Hope and Glory (TV series)

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Hope and Glory
Hope and Glory DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Genre Drama
Created by Lucy Gannon
Directed by Juliet May and others
Starring Lenny Henry
Amanda Redman
Clive Russell
Gillian Kearney
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 16
Producer(s) Nicolas Brown
Running time 50 minutes
Original channel BBC One
Original run 22 June 1999 –
5 November 2000
Related shows Waterloo Road

Hope and Glory is a BBC television drama about a comprehensive school struggling with financial, staffing and disciplinary problems, and faced with closure. It starred Lenny Henry as maverick "Superhead" Ian George, enlisted to turn around the school's fortunes.

It was created by Lucy Gannon, who had previously created Soldier Soldier, and was inspired by a real head teacher named William Atkinson.[1][2]


Ian George, the head of an exclusive school, is asked to take a look at Hope Park Comprehensive School, which is on special measures, and asked to confirm its closure. When he visits the school, he's greeted by disaffected students and teachers alike. The sixth form centre was derelict after it was torched a few years previously, and the music room is full of expensive equipment, unused because the school could not attract a music teacher. The outgoing head (Peter Davison) breaks down during his farewell speech and delivers an emotional rant against the students, telling them how worthless they are.

After meeting staff and pupils at the school, in particular pupil Keeley Porter and teacher Debbie "Debs" Bryan, Ian George believes there is some hope for the school. He is offered help by the chair of governors, whose son died young and would have been at the school. Ian turns down a Governmental job to take over as the new Head.

With the help of Deputy Head "Debs" (Redman), George rectified these issues. He identified the talents of rebellious students, and the music equipment was finally used.

Romances developed between Ian and Debs, and Tony (Lee Warburton) and Sally (Sara Stephens).

Philip Whitchurch played Derek, the chair of governors, who was desperate to save the school. The refurbished and replenished library was subsequently dedicated to his dead son. The Chief Education Officer was played by Richard Griffiths.


The four episodes of the second season were transmitted before the summer holidays (27 June – 18 July 2000), with the third series and final six episodes transmitted in the autumn of the same year (4 October – 5 November).

Bushey Hall School in WatfordFrancis Coombe School in Watford and Langleybury School in Three Rivers, Hertfordshire, were used as locations for the school.[3]

The first series was driven by the incidental music: a soundtrack CD was released.

Home media[edit]

All three series were released on DVD (Region 2 and 4) on 15 May 2006.[4] A compilation audio CD featuring some of the classical music used in the first series was released on 1 October 1999.[5]


  1. ^ Cassidy, Sarah; "Poor pupils funded by tycoon secure top grades" Independent.co.uk, 26 August 2005
  2. ^ Atkinson, William; "'A loss of courage, will and faith" Guardian.co.uk, 17 January 2006
  3. ^ Evans, Richard; "Langleybury: Council Reveals Plans To Sell Old School Site" ThisisLocalLondon.co.uk, 17 October 2001
  4. ^ Hope and Glory — The Complete Collection Find-DVD.co.uk
  5. ^ Hope & Glory — Various Find-CD.co.uk

External links[edit]