Re-Visting the 1970’s With The Grimleys

The Grimleys, 1999

The Grimleys was the comedy drama series that ran for 22 episodes over three series from 1999 after a pilot in 1997.

Like Bread before it, The Grimleys typified life in the era it was set: a 1970’s council estate.

The pilot episode featured Samantha Janus as Miss Titley, replaced in the series by Amanda Holden, Jack Dee played Dynamo Digby, replaced in the series by Brian Connolly.  Also featured was 70’s icon, Slade front man, Noddy Holder.


The series follows the highs and lows of the dysfunctional Grimley family and their struggle with everyday life.

Meet the Grimleys.  Gorden Grimley who has a crush on his teacher Miss Titley and is a bit of a dreamer, his Father Baz is on the sick from British Leyland after injuring his back on his first day and going on strike the second.   Younger brother Darren, , although fond of Gordon and sympathetic to his unrequited love for Miss Titley, is frustrated by his brother’s fey personality and nickname of ‘The School Spanner.  Janet Grimley is the hardworking Mother.

Series one and two featured the same regular cast and was set in the same time period.

For series three it was set later in the 1970s, with a few changes made to the story line.  Doug Digby is killed off in a gymnasium accident in the first episode, replaced in Geraldine Titley’s affections by scheming, manipulative woodwork teacher Dave Trebilcock, played by Craig Kelly.

Geraldine had spent the time between Series Two and Series Three in a coma, which allowed the series to shift its focus from the glam rock era to the punk era. Gordon was by now working as a trainee teacher at the school where he was bullied and insulted by the pupils, many of whom were dressed as punks, reflecting the change in the times. The third series suffered by comparison to the first two, and the show was cancelled afterwards.

Best line in the whole series has to come from Amanda Holden, whose character, teacher Geraldine Titley asks Gorden Grimley – “D’you want the toilet Gorden?” in a thick brummie accent.





The Series




Baz Grimley – Nigel Planer
Janet Grimley – Jan Ravens
Darren Grimley – Ryan Cartwright
Neville Holder – Noddy Holder
Geraldine Titley – Amanda Holden (series), Samantha Janus (pilot)
Doug ‘Dynamo’ Digby – Brian Connolly (series), Jack Dee (pilot)


Channel: ITV
Written By: Jed Mercurio
Original Transmission:  8th March 1999 – 1st April 2001