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30 years since birth of Brookie marked by museum

Spend the day with Phil Redmond, Claire Sweeney - and not forgetting Jimmy Corkhill

Written by . Published on November 2nd 2012.

30 years since birth of Brookie marked by museum

THE lesbian kiss, the Petrochem, the Lourdes lighter, Gavin being found dead in bed....what was your favourite moment?

This is how we fondly remember Brookside, an ordinary tale of Crocky folk buried under the patio.

Who can forget Terry Sullivan (not the CPS certainly) and Barry Grant, and the acting work afforded to so many who would otherwise have ended up in am-dram productions?

And what extremely droll southerner has never trilled the words "Calm Down, Calm Down!" upon detecting the first sign of a Liverpool accent, any time, anywhere?

30 years ago this week, Brookside hit our screens for the very first time as the new Channel 4 was launched. There is no public event to mark the channel's birthday, as far as we know, but Brookie...well that's different.

1982 was still an age of innocence. Watched by 4.2 million people on that first night, Brookside ran for 21 years, with the last episode broadcast on 4 November 2003. 


With writers in the early days like Frank Cottrell Boyce and Jimmy McGovern, Brookside marked a revolution in social realism on TV, and after Brookside, soaps were never the same again. 

Some people want it brought back, and if Take That can reform, why not? 

This Sunday 4 November, the Museum of Liverpool will celebrate the soap’s 30th anniversary, with a day of activities.

Brookside’s creator Phil Redmond, will be taking part in an In Conversation event on the day from 1 – 2:30pm. Led by Pete Price, Phil will be joined by Peter Cox who wrote 227 episodes between 1986 and 2003 and Dean Sullivan and Claire Sweeney, who played Jimmy and Lindsey Corkhill.

At 11am and 3pm, tours will also take place of the Writing Liverpool exhibition, which shows how writers found inspiration in Liverpool's turbulent history and how key works have changed national and international perceptions of the city.

BrooksideHappier times

The exhibition includes items from the set of the soap including the famous Brookside Close sign.

A Brookside Crafternoon will offer families the opportunity to help make a mini Brookside Close between 2 and 4:30pm, and visitors can share their Brookside memories throughout the day.

Karen'Our Barry doesn't have
to go to mass'
Phil Redmond, who is also Chairman of National Museums Liverpool said: “It’s quite unbelievable that it’s been 30 years since Brookside came to life on our screens and I am now old enough to be a museum exhibit. We always tried to make the programme as real as we could within its fictional setting and the outstanding quality owed a lot to the writers, actors, staff and crew who took that special magic that Liverpool provides and made a great programme.

“Dean, Claire and Peter were all long-standing contributors and there until the final episode, so it will be great to have this day and share an afternoon of reminiscence and nostalgia to mark what would have been its 30th anniversary.”

Can it be that it was all so simple then, or has time rewritten every line...?

Brookside Day, Sunday Nov 4, various times. Museum of Liverpool, Mann Island.

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12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

TV TonyNovember 2nd 2012.

I wish they would bring back Brookie with some of the writing talent we have in Liverpool. This was sadly lacking in the later years and it became a depressing caricature of itself.

Pam GreenNovember 2nd 2012.

my favourite bit was when they took it off air for good!. It perpetuated the negative stereotypes and apart from the very early days it was badly written.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Barry WilkinsonNovember 4th 2012.

True...we didnt need it..but strange all other soaps followed suit in the weird plots !!
It made actors/actres's sad that the likes of Anna Friel didnt appreciate the break they got when being interviewed regularly in latter years....the lesbian kiss !!!

Carl DaviesNovember 2nd 2012.

It was terrible in later years. It never had the best start with that dreary, dirgy music.

mickeydrippin'November 2nd 2012.

Sadly Brookside did perpetuate the idea that Liverpool is populated by scallies and thieves - particularly with the characters of Barry Grant and Jimmy Corkhill. The image of Terry Sullivan with his curly hair and moustache gave rise to the "calm down, calm down" characters portrayed by Harry Enfield, with the intention of poking fun at scousers. The only good point about Brookside is that many local cast members went on to greater things in television and theatre.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
R. A. MateNovember 2nd 2012.

Of course! That's how Redmond, Russell, Bleasdale, Tarbuck, Cilla, et al made all their millions, reinforcing the prejudices of London and the Home Counties.

BelgraveNovember 2nd 2012.

"The only good point about Brookside is that many local cast members went on to greater things"

Especially Terry Sullivan

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2012.


AnonymousNovember 2nd 2012.

"Sadly Brookside did perpetuate the idea that Liverpool is populated by scallies and thieves."

At least we have the Liverpool Echo for that nowadays

2 Responses: Reply To This...
R. A. MateNovember 2nd 2012.

Ahem... The Oldham Echo, surely?

Barry WilkinsonNovember 4th 2012.

Oldham Echo....they cant even get the locations or Street names correct now.

AnonymousNovember 2nd 2012.

I always thought it did the opposite, what with those terribly nice middle clarss types from Cawldy, living cheek by jowl with everyone's favourite professional slob, Ricky Tomlinson

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