Phil Redmond has criticised the BBC for abandoning children over the age of 12.

Redmond, whose Grange Hill series was axed this week, also accused the corporation of ‘abandoning’ children over the age of 12.

Giving his first public reaction to the axing of Grange Hill, Redmond wrote in his column for the Liverpool Daily Post: “The announcement comes as no shock following BBC Children’s decision early last year to abandon viewers over 12 and concentrate its focus on nine-year-olds.

“Obviously, that wasn’t good news for a programme that has spent 29 years focusing on secondary education.”

Grange Hill, which made its mark on generations of British youngsters with its gritty portrayal of inner city school life, was axed on Wednesday. CBBC controller Anne Gilchrist said children’s lives had changed since the series was first shown 30 years ago.

Redmond, a former Emmerdale producer and now an organiser of Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year, no longer has any professional connection with Grange Hill. He sold the production company Lime Pictures, which also makes Hollyoaks, three years ago.

He added in the column: “While society at large is looking for cultural role models for our children … shouldn’t the BBC, our primary public service broadcaster, be doing more, not less to plug this gap?

“Is setting the age of 12 as the end of childhood a sociological reality or simply a response to falling ratings following the usual failure to keep engaged with and serve a changing audience adequately?”