Ant and Dec confirm Byker Grove reboot 17 years after final episode

Virgin Radio

4 Jul 2023, 08:24

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Ant and Dec are heading back to their roots by reviving beloved children’s series Byker Grove. 

The BBC series, set in Newcastle, propelled the ITV presenting duo’s careers when they starred as fan-favourite characters PJ and Duncan. 

Byker Grove ran from 1989 until 2006, and focused on the lives of kids attending the Byker Grove Youth Centre. 

As reported by BBC News, the rebooted series is expected to be called Byker, with Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly set to produce. According to production company Fulwell 73, the new Byker will be aimed “at a primetime audience" and "engage with a new generation of teenagers navigating the different challenges faced by young adults today"

Sharing the exciting news on social media, Ant and Dec said they were “beyond excited” to bring back the much-loved series. 

Dec explained: “It’s obviously a show very close to our hearts. The show which gave us our breaks, so we couldn’t be more excited that we’ll be giving it a new lease of life. It’ll follow a new generation and their families as they try to navigate the challenges they face today in the 2020s.”

Ant added that working with Fulwell 73 and Mitre Studios in Newcastle means bringing “sustainable training and employment in front of and behind the camera for talent in the North East.”

On what fans might be able to expect, Dec clarified that “storyline development is at a very early stage,” after Ant tried to suggest his character PJ might’ve gone on to have an illustrious rap career (Let’s Get Ready to Rumble anyone?).

Byker Grove not only helped Ant and Dec in their careers, but it also helped to launch the likes of Donna Air, Jill Halfpenny and Andrew Hayden-Smith. 

The original series ran on the BBC, but it’s not yet known which channel the new iteration will find itself on. 

Byker Grove dealt with a lot of issues affecting young kids during the time, as well as championing an accent not regularly heard on air. 

Across the 17-year-run, storylines tackled controversial subjects including drug addiction, child abuse, homelessness, teen pregnancy and homophobia. Byker Grove also featured the very first gay kiss on a UK children’s show. 

The Byker Grove reboot release date has yet to be announced.