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The show ran for six years and if some of the students seemed to take an inordinate amount of time to graduate, well, none of us were complaining.
There was Bruno Martelli (Lee Curreri), he of the soulful eyes and Leo Sayer perm who constantly waged battle with his synthesiser against his purist mentor Benjamin Shorofsky (Albert Hague).
Yes, that was Fame, the show that inspired a generation of wannabes to believe that all you need to make it to the top is talent, hard work and tears.
It gave us Bruno Martelli and his nimble, synthesier-playing mitts, the fleet-footed Leroy Johnson and of course, dance teacher Lydia Grant who banged her cane to the ground and uttered those immortal lines: 'You want fame?
Grammar, who was himself expelled from stage school as a young man, admits he used that experience to help form his performance.
At one point, a student yells of a casting director: 'he found me on You Tube!
And there was Julie Miller (Lori Singer), the cello-toting, token posh bird who bowled up to school every day in a cab.
The appeal of both the series and the film lay in our willing these bright young things to succeed and become the stars they were so desperate to be and long after the series ended, audition shows like Fame Academy, Pop Idol, Britain's Got Talent and X Factor took up the slack by offering a stage and the all-important chance of peak-time exposure.
Set in modern day New York and parallelling the story of old, Fame mark II follows the lives of a select band of actors, dancers and singers of the city's High School of Performing Arts giving their all to make the big time.
Glossier and sharper than the original, it may not possess the raw charm of the 1980 version, but once the familiar theme tune kicks in, you can't help but be transported back to those halcyon days when sporting a bubble perm and pirouetting down a corridor were deemed the very height of sophistication.
So what relevance does the re-booting of Fame, with its emphasis on old-fashioned talent, training and toil have now?