Super Gran! The Childhood Show We All Loved?
Who else remembers watching Super Gran? She was the little old lady with the most amazing super powers. Gran could hear a person in distress from miles away by using her fingers like radio receivers and holding them to her head. She could also jump higher than a pole vaulter, and run faster than Usain Bolt. It’s safe to say that Granny Smith was one powerful and clever crime-fighting Super Gran!
This popular 80s TV programme ran from 1985 to 1987. The screenplay was adapted by Jenny McDade from the books written by Forrest Wilson, which were first published in 1978. The story followed Super Gran after she gained special magic powers after being accidentally hit by a magic ray sent forth by Inventor Black.
Thankfully she used her powers for good by protecting the fictional town of Chiselton from The Scunner Campbell and his gang The Muscles. Super Gran was usually accompanied by her grandson, Willard (played by Iam Towell in series one then Michael Graham in series two) and Inventor Black’s assistant, Edison (played by Holly English in series one and Samantha Duffy in the second series). Filming for Super Gran took place in the North East of England, including Whitley Bay, South Shields and Tynemouth.
Keep scrolling down the article below to find out some more fascinating facts the 80s kids series that everybody knew and loved!
1. Super Gran was an international hit with fans in China and Cuba
The Gran with magic powers was a huge hit of a programme. Selling to over sixty countries world wide, including China, where it was massively successful, as it also was in Cuba.
2. Actress Gudrun Ure did most of the stunts herself
Super Gran was played by Scottish actress, Gudrun Ure who was born in Campsie, Stirlingshire, in 1926. When Gudrun first appeared in Super Gran she was fifty nine years old, yet she only had one stunt double, and did many of the stunts herself.
3. The actor who played The Scunner Campbell was also in The Railway Children
The Scunner Campbell was played by Iain Cuthbertson. Cuthbertson was a hugely accomplished actor with many credits for stage and screen to his name. He appeared in 1970’s The Railway Children as Charles Waterbury, and he also starred in Gorillas in the Mist in 1988.
Cuthbertson was a Glaswegian actor born in 1930 – he sadly passed away in 2009 at the age of seventy nine years old.
3. The Muscles were played by two local stand up comedians
The Muscles was a gang made up of two villains who were actually played by local stand up comedians Alan Snell and Brian Lewis. By night they were performing in comedy clubs around the North East.
Fans of the series will remember that we were also treated to an incredible line-up of guest stars. Including…
1. George Best
This was a brilliant treat for all of the 80s kids who idolised the Northern Irish football player!
2. Charles Hawtrey
Hawtrey is of course best known for appearing in the classic British comedy series, the Carry On films.
3. Geoff Capes
Capes was at one time the world’s strongest man, and actually managed to win the title twice. Very impressive indeed!
3. Roy Kinnear
Kinnear appeared in many TV and film productions, most famously as Mr Henry Salt in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in 1971. Plus Roy had a role in the classic British sitcom George and Mildred with Bryan Murphy and Yootha Joyce playing the lead roles.
4. Spike Milligan
Milligan was an actor, comedian, writer and all round hilarious, witty, funny, man! Apparently he enjoyed his time in Newcastle so much that he became a Newcastle United season ticket holder for the rest of his life.
5. Billy Connelly
With all of these guest stars you would think this programme couldn’t get any better?! Yet it does! Super Gran was nicely topped off with a theme tune sung by none other than Billy Connolly. The track was also released as a single in 1985 and it charted at number thirty two in the UK singles chart.