Grange Hill’s Lee MacDonald reveals he is engaged


Grange Hill’s Lee MacDonald, 51, reveals he is engaged to long-term love Jess as he pays tribute to iconic character Zammo

Grange Hill turned EastEnders star Lee Macdonald has got engaged to his long-time love Jess. 

The actor, 51, took to social media to reveal he had popped the question and gave a nod to his famous former on-screen character Zammo. 

Sharing a picture of the happy couple, Lee wrote: My partner Jess “JUST SAID YES”! Wedding next’ alongside a red heart emoji.

Just said YES! Grange Hill’s Lee MacDonald, 51, revealed he is engaged to his long-term love Jess as he paid tribute to iconic character Zammo with a cheeky caption

Just Say No: The actor featured in Grange Hill's most famous - albeit controversial - storyline when Zammo spiralled into an addiction to heroin, which climaxed in an overdose scene

Just Say No: The actor featured in Grange Hill’s most famous – albeit controversial – storyline when Zammo spiralled into an addiction to heroin, which climaxed in an overdose scene

In the picture, Jess looked delighted as Lee outstretched her hand to show off her diamond ring.

The couple have been dating for eight years but no doubt they will hold off before walking down the aisle during the COVID:19 lockdown. 

Lee played Samuel McGuire on BBC show Grange Hill from 1982 to 1987 alongside Ant McParlin and Declan Donnelly. 

Iconic: Lee played Samuel McGuire on BBC show Grange Hill from 1982 to 1987 alongside Ant McParlin and Declan Donnelly (pictured in the late 1980s)

Iconic: Lee played Samuel McGuire on BBC show Grange Hill from 1982 to 1987 alongside Ant McParlin and Declan Donnelly (pictured in the late 1980s)

His caption references the Just Say No anti-drug campaign which came about after his Grange Hill character Zammo died of a heroin overdose in shock TV scenes.

In May last year, he made his debut as a character called Terry in EastEnders but before that, he was working as a locksmith, until his agent told him to concentrate on getting his acting career back. 

Lee had previously claimed that playing drug addict Zammo in Grange Hill ‘ruined his career’. 

He claims that he struggled to find any work afterwards as potential employers didn’t want to be associated with drug use. 

All change: Lee starred in EastEnders, playing Terry the bus driver last year

All change: Lee starred in EastEnders, playing Terry the bus driver last year 

Speaking to The Sun, Lee explained: ‘I was leaving Grange Hill but earning reasonable money doing personal appearances in clubs and places like that.’ 

‘But then I got a call and they said, “We’re not going to use you any more”. 

‘I was like, “What?” And they said they didn’t want their nightclubs to be associated with a drug addict.’ 

Congrats: Sean Maguire, starred alongside Lee as 'Tegs' Ratcliffe on Grange Hill and was quick to pass on his well-wishes

Congrats: Sean Maguire, starred alongside Lee as ‘Tegs’ Ratcliffe on Grange Hill and was quick to pass on his well-wishes

Speaking in 2007, Lee also discussed his struggle to get acting work in his late teens because of his negative association with drugs. 

‘After [the new series] was out, my agent said ‘Nobody wants you any more because it’s a drugs related character. So nobody wants to use you,’ he told fan site Grange Hill Gold. 

‘I lost loads of work because adults didn’t want me at the club because it was drugs related. But that’s the power of telly . . .  More so in the 80s when there was only a couple of channels. ‘

‘Things were taken a lot more seriously than they are now. There’s so much stuff that kids watch now that is outrageous.’

Since leaving Grange Hill in 1987, Lee has enjoyed cameos in The Bill, Birds Of A Feather and Neighbours, but Zammo was his last long-term part.

However he has moved away from acting to become a locksmith, and open his own store in Banstead, London. 

Full circle: Best known for playing Samuel 'Zammo' Maguire (right), Lee attended the fictional London school with characters Roland Browning (left) and Jonah Jones (centre)

Full circle: Best known for playing Samuel ‘Zammo’ Maguire (right), Lee attended the fictional London school with characters Roland Browning (left) and Jonah Jones (centre)

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