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Byker Grove's Geoff star Billy Fane looks unrecognisable from his days on hit BBC kids show

Dec 30, 2021

GRACING our screens three decades ago, Byker Grove was a staple of children’s television – and one of its stars looks completely different these days.

The CBBC drama launched 32 years ago and entertained British kids for 17 years – until the Geordie youth club shut its doors in 2006.


The show also spawned the career of many a child actor along the way – not least superstar presenters Ant and Dec.

But while the best pals went from Rumble to jungle – picking up millions on the way – their co-stars were facing mixed fortunes in the post-Byker decade.

In particular, Billy Fane, who played the mega-moustached youth club leader Geoff for ten years.

Geoff was almost a part of the furniture by the time he was killed off in a gas explosion in the year 2000.

The actor went on to star in hit movie Billy Elliot as the rumpled Mr Braithwaite, who plays the piano at the lad’s ballet lessons.

Then, at the age of 58, Bill passed a postgraduate education course at Hull University with a distinction and has now landed himself a new role in charge of teaching at six prisons throughout the north of England.

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He's also appeared in panto and had a This Your Life style segment devoted to him on Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

Billy, now 75, appeared in countless pantomimes across the region as well as in Heartbeat.

He is perhaps best known for appearing in films Billy Elliot and Purely Belter.

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