Amanda Bewick: Gemma Graham


Gemma Graham first appeared in Byker Grove as an extra on the "Football Match" scene in the 1990 series. She eventually won the role of Amanda Bewick and first appeared in episode 12 of 1991.

Amanda Bewick moved to Newcastle after her family left Kenya. As the younger sister of Marcus, Amanda soon became a regular at the Grove. However her advantaged background and tactless manner soon incurred the hostilty of Debbie Dobson, who did all in her power to ensure Amanda wasn't accepted by the others.

Amanda's position at the Grove deteriorated further when it was discovered her dad was part of the development agency which intended to convert the Grove into luxury apartments. However, she and Marcus united against their father on the side of the Grovers and was eventually accepted after the Grove's future was secured when Tessa discovered the passageways under the building.

In 1992 Amanda became more self-confident and assertive and got her own back on Debbie by striking her weak point, PJ. To further integrate herself with the crowd, Amanda "leaked" information regarding Marcus' interest in UFO's and became involved in PJ's scam to trick Marcus into believing a UFO had landed. However, Debbie informed Marcus and it was Marcus who had the final joke on the others.

Amanda auditioned for the role in the film "Jive Crazy" and made it through to the second round. In the second round, Debbie who'd failed the previous audition stole Jemma's place, but was stopped when Amanda phoned Jemma to tell her. Amanda watched on in elation as her hated enemy was humilated in front of the whole theatre. Her joy was short-lived as she was also unsuccessful in getting through to the final audition.

Still eager to cause more trouble for Debbie, Amanda helped PJ hijack Chrissie's"Razor Skates" but called a "cease-fire" with Debbie as all the girls tried to secure Jemma's success in the final audition.

Family problems brewed for the Bewicks resulting in Amanda and Marcus having to transfer from their private schools. The family's financial position worsened and Marcus and Amanda went to live with Lou Gallagher at the foster home after a brief but uncomfortable stay in a caravan. Their father left to seek work in London, and their mother decided to accompany her husband to ensure he was looking for work.

Amanda continued her pursuance of PJ, and to the fury of Debbie Dobson continued to receive his interest. Through her persistence, Amanda was invited to a meal out with PJ at a French restaurant, but unfortunately the bill was higher than was anticipated, and they are both forced to wash dishes.

However, this did not deaden the relationship and PJ invited Amanda to spend the night with him in the basement of the Grove, as he had done with Debbie the night before. But, Amanda turns him down saying, " I am not that kind of girl". But, unfortunately, PJ and Amanda are spotted in there by Debbie after her sister Jemma told her what was happening

Following this, Amanda and Debbie realise that PJ has been two-timing them both and as such, decide to get one back on him. At the paint-ball contest between the Grovers and Denton Burn, they decide to shoot PJ, so that he will be out of the game. Unfortunately, it all goes wrong, unknown to Debbie and Amanda PJ has taken off his goggles and when they shoot, the paint gets into his eyes, providing the dramatic climax to the 1992 series.

In 1993 unlike Debbie, Amanda accepts her blame for the accident, but realises that it was an accident and so doesn't intend to spend the rest of her life feeling guilty. Amanda does all she can to heal the rift between Debbie and PJ, but it is hopeless as Debbie has now fallen for Duncan.

Amanda and Marcus continue living at the foster home, and though Amanda is relatively happy there she longs deeply for her old lifestyle. She is heatbroken therefore when she hears of her parents plans for a divorce, meaning that her family life can never return to what it once was.

In an attempt to cheer his sister up, Marcus takes Amanda to Koulton's Night-Club. Amanda is greeted by Koulton who takes her alone to "get to know her better". Amanda soon becomes afraid of Koulton's advances and races out of the club, unable to find Marcus. She is stopped by a young man in a car, Aston, who invites her to go for a ride with him. Amanda agrees, and the car speeds off just as Marcus spots them.

Amanda gradually gets more and more involved with Aston, an unsavory character who involves her with drugs and gets her pregnant. (Though this is not realised until 1994). Amanda loses contact with her old friends at the Grove and not even Debbie is able to talk any sense into her. Amanda's drug addiction soon becomes totally out of control, and she takes an overdose in the shed of her old home where she'd once been so happy. Fortunately Marcus finds her and an ambulance is called before its too late.

Amanda's mother returns to Newcastle after her daughter's overdose. Mrs. Bewick has found a job and a home in London and takes Amanda and Marcus home to live with her.

Amanda returns however, in 1994 series and delivers a bombshell to Lou - Sam, her baby daughter. Amanda reveals that she had to return to Newcastle to escape Aston who is harrassing her to give her money that she owes him from the previous year. However, Aston worked a con-job on Amanda's mother, playing the role of the perfect father. Amanda feels unable to explain the reality of the situation to her mother who's still not recovered fully from her failed-marriage.

Amanda returns to live at the Foster Home with Lou, but her presence is resented by Leah, who seeks to cause as much trouble as she can. Debbie visits Amanda at the Foster home after Jemma's funeral, and Amanda confides in her.

Amanda's return has also attracted the intention of Noddy, who provides a sympathetic ear. Aston also makes a reappearance demanding his money but is warned off by Noddy and his guilt is pricked when he sees Sam. Noddy's continued interest in Amanda angers Angel who confronts Amanda - reminding her of her past action with PJ. However, Noddy's interest in Amanda is purely friendship and despite Amanda's hopes the relationship doesn't develop.

Amanda finds the task of motherhood difficult as she is torn between her maternal instinct and her longing for a more normal life. The financial burden on Amanda is also heavy; she realises she can't stay at the Foster Home indefenately, but has no means to pay for a deposit on a flat and is refused local authority accommodation.

Koulton hears of Amanda's return to Newcastle and having lost Marcus as one of his dealers the previous years offers her the chance to "increase her earnings" by selling drugs - "after all, no one would expect a young mother". Amanda is torn as to what to do, as she knows it's probably the only way she can give Sam all the things she wants. However, she realises the danger of the proposal and refuses Koulton's offer.

However, Leah hears of this which further convinces her of Amanda's unsuitability as a mother. Leah informs Social Services of Amanda's inablity to cope and they send round two social workers to assess Amanda. Amanda is left breaking her heart, fiercly holding onto Sam refusing to leave the bathroom where she has locked herself in. Luckily Lou salvages the situation and Social Services agree to let Amanda to retain custody for the meantime.

Amanda is again brought to the attention of Social Services after baby Sam is left "home alone" when Frew, who was supposed to be baby-sitting leaves her to go to Noddy's party at the Grove. Amanda again regains custody of Sam, but moves in with Alison after Social Services declare the foster home as unsuited to the needs of a yound child.

After much soul-searching Amanda decides that it was wrong for her to bring up her child alone, and recognises her own immaturity makes her an "unfit" mother. She sacrifices her own need to have her daughter with her and gives her up for adoption in the hope that her daughter will get the stable family life that she once had herself. Amanda is heartbroken to lose Sam, and warns the other girls at the Grove the risks and high costs of teenage pregnancies.

Amanda leaves in the 1995 series of Byker Grove.