There was an amazing surprise for Byker Grove fans on Saturday night when one of the show’s most iconic characters made a shock TV comeback.
Those who tuned into yesterday’s episode of Pointless Celebrities couldn’t believe their eyes when they saw the unmistakeable red hair and Sunderland accent of Spuggy, aka actress Lyndyann Barras.
Lyndyann was one of the contestants on a Child Stars special of the BBC quiz show, alongside the likes of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actor Adrian Hall, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’s Veruca Salt (Julie Dawn Cole) and Outnumbered star Tyger Drew-Honey.
Lyndyann was paired with David Peachy who played Bernard in Bernard’s Watch and now works as a GP.
Lyndyann, now 44, told Pointless host Alexander Armstrong that joined the Byker Grove cast after her school drama teacher told her she should go for it, explaining that producers visited a number of schools in the North East to audition young actors.
Revealing why she was called Spuggy, which in Geordie dialect means sparrow, Lyndyann said: “I was only tiny; I was only 4″6 when I started doing it.”
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And then talking about the reaction she got at school after landing a part in Byker Grove, she added: “Everyone was great; I think it became normal to them, because I was always dipping in and out of school for filming and that.
“I think it became more unusual for the kids when it aired, but when I first started filming nobody really battered any eye.”
Well they certainly did on seeing Lyndyann on Pointless as Twitter went wild for her as she and David made it to the Head to Head round where they lost out to Adrian and Julie.
One posted: “Spuggy from Byker Grove is on Pointless. Hooray,” and another reacted: “As if Spuggy is on Pointless #BlastFromThePast ”
And commenting on Lyndyann’s hair, a third posted: “Love that Spuggy still has the same hair as she did in Byker Grove”
Spuggy was a dedicated Grover for six series of the hit CBBC drama and, Lyndynann has since appeared on stage in local amateur productions of Annie Get Your Gun and High Society.
She still lists herself as an actress as well as a businesswoman on Twitter and Instagram. She’s also a mam-of-two.
Last year she hosted a segment on Channel 5 throwback show Top of the Box, fronting the children’s TV highlights from 1989, which saw her in front of the camera both at ‘the Grove’, which is actually in Benwell and on Newcastle Quayside.
Original posted at www.chroniclelive.co.uk