The actor – who played ‘Zammo’ in the long-running children’s drama – will appear in two episodes of the BBC soap this spring.
The beeb note that he has taken on the role of Terry, a bus driver who will compete against Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) in a radio competition to win tickets to a gig.
“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!” – Lee MacDonald
Cheeky Samuel ‘Zammo’ McGuire appeared in Grange Hill between 1982-1987, and is fondly remembered by viewers of the era. He was at the centre of one of the show’s most talked about plots when his character became addicted to drugs.
Zammo’s heroin dependency gave way to a high-profile anti-drugs campaign which included a charity single, Just Say No, raising awareness of the dangers of drugs and addiction. The storyline won numerous awards, and Lee, along with some of his Grange Hill cast mates, was invited to The White House in 1986 to meet First Lady Nancy Reagan.
Lee’s other credits include Birds of a Feather and The Bill, but he has appeared sparingly on tele over the years, primarily earning a living through his locksmith and key-cutting business.
“My agent wants me to drop the [locksmith] shop. She says I should try and push myself as an actor instead. But I’m quite happy to say I’m a locksmith, ’cause that’s what pays the mortgage!” – Lee MacDonald
Set in an inner-city London comprehensive school, Grange Hill was devised in 1978 by Phil Redmond, who had wanted to bring a more real-life, gritty flavour to children’s programming.
The show followed the lives of the staff and pupils of the eponymous school, and was aired on BBC One until 2005 and then on the CBBC channel until 2008. It was, for a long spell, produced at BBC Elstree which is the home of EastEnders.
In 2003, Grange Hill relocated to Liverpool when Redmond’s own production company, Mersey TV, assumed responsibility for making it. Redmond is also the creator of other hit series including Channel 4 soaps Brookside and Hollyoaks, and was once a scriptwriter for ITV production companies including Southern Television and ATV Network.