Entertainment

Supergran actress Gudrun Ure turns 95 as we remember the hit Scottish TV series


Supergran actress Gudrun Ure has turned 95 and fans around the world can rejoice as they remember the hit eightiesScottish telly series from their childhood.

Despite being labelled a granny at the time, Gudrun was just 59 when she appeared in the twenty six part series which was made from 1985 until 1987.

A lot of people , even now thought that Supergran was played by Rentaghost actress Molly Weir who passed away in 2004 aged 94, and theatrical rag The Stage even confused the two in Molly Weir’s obituary, but it was always Gudrun in the award winning series.

The series which also inspired two computer games at the time, was based around a grandmother with super powers and books written by Forrest Wilson.



Gudrun Ure in 1987

It was made for Tyne Tees Television for Children’s ITV and became hugely popular with people asking ‘Is there nothing that she cannae do?’.

Gudrun’s enemy on the show was The Scunner Campbell played by the late actor and theatre director Iain Cuthbertson and the show was so popular it won an Emmy, and was sold to over 60 countries worldwide.

According to director Tony Kysh, “Tyne Tees was one of the first Western companies to sell to China TV where Super Gran was a big success.”

The show became a ratings hit in Cuba in the early 2000’s, where the show was redubbed into Spanish.

Gudrun who was born in Campsie, Stirlingshire, starred in Orson Welles’ 1951 stage production of Othello as Desdemona and also appeared in 1953 film 36 Hours at the age of 27 under the artist name Ann Gudrun.

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She later appeared in shows including T-Bag and the Pearls of Wisdom, Midsomer Murders, Casualty and The Crow Road.

Despite being about a Scottish granny, the show was shot in the North East of England, mostly in Tynemouth, Whitley Bay, South Shields and the Beamish Museum. Black’s inventor’s lab was set up in an empty church.

Gudrun also proved to be a bit of a superhero at the time as she performed many of the stunts herself.

When she flew, she was lifted high with the help of a huge crane, and used a trampoline for the jumps.

Because it was filmed in England the use of local accents sometimes proved problematic and some actors accentuated their own speech to sound more Scottish.



Supergran DVD

The actor who played Tub in Series One even made a catchphrase with his heavy accent “What do we dee noo, Unkill?” (“What do we do now, Uncle?”)

The famous theme tune was performed by Billy Connolly and was released as a single in March 1985, reaching number 32 in the UK singles chart.

Other famous actors took part in the show including George Best, Spike Milligan, Eric Bristow, Roy Kinnear, Geoff Capes and it was the last show for actors Patrick Troughton and Charles Hawtrey.

Although a third series was never made there was talk of a film, and one early plot involved Supergran travelling to Spain to foil an attempt by Scunner Campbell to control the ‘world trade market’.

It never happened but there is still time as Supergran lives on.

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