Q: Can I get Tucker's Luck on video?
A: So far, Tucker's Luck has not been released on video or DVD. As a re-run of the series is unlikely, all we can do is pester the BBC to do so. If there's enough interest (read, potential profit), the powers that be just might relent!
Q: I've seen Tucker's Luck DVDs being sold online using familiar wording - is that you selling?
A: No. That is not me. Sellers are cut-and-pasting my (copyrighted) material into their item descriptions. When I come across them, I send a nice note asking politely for TuckersLuck.com to be credited for whatever content they use. But, while the law is on my side, I can't do more than that without unleashing serious sanctions, such as auction cancellations and account suspensions, which strikes me as entirely the wrong way to go about popularising a TV programme I wish more people could see.
Q: Okay, then, how about the theme music? Can I get that?
A: The Tucker's Luck theme has not been made available commercially. There are websites that have TV theme songs, but they seem to come and go.
Q: How about that song of Creamy's in the second series?
A: It's a pretty good song. But, I haven't found it available anywhere.
Q: Have there been any other spin-offs from Grange Hill?
A: No; Tucker's Luck is the only spin-off so far.
Q: When and where did Tucker's Luck run?
A: It ran on BBC 2 from 1983 to 1985. There were three series of nine episodes each, making a total of 27 episodes. There were no special Christmas episodes.
Q: Are there any plans to reunite the cast for a new Tucker's Luck?
A: No. Although that could change if enough popular interest is there.
Q: Todd Carty (Tucker) has become a big star, but what's going on with George Armstrong (Alan) and Paul McCarthy (Tommy)?
A: Paul McCarthy is gigging with his band, Smashing Time (details on the links page) and, according to the Smashing Time website, is "writing a filmscript and stage play." As for George Armstrong, I have an unconfirmed rumour that he's teaching drama. If you're out there, George, please do send us an email and let us know what you're up to!
Q: Where was Rhona during Series 1 and 2?
A: Conspicuously absent.
Q: Where was Barry during Series 1 and 2?
A: Off doing his dodgy deals and avoiding the Jenkins home because of frequent violent arguments with their Dad.
Q: What happened to Tommy in Series 3?
A: He's mentioned as having joined the merchant navy.
Q: Okay, now onto the girlfriends. What happened to Michelle? She doesn't show up in Series 2.
A: Her brother, Passmore, says that she went away to holiday camp.
Q: And Allison?
A: Another tidbit we learn from Passmore. She dumps both Tucker and Passmore in favor of a 25-year-old who drives a BMW.
Q: And Sarah, from Series 2?
A: She gets accepted at a better art college and leaves London.
Q: How about Tucker's bike, which is one of the few constants, appearing in all three seasons?
A: A massive (and belated) thank-you to Andy Reid, who says:
"I thought that you'd be interested in knowing the make and model of Tucker Jenkin's motorcycle.
It was a 1980 CZ 250-471-4 Sport twin manufactured in Czechoslovakia and were the most common 2 stroke 250cc in the UK at the time, due to their toughness, cheapness and reliability. There has been an owners club for the Jawa and CZ range of motorcycles since 1954.
I own 6 of the bikes and a 350 version. I rode a 1977 version of this bike (CZ 250-471-1) today and they are still good bikes.
Power output = 17 HP @ 5250 RPM
Peak Torque = 28.5 Foot / Pounds @ 3,800 RPM
Weight = 313 Pounds / 142 Kilogrammes
Brakes = Twin leading shoe front and single leading shoe rear drum
Top Speed = 85 MPH with rider prone on the bike
MPG = 76 @ 50 MPH
Electrics = 6 Volts 75 Watts with storage in a 13 Amp battery under the saddle
Chances are that if Tucker's bike hasn't been scrapped, then it is in somebody's shed or garage awaiting discoverery.
These days Tucker's bike would sell for around £100 in need of sorting and £500 running with MOT and tax.
Spares support is excellent for this model and various companied make CDI and 12 Volt alternator conversions. Bombardier even make a direct injection conversion kit for the engine and there are LPG conversion kits available."
Thank you again, Andy, for sharing your insights and information!
the historical background
Q: Were things really that hard in the early 1980s?
A: Well, without writing a whole treatise about it, life was hard for many people back then. In 1983, when Tucker's Luck begins, unemployment in the UK topped 3 million for the first time since the 1930s. Unemployment leveled off in 1985 at 3.1 million. That meant one in eight workers were unemployed; in some places, like Northern Ireland, it was more like one in five. In many cases, these were highly skilled workers. Pinched household budgets were further squeezed by the double-whammy of inflationary prices on everyday goods and declining currency value on the world market. (During the run of Tucker's Luck, the pound dropped below $1.50 for the first time in 1983, and continued to fall; in 1985 it reached a low of $1.05.) Keep in mind, too, that the country had just emerged from years of double-digit inflation (in 1980, UK inflation peaked at an incredible 20%). At the same time, the failure of the era's comprehensive school system was pretty much acknowledged; just a few more years would produce some radical changes in the educational system - too late to help those who had already been schooled to the old standard. One stop-gap attempt was the Youth Training Scheme (YTS), launched in 1983. This ambitious program was intended to provide jobs and job training for young adults, but was widely derided as merely a source for cheap labour. So, for people like Tucker and his mates - who represented a large segment of the population - yes, life was quite difficult.
Q: What are O-Levels?
A: O-Levels were the set of educational standards for 16-year-old students in the UK in the early 1980s. The "O" in O-Level stood for "Ordinary." 18-year-old students took A-Levels - the "A" stood for "Advanced." They were replaced by GCSEs in 1986; the first GCSE exams took place in 1988. One major difference between O-Levels and GCSEs, is that GCSEs are scored against absolute standards of knowledge and skill, whereas O-Levels scored each test-taker relative to other test-takers. Bear in mind, too, that it was much more-common for young people to go directly from high school into the job market (or onto the dole) than it is today.
Q: Why make a Tucker's Luck website?
A: That's a good question. I wish I had a good answer to go with it. I think it has more to do with nostalgia for the time, rather than the place or show itself.
Q: Are there any Tucker's Luck collectibles?
A: There are two printed Annuals (BBC, 1984 and 1985). And, three novels: Forty Days of Tucker J (Robert Leeson, 1983), Tucker's Luck (Jan Needle, 1984) and Tucker in Control (Jan Needle, 1985). Other than that, no.
Intellectual Property Note
TuckersLuck.com is not associated with the BBC in any way, and all trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. That said, while the content here is 100% unofficial, it is also 100% copyrighted material, and may not be reproduced or redistributed in any form.