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OOOOH BYKER...

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ASTRAGAL

'Spuggy! Me eyes! ! ! !' So screeched PJ in what became an iconic moment in kids' TV drama's dubious history. For the vast majority to whom this will mean nothing, it was the occasion when Byker Grove's PJ was blinded in a calamitous paintballing accident. The scene was the defining moment of the long-running North East soap, which spawned those giants of the small screen, Ant and Dec.

The fact that the generation nurtured on such fine 1980s programming has risen to responsibility can no longer be in doubt. Deep in arts minister David Lammy's statement announcing the listing of Newcastle's Byker Wall is a subliminal reference to the cult programme. The youthful Lammy - probably just young enough to have watched early episodes of the soap - believes Ralph Erskine's masterpiece is 'important and decisive'.

Yes that's right; 'importANT and DECisive'.

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