Stuart Organ: Longest-serving Grange Hill actor dies aged 72

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By Annabel Rackham

Culture reporter

Grange Hill star Stuart Organ has died aged of 72, his representatives have confirmed.

The British actor was the longest-serving cast member on the children’s TV drama, playing Mr. Robson.

Organ, who started his acting career in Leeds in 1975, also appeared in the soap Brookside and Doctor Who.

His other credits include Casualty, The Bill and Holby City and films such as Those Glory Glory Days and Fork in the Road.

The actor “died peacefully at home after a short illness”, it was announced on Friday.

Organ will be best remembered for his 15-year stint on the BBC’s Grange Hill, where his character Peter Robson arrived as the head of PE in 1988, going on to take the headmaster role 10 years later.

The show, which was about life in a London comprehensive school, ran from 1978 to 2008 and made headlines for tackling big issues such as racism, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, mental illness and HIV and Aids.

The actor decided to leave the series in 2003 after it was announced that production was moving to Liverpool.

Grange Hill made household names of characters such as Zammo McGuire, played by Lee MacDonald, and Tucker Jenkins, played by Todd Carty.

In 2022, creator Sir Phil Redmond spoke about the show returning as a film.

Organ’s other memorable roles include playing Kevin Cross in the Merseyside soap Brookside and Basin in the Doctor Who plotline Dragon fire in 1987.

He began his acting career at Leeds Playhouse in 1975 in a performance of Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a spin-off of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

His other theatre roles include An Englishman Abroad, where he played Guy Burgess in a 2003 production in York and Major Powell in the play Corpse, which he performed in Horn church in 2007.

Whilst a younger audience may have not seen him act, they may have heard his voice elsewhere – he has appeared as the voiceover on cartoons and video games, such as Star Wars: The Old Republic.

He is also a familiar voice to London Underground passengers, announcing stations, lines, late arrivals and telling users to mind the gap.