The Kids from Fame sang and danced their way on to UK screens in 1982 with teacher Lydia Grant (Debbie Allen) telling us ‘You got big dreams, you want Fame, well Fame costs and right here’s where you start paying in sweat’!
The TV show was based on the 1980 film of the same name following the lives of students and teachers at the fictional New York City High School of the Performing Arts.
The theme song performed by Irene Cara, who played Coco Hernandez in the movie, reached No.1 in the UK singles chart for 3 weeks when it was re-released in 1982 to coincide with the airing of the TV series.
A re-recorded version of the theme was used in the TV series sang by Erica Gimpel who took on the role of Coco Hernandez when Irene Cara turned it down.
Four of the cast members from the TV series also appeared in the movie, Lee Curreri who played Bruno Martelli, Gene Anthony Ray (Leroy Johnson), Albert Hague (Mr Shorofsky) and Debbie Allen.
Debbie Allen became the TV show’s original choreographer, in addition to directing several episodes, and co-producing one season.
Each episode of the TV series usually contained a primary and sub plot along with two or more musical numbers. The popularity of the series, particularly in the UK, made household names of the cast and spawned several hit records and live concert tours.
In the UK the album ‘The Kids from Fame’ featuring songs from the first season topped the charts for 12 weeks.
Though the series ran for 6 seasons in the U.S. the popularity of the show in the UK was starting to wane by late 1983 which led to the BBC deciding not to air the last two seasons.
Fans of the show will always fondly remember the opening sequence, leg warmers, fantastic dance routines and great songs especially ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Starmaker’!