'Grange Hill' legend set to join 'EastEnders' after 32-year break from acting

Chris Edwards
·Contributor
·2-min read
Lee MacDonald as Zammo McQuire in Grange Hill
Lee MacDonald as Zammo McQuire in Grange Hill

Grange Hill legend Lee MacDonald is set to join EastEnders after taking a 32-year break from acting.

MacDonald’s last regular television role was in 1987 as Grange Hill character Zammo McGuire, an anti-social teenager who developed a heroin addiction. Since then, he has put acting aside to run his own locksmith and key-cutting business.

However, EastEnders bosses have now convinced him to return to acting and join the show.

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According to The Sun, MacDonald will feature in two episodes of the BBC One soap this summer, squaring off with Danny Dyer’s Mick Carter as they compete in a radio competition to win gig tickets.

On being cast in the role, MacDonald said: “I am absolutely chuffed to bits and so excited to be briefly joining the cast of EastEnders. I can’t say too much yet but watch this space. Top banana!”

Speaking about his return to acting, he added: “My agent wants me to drop the shop. She says I should try and push myself as an actor and not a locksmith. But I’m quite happy to say I’m a locksmith, ’cause that’s what pays the mortgage!”

This will be MacDonald’s first major acting role in 32 years, having only made cameo appearances in Birds of a Feather and The Bill since leaving Grange Hill.

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Last year, MacDonald spoke to The Mirror about the 40th anniversary of the first episode of Grange Hill, saying: “Before Grange Hill the only kids’ programmes you could watch were cartoons.

“Then all of a sudden comes this drama that kids can relate to. It just hit home – and it was really mischievous.

“People have such fond memories of it, they say it had a huge impact on their childhood. The first episode I ever filmed was at Chessington Zoo. We went on a ghost train – as an 11-year old, that was unbelievable.