Brookside is a British soap opera set in Liverpool, England. The series began on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982, and ran for 21 years until 4 November 2003. Originally intended to be called Meadowcroft, the series was produced by Lime Pictures (then Mersey Television) and it was conceived by Phil Redmond who also devised Grange Hill (1978–2008) and Hollyoaks (1995–present).

Brookside became very successful and was often Channel 4’s highest rated programme for a number of years in the mid-1980s and with audiences regularly in excess of nine million viewers. It is notable for realistic and socially challenging storylines. From the mid-1990s it began raising more controversial subjects under the guidance of new producers such as Mal Young and Paul Marquess. It is especially well known for broadcasting the first pre-watershed kiss on British television in 1994, as well as a powerful domestic abuse storyline resulting in murder. In 1996, the series experienced an extreme backlash from viewers when it featured a hugely controversial storyline of a consensual sexual relationship between two sibling characters.

Although the series had a long and successful run, by 2000 its viewing figures were in terminal decline and low ratings eventually led to its cancellation in June 2003. The final episode was broadcast on 4 November 2003 and was watched by around two million viewers.

The first episode of Brookside was repeated as part of Channel 4 at 25 on 1 October 2007. The episode aired on More4 in a season of celebratory Channel 4 programmes to mark the channel’s first quarter-century. Several classic episodes have also been available to view on 4oD, an online service, since 2009.

After years of campaigning by fans led by Lee Brady, a special DVD was released in November 2012, just over 30 years after the series originally began, titled Brookside Most Memorable Moments. It features clips and episodes from the programme’s 21-year history.

Loved this show, stunning acting from a superb cast, just terrific. 9/10

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