Do you want to see Corona-nation Street on TV? Sir Phil Redmond, creator of Grange Hill claims that a soap with an anti-vax storyline and pandemic would be “fantastic drama”, but broadcasters are afraid to upset people

  • The producer is famous for his work on shows like Grange Hill  and Brookside
  • Sein programs are well-known for their hard-hitting storylines, such as heroin addiction.
  • He says that soaps should feature current issues such as the pandemic.
  • After writing the spoof “Coronavirus Street”, he wants to see an anti-vax storyline in TV.

Famous TV producer Sir Phil Redmond would like to see soaps featuring anti-vax stories after he wrote a spoof called “Corona Nation Street” during lockdown.

The creator of  shows including Brookside and teen drama Grange Hill – infamous for its hard hitting storylines including heroin addiction and suicide – appeared on the breakfast show after receiving a knighthood yesterday for services to broadcasting and arts.

Sir Phil, who made headlines in the 90s after Brookside broadcast the first female same-sex kiss before the 9pm watershed, called on broadcasters to ‘find more courage’ when it comes to programming, and tackle some of the real-life issues that are often more dramatic than fictional ones.

Sir Phil said the anti-vaccine issue 'would be a fantastic storyline' on a programme like Coronation Street

Sir Phil said the anti-vaccine issue ‘would be a fantastic storyline’ on a programme like Coronation Street

Good Morning Britain hosts Adil Ray and Susanne Reid interviewed veteran TV creator Sir Phil Redmond - best known for shows like Grange Hill and Brookside

Good Morning Britain hosts Adil Ray and Susanne Reid interviewed veteran TV creator Sir Phil Redmond – best known for shows like Grange Hill and Brookside

He’d love to see the Covid pandemic on TV, among other hard-hitting topics.  

He said, “I believe the secret to success is in trying to connect with what’s really going on around you.”

“I feel that the current pandemic shows us there’s more drama in the real world to enjoy than people who sit in rooms trying it.

He told hosts Susanne Reid and Adil Ray that ‘socially relevant, hard hitting drama’ has had no ‘backbone’, saying it has ‘lost its way and needs to find its way back’, blaming broadcasters for lacking courage rather than producers and writers.

Susanna discussed with Phil how he wrote a joke soap called ‘Corona–nation Street’ while locked down. Sir Phil asked Susanna if he thought there should be another long-running program that featured the pandemic.

He stated, “I am a bit shocked and annoyed that people have so much difficulty digesting tools. One of the best things about our game was you can combine things with people far away.

“I was amazed they didn’t get it because it was evident it would continue on for a long, long time.

Take the anti-vaccine issue at the moment. It would make a great storyline. [Coronation Street]You could also go back. [Brookside]If you live in a place where some residents are getting vaccinated, and others are not, it is called a “vaccination bubble.”

“Someone else works in the NHS. You could see all the perspectives. It’d be great television drama.

He said that broadcasters shouldn’t worry about irritating people because audiences will appreciate contentious topics more than they do.

When Sir Phil was asked if Grange Hill could be revived after its smash success, Sir Phil replied that it wasn’t possible, although he believes there are still opportunities for this type of programming.  

TV lovers took to Twitter to congratulate Sir Phil on his Knighthood, with many feeling nostalgic after hearing the Grange Hill theme tune playing on GMB

Television fans took to Twitter and congratulated Sir Phil for his Knighthood. Many felt nostalgic when they heard the Grange Hill theme song on GMB.

Following the interview, Sir Phil’s fans took to Twitter to express their gratitude and to felicitate him for his honor.

One commented: “Congratulations, Sir Phil Redmond, for your Knighthood. His Estate Manager role was years ago, and he later let me work on a personal basis. This award is a tribute to his extraordinary charitable efforts.

One added, “Hearing Brookside and Grange Hill themes on GMB this AM has taken me back to my youth/childhood.” It warmed my heart! Arise Sir Phil Redmond!’

One third said: “Waking up, to hear that Phil Redmond has been knighted. They are well-deserved, and they were long overdue.