By Debbie Leigh
AS a child Emma Lowe rushed home from school to watch her beloved Grange Hill but she never dreamed her own daughter would one day be starring in the iconic kids TV show.
Talented 11-year-old Wenona Armstrong Lowe (has landed a coveted role in the new series which will be shown early next year – 30 years after it first burst on to our screens with its quirky theme tune and unforgettable comic book title sequence.
The youngster plays year-six pupil Megan Williams, who is being introduced to “big school” through its Community Learning Centre, and whose brother Bryn is already a student at the legendary comprehensive.
Wenona, who has trained at the Northern Film and Drama School in Wetherby since she was eight, on top of her ordinary schooling, auditioned last year but had better luck this time.
She said: “They called to say I was in the final three, so I was very excited but prepared for the worst.
“When I found out I’d got the part I was in school in the computer room and I ran around screaming with all my friends.
“It’s the first big part I’ve got so it’s very good.”
She added: “All my friends are really excited for me.”
Phil Redmond’s Grange Hill broke the mould for kids TV and turned Todd Carty, who played Peter “Tucker” Jenkins, into a heartthrob, while kids across the country were haunted by the Hitler-esque Mr Bronson and his terrifying yells of “you boy… come here!”
But little Wenona, who lives in Wetherby, admitted: “I’d never seen it before in my life.”
She said Megan was quite different to her.
“She’s quite bossy and a bit cheeky, but very kind with all her friends.
“She will stand up for herself and she’s a bit ambitious – I would like to be her friend.”
Wenona will be filming until Christmas at Lime Pictures in Liverpool, formerly Mersey Television, where Hollyoaks is also filmed.
She hopes if another series is made she will return to become a fully-fledged Grange Hill student.
She said she had already started saving up her wages so she could go to university to study Performing Arts.
Wenona was shortlisted for the part of Mary Ratcliffe in the recently released Catherine Tate film Mrs Ratcliffe’s Revolution, alongside fellow Northern Film and Drama School pupil Jessica Barden who eventually won the part.
Wenona appeared as an extra and was also an extra in the CITV show My Parents are Aliens.
She plays Pepper in Annie at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds on October 27.
Grange Hill will be shown on the digital CBBC Channel.