Barney Hardy: Stephen Carr


Barney first joined the Grove in 1992 and left in 1996. Introduced as Winston's brother who hero worshipped his older brother and followed him everywhere. His initial role in the series was relatively minor although he was involved in the UFO set-up for Marcus and the plot to get Duncan out of the Psychandrics Cult.

His role became more established in the 1993 series after he befriended Frew and became the manager for the Grove's new Band "Grove Matrix". Together with Frew, Barney became involved in numerous mischievous scams at the Grove, including finding a blind date for Alison, and trying to expose Tim as a criminal as part of the "No Noddy, No Grove" Campaign which resulted in the filming of Debbie and Jemma's mother and Tim locked in a passionate embrace. A disagreement with Anna over the authenticity of wrestling led to Barney and co. sneaking in to a wrestling "rehearsal".

In 1994, Barney and Frew embark on a DJing Career after an old sound system is salvaged and repaired by Marie, who subsequently became their manager. Their first gig is at "70's night" at the local church hall where their payment is as much Coke as they want. Barney and Frew are gradually persuaded by Marie to perform and after they'd begun Barney realises that it isn't a "70's Night" - it was an "over 70's night!".

Marie's talents as manager improved slightly and she found them a gig at a party - unfortunately the party was at Denton Burns and Barney, Frew and Marie only just managed to escape a bashing from the Burners.

Their third gig was at the Fun Festival where they proved to be a success, so much so that Barney entered them in a local DJing Competition. Unfortunately the conditions of the competition was that only individual entries could be made. Barney went on secretly to enter himself therefore excluding Frew. Frew discovered and successfully set out to ruin Barney's act. Barney was furious but quickly calmed down and admitted his wrong.

Barney was later led into the "Grove Patrol" Vigilante Group run by Gary after he and Frew were mugged by "The Runt's Gang" and his computer was stolen. After a disagreement with Gary, Barney became the leader of "Grove Patrol" and successfully tracked down "The Runt" who'd also beaten up Aran. Despite pressure put on him to physically reprimand "The Runt", Barney was unwilling, and opted to simply warn "The Runt" off. However, the Runt soon came back to cause trouble and stole a broach off Marie. By now, though Gary had reassumed control of "Grove Patrol" and trapped the Runt.

In 1995, Barney became involved in his own personal quicksand of crime and trouble in a desperate attempt to gain acceptance and acknowledgement amongst his peers. After several successful shoplifting attempts, Barney acquired a knife and showed all intentions of being prepared to use it. Frew remained a loyal friend and desperately tried to get Barney "back on the rails" and seemed to be succeeding. However, Barney was later arrested by the Police for an alleged mugging on an old woman. Barney voiced his innocence even after he was positively identified in a police identification. Barney put pressure on Frew to agree to be his alibi in court, but Frew refused, unable to lie in court and Barney was sent to Prison.

Barney continued to proclaim his innocence even after his imprisonment in 1996 and found a sympathetic listener in Flora who visited him frequently. Frew attempted to visit his former best friend after he received no replies to his letters resulting in Barney violently attacking another inmate. A sparkle of hope was cast in Barney's direction when it became common knowledge that Cher's grandmother was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and could've made a mistake at the identification parade. Flora (who has become more and more sympathetic to Barney's cause) and Anna interviewed Cher's grandmother and tried to collect evidence proving Barney's innocence which they intended to present to the Police. Frew reluctantly agreed to assist them after a further visit to Barney.

After Barney was beaten up by a Prison gang and his phone cards were stolen he put pressure on Flora to help him escape from Prison. Flora agreed and it was arranged that Barney would be helped by a ex-prisoner, Mark on the outside. However, Mark demands a large sum of money - one that Flora or Barney can not provide and they have no option but to ask Frew for help. Frew refuses and seriously thinks about ringing the Police and informing them of Barney's whereabouts. However, he decides instead to try to reason with Barney and make him realise the futility of his actions.

Barney refuses to give himself up, uses a derelict building as a hide-out and has Flora to supply him with food. After much thinking, Frew informs the police of Barney's whereabouts. Barney and Flora narrowly escape the police and unknowing that it was Frew who sent them on their trail, confront Frew just before his Comedy gig, where Barney asks Frew to join them. Frew agrees.

Minutes after leaving the comedy club, Barney steals a fruit van and they travel off towards the countryside. In the van Barney confronts Frew as to why he wouldn't be his alibi in court, the pair argue, Barney's attention is lost and the van crashes into a tree. Barney and Frew escape unhurt, though Flora doesn't. Barney reveals to Frew Flora's part in the escape, and Flora departs the two.

Left on their own Barney questions why Frew only visited him twice in prison. Frew again tries to reason with Barney in the hope that he'd give himself up. Barney tells Frew the reason he stole was to be noticed, though Frew rejects this justification and tries to make Barney realise that he cannot go on blaming other people for his mistakes.

Barney tries to get Mark (the contact from Prison) to agree to help him but Mark refuses. Barney, ever refusing to give himself up hails down a female driver in a car and forcefully removes her from her vehicle. Frew tries to stop Barney from escaping in the car and grabs the car keys. As they struggle for the keys Barney threatens Frew to stop and from the edge of his friends voice Frew realises Barney's violent nature. Barney finally admits he was responsible for the mugging - a fact that Frew always knew.

Frew accepts this and tells Barney that it doesn't matter - he's still his mate. However, Barney continues to struggle for the keys and after Frew refuses to give them to him, Barney violently attacks him, knocking him to the ground and seizing the keys. Barney prepares to drive off, hearing sirens in the distance that are swiftly getting closer, but at the last moment, exits the car and tentatively inspects his friend's immobile form.

The police, Geoff and Flora arrive immediately on the scene and Barney is re-arressted by the police pleading his apologies to Frew, who is still unconscious.

Barney later confronts Frew when they come face to in Court though neither say anything. Barney's sentence is extended and he is never heard of again.

The character of Barney is possible one of the best characters ever created in Byker Grove. The continuous character development and Stephen Carr's interpretation of the character make Barney one of the most memorable character in Byker Grove.