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04th Jul 2023

Ant and Dec announce Byker Grove return after 17 years

Charlie Herbert

Ant and Dec announce Byker Grove reboot

The iconic 90s show will be returning

Ant and Dec have confirmed they are producing a reboot of Byker Grove, 17 years after the last series of the show aired.

The iconic children’s series, set in Newcastle, aired from 1989 to 2006 and told the story of a group of youngsters who attended the youth club, Byker Grove.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly played the characters PJ and Duncan in the show, roles propelled them to national fame.

The pair announced the news of the reboot on Tuesday morning, saying they “couldn’t be more excited” to bring back the series “for a whole new audience.”

Called ‘Byker’, the programme will be aimed “at a primetime audience” and “engage with a new generation of teenagers navigating the different challenges faced by young adults today”, production company Fulwell 73 said.

The show also launched the careers of the likes of Jill Halfpenny, Andrew Hayden-Smith and Donna Air. It has not yet been confirmed when the series will be broadcast, or which channel it will be shown on.

Over its 18 series, the show aired on the BBC.

Dec said the reboot would “help shine a spotlight on the North East and the talent the region has to offer both in front of the camera and behind it”.

“Byker Grove will always be very special to us as the show which gave us our break, so we are beyond excited,” he added.

“We are looking forward to bringing this fresh incarnation to a whole new generation as well as those who remember it as fondly as we do.”

One of the show’s most memorable scenes was when PJ was shot in the eyes during a paintball fight.

And another storyline which involved PJ and Duncan performing a song led to Ant and Dec having a music career in the real world, recording two studio albums and achieving 14 Top 20 hits, with their biggest hit being Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble.

Ant, who played PJ, said him and Dec “owe such a lot to Byker Grove and the North East so we can’t wait to start working to bring this iconic series back to life”.

“Already talking characters and storylines has us all buzzing at the possibilities ahead,” he added.

Along with being filmed across Newcastle and Sunderland by Fulwell 73 – a North East production company behind shows such as Friends: The Reunion and the 2018 Gavin & Stacey Christmas special – Ant and Dec will integrate their Prince’s Trust Making It In Media course into the production to help give experience to young people in the region.

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