Grange Hill has been hailed the greatest children’s TV programme ever – by grown-ups.

The gritty school drama, created by Phil Redmond, beat off stiff competition from The Muppet Show and Tom And Jerry in a poll of 5,000 adults.

The BBC recently announced plans to axe Grange Hill, which was first broadcast in 1978.

In its prime, the show regularly caused controversy by tackling storylines such as heroin addiction, Asperger’s Syndrome, attempted suicide and homosexuality.

Ex-EastEnder Todd Carty made his name as Grange Hill’s resident tearaway Tucker Jenkins.

The Muppet Show, which ran from 1976 to 1981, came second in the poll by internet site www.OnePoll.com.

The entertaining show made superstars out of its puppet characters including Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.

The cartoon capers of cat and mouse duo Tom and Jerry placed third.

OnePoll.com’s John Sewell said: “There are a string of classics among the top 20 but Grange Hill quite rightly came first.

“Everyone over 30 can remeber coming home from school and sitting down to watch the adventures of Tucker Jenkins, Gripper and Roland.”

He added: “It was always the talk of the playground the following day.”

Completing the top five of favourite children’s shows were Bagpuss and The Magic Roundabout.

A number of American shows including The Flintstones and Top Cat dominated the top 20.