BAFTA-award-winning teen drama Press Gang centres on the trials and tribulations of those running a school newspaper, the Junior Gazette, and launched the careers of many of its young stars. Julia Sawalha plays the bossy editor Lynda who has a love-hate relationship with the rebellious American Spike (Dexter Fletcher), while Lee Ross stars as unlucky-in-love assistant editor Kenny and Paul Reynolds as the over-bearing Thatcherite Colin, who is in charge of advertising and finances. Despite its sharp humour, the show also tackled serious issues such as solvent misuse and child abuse.
Memorable moments: Look out for a guest appearance from Sadie Frost as Kenny’s girlfriend and also the episode where Colin accidentally turns up at a funeral… dressed as a giant pink rabbit.
Trivia: Steven Moffat also created the BBC2 sitcom Coupling. Many fans of the show were surprised to discover Dexter Fletcher’s American accent in the series isn’t authentic, as he’s actually from London. He and Julia Sawalha became a couple off-screen for several years.
More than half of the Press Gang episodes were shot by acclaimed British comedy director Bob Spiers, who worked on many hit shows such as Fawlty Towers.
The series won a Royal Television Society (RTS) award and a BAFTA in 1991 for Best Children’s Programme (Entertainment/Drama). Julia Sawalha also won a Best Actress RTS award in 1993.
Julia Sawalha as Lynda Day
Dexter Fletcher as Spike Thomson
Paul Reynolds as Colin Mathews
Mmoloki Chrystie as Frazz Davis
Kelda Holmes as Sarah Jackson
Lee Ross as Kenny Phillips
Joanna Dukes as Tiddler
Lucy Benjamin as Julie Craig
Gabrielle Anwar as Sam Black
Clive Ward as Matt Kerr
Charlie Creed-Miles as Danny McColl
Creator: Bill Moffat
Writer: Steven Moffat
Producer: Sandra C. Hastie
Network: ITV – Central – Richmond
Duration: 36×25 minute episodes
Aired From: 1989-1993