fane with on display screen dad Jeff Murphy again in 1995


Like Spuggy, Billy’s character Geoff was a staple of Byker Grove for a few years, till the membership’s head honcho met an unlucky finish in a gasoline explosion in 2000.

Billy appeared in numerous pantomimes throughout the area as in Heartbeat. He’s maybe finest identified for showing in North East movies Billy Elliot and Purely Belter.

In different information he graduated with a postgraduate course in Schooling and Instructional Particular Wants from Hull College. 

Denise Welch







Denise in Byker Grove


She might need solely had a brief seven episode stint on the Grove as Polly between 1990 and 91, however Welch went on to attain greater fame in hit TV sequence Soldier Soldier, Coronation Road and Waterloo Highway and as a daily panelist on Free Ladies.

There could have been her well-known/notorious look on Superstar Huge Brother however she has spoken brazenly about overcoming issues and her earlier behaviour, together with throughout a latest interview on the Ur Welcome America podcast by which her Geordie humour proved a winner. 

Charlie Hardwick







Charlie Hardwick


One other acquainted face to Byker Grove viewers, Hardwick performed youth chief Sian for quite a lot of sequence, together with in a return function for Geoff’s funeral.

She since grew to become best-know for enjoying Val in Emmerdale – which received her a British Cleaning soap Award for Finest Comedy Efficiency – till her character’s demise and stays a preferred all-rounder.

An everyday at Sunday for Sammy fund-raisers at Newcastle Metropolis Corridor, Hardwick’s stage roles embrace touring with Lee Corridor’s Cooking With Elvis; Sting’s The Final Ship and a latest run of Clear White Gentle at Reside Theatre whereas  TV roles incude the Channel four drama Ackley Bridge.  

Chelsea Halfpenny







Chelsea in Emmerdale


One other Grover to seek out fame in ITV hit Emmerdale, Chelsea adopted her Auntie Jill into soapland, working intently with Charlie as Amy Wyatt, in addition to taking part in Alicia Munroe in BBC’s Casualty.

A cracking singer, she has additionally carried out at Christmas carol live shows at St Nicholas’ Cathedral and at Sunday for Sammy.

She was additionally landed within the highlight this summer time with the information she was as a result of take over the lead function within the West Finish manufacturing of 9 to five: The Musical. 

Nicola Bell







Nicola (second left) with Jill and other castmates at the 10th anniversary

Nicola (second left) with Jill and different castmates on the 10th anniversary


Nicola’s character Debbie Dobson broke each PJ and Duncan’s hearts on varied events, to not point out unintentionally blinding PJ throughout a paintball match.

After starring in an episode of Kavanagh QC in 1995, the appearing dried up and Nicola acquired work as a flight attendant. She is now a really blissful mum.

Guari Vedhara







Gauri with co-star Chris Woodger in 1995

Gauri with co-star Chris Woodger in 1995


As Sita, Guari successfully grew up on Byker Grove. The previous Gosforth Excessive pupil was thrilled to land the function again on the age of 12 and stayed with the present till 2000.

Since leaving the Grove, she has toyed with the thought of being a singer and has rediscovered her love of appearing with roles in Emmerdale and North East-shot dramas Wolfblood in addition to Vera in addition to 2017 movie Twins 2.

Steven Douglass







Byker Grove teacher Jeanette Healy with Steven in 1998

Byker Grove instructor Jeanette Healy with Steven in 1998


Nonetheless stated to ve shut pals with Gauri and Andrew, Steven was initially solid as an additional however was quickly taking day trip of his research at Jarrow’s Hedworth Discipline college to be taught strains and shoot scenes for the larger function of Barry.

Steven left the present aged 16 and afterwards labored in a stockbrokers after which our earlier experiences has him working as a artistic visible merchandiser for Fenwicks then in inside design. 

Victoria Hawkins







Victoria alongside Charlie in Emmerdale

Victoria alongside Charlie in Emmerdale


Enjoying Claire, on-off girlfriend of Andrew’s character Ben, Vicky went on to star as Sharon Lambert  in Emmerdale and shortlived ITV sequence Metal River Blues.

Her voice was additionally well-known to listeners of Century Radio as prepared journey information as Husky Hawkins from 2002 to 2004.

A brand new function at present sees her busy round Newcastle in movie Moreland’s Fireplace which started capturing in October and stars North East actors Craig Conway Stephen Tompkinson as gangsters.

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