Former Grange Hill star Lee MacDonald has claimed that the axed show suffered from being ‘overtaken by society’.

The BBC announced on Wednesday that it was axing the show after 30 years as it had become out of date.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Lee – who played heroin addict Zammo Maguire in the long-running series – said: “It is sad because society has overtaken Grange Hill.

“If you go into a comprehensive school in inner London, the behaviour that goes on is dreadful – that is not all schools, just a lot of schools that I know of.

“I do not think that Grange Hill, going out at 5.05pm in the evening, can compete with that and it can’t show what goes on.

“You have got your life culture, you have got your hoodies and stuff, and it is a lot more hard-hitting in schools now than when were in school 20 years ago.”

Meanwhile, actor Todd Carty, who played tearaway Tucker Jenkins, said the show had been ground-breaking.

“When I started 30 years ago it was a gritty, realistic show about a comprehensive school. At the time, children’s TV was all Billy Bunter and jolly hockey sticks,” he told Sky News. “But I think the world has changed in the last five, 10 or 15 years, never mind 30 years.

“Then the show got audiences of 12 million – children’s TV just doesn’t get that any more. Maybe with the times and fashions and the youth of today, they have different watching habits.”

But many feel that Grange Hill is now more relevant to society than ever – The Sun newspaper has even launched a Save Grange Hill campaign.