Brookside fans have been buzzing with excitement today following the announcement the much-loved Merseyside soap is returning to TV screens for the first time in 20 years.
Affectionately known as 'Brookie,' the show was based in Liverpool and first hit our screens over 40 years ago on November 2, 1982. For millions of fans, life on Brookside Close was as much a part of their daily routine and drew audiences of nine million viewers at its peak.
By 2003, the Liverpool-based soap was axed - but now, 20 years on from the last episode, the series will finally return to screens on the free streaming service, STV Player. It will now be possible to stream the soap from the start for the first time ever after STV Player struck a major new deal with distributor, All3Media International. .
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Fans of the soap are delighted, with some readers branding the show as "the best." Brookside had its fair share of memorable storylines, but there are plenty of moments from the show’s 2915-episode run that have passed into the mists of soap time that we want to revisit again.
As the show returns, here are 29 plots that should bring your Brookie memories flooding back – with some you won’t believe really happened. This list isn't intended to be comprehensive, but if you feel there are some storylines we should have included, let us know in the comments section.
1. The Brookie plague
A useful way to kill off characters whose services were no longer required, the Close once fell victim to an Ebola-like virus that was never really explained, but saw off Audrey Manners and Garry Salter. Some say it was brilliantly bonkers, others say the virus helped kill off the show.
2. Sinbad is accused of abusing a child
Loveable window cleaner Sinbad found himself in a living nightmare in the summer of 2000 when he was accused of abusing young Andrew Taylor. He was cleared after Andrew’s brother Kevin admitted planting the whole idea in the boy’s head.
3. Jerome’s fling with Nisha
Brookie fans were shocked when dependable Jerome Johnson cheated on girlfriend Nikki Shadwick with sexy surgery assistant Nisha Batra. Jerome was feeling neglected by Nikki but she was furious and gave Nisha the slap viewers thought she deserved.
4. Katie is torn between two brothers
Katie Rogers seemed to have found love with Ryan Musgrove but was devastated when she found out he was up to no good while visiting his ex-girlfriend and daughter in Scotland. But it didn’t take her long to find comfort in the arms of Ryan’s brother Luke, the man accused of raping Nikki Shadwick.
5. Ron and Bev wed
The comedy couple are probably best remembered for the affair that tempted Ron away from DD, their home CasaBevRon and their chicken Kiev. Then there was the question of who was dad to Bev’s son Josh - Ron or his son Mike. Many viewers had switched off by the time the couple finally got their happy ending, tying the knot just weeks before Brookside Close became Brookside Closed.
6. Sinbad proposes to Marcia at Goodison Park
In 1992, Sinbad thought he had found the woman of his dreams, and proposed marriage to Marcia Barrett via the scoreboard at Goodison Park. She accepted but they didn’t make it down the aisle, the relationship crumbling after Marcia revealed she was unable to have children.
7. Margaret’s affair with Father Derek
Brookside nanny Margaret Clemence (Nicola Stephenson) cornered the market in shocking clinches. Best remembered for kissing Beth Jordache, she also had an affair with Catholic priest Father Derek, which resulted in him giving up the church.
8. Ron Dixon kills Clint Moffat
In Brookside’s version of the Tony Martin case, Ron Dixon ended up in jail for shooting an intruder. The victim was Clint Moffat. He spent four months in prison and wife Anthea left him.
9. Beth’s university affair
Beth Jordache’s world was turned upside down when she was caught kissing her university tutor Chris. Mum Mandy was furious that Chris abused her position and demanded the two end their relationship.
10. Marianne jilts Ellis at the altar
Brotherly love went out the window when Mick Johnson came between his brother Ellis and bride-to-be Marianne Dwyer in 1993. As the big day drew nearer, he found it hard to hide his feelings for his sister-in-law to-be. Marianne walked up the aisle - but chose Mick.
11. Frank Rogers dies on his wedding day
Fate dealt Frank and Lyn Matthews a cruel blow on their wedding day in November 1993, although it was probably a bad omen that they met at her brother Nick’s funeral. Frank was driving Tony Dixon to the reception but the car ploughed into a wall after a drug-fuelled Jimmy Corkhill drove towards them. Frank died in hospital and Tony was left in a coma, passing away a few months later.
12. Max Farnham’s hot air balloon proposal
In October 1993 Max and Patricia’s relationship was on the rocks after he had a fling with his ex Susannah. He won her back by going on bended knee to ask her to marry him a second time - hiring a hot air balloon to take off from the Close.
13. Sinbad and Carl’s window cleaning rivalry
Sinbad was forced to hang up his chamois leather after hurting his back - and was initially delighted when Carl Banks offered to help him out. But the Close’s resident love rat took full advantage by stealing his window cleaning round.
14. Jean and David’s marriage rift
Glamorous grandmother Jean Crosbie’s marriage to David went sour when she revealed that she had an affair with a close female friend in her youth. The news sent David into a massive sulk and he moved into the spare bedroom.
15. Jacqui falls for Romeo rat Carl
She later became a hard-nosed business woman, surrogate mum and married Max Farnham, but Jacqui Dixon was at one time an infatuated teenager who was lured into bed by Carl Banks, and she even ended up paying for the hotel room. But she was heartbroken when he treated her as just another conquest and claimed he ready for anything serious after splitting with ex-wife Sarah.
16. Simon and Terry’s suicide pact
Religious fanatic Simon is best known for holding Barry Grant hostage and bringing his cult to Brookside Close - blowing up part of it in the process. But less well remembered is how he bowed out - plotting a suicide pact with Terry Sullivan that would see them gassing themselves in a car.
Barry Grant saved best pal Terry, but left Simon to meet his maker.
What Brookside storylines do you remember? Let us know in the comments section below.
17. Lily Savage and Loyd Grossman attend the opening of Max and Barry’s restaurant
Max Farnham and Barry Grant once went into business together and opened a posh restaurant called Grants – and the even more bizarre pairing of Lily Savage and Loyd Grossman came to Liverpool to open it. ECHO writer Peter Grant was also invited to the grand opening and wrote: "More corks popped and then my heart was beating faster as Max, Penny and Barry were joined by...Lily Savage. Yes, it was the first lady of Birkenhead who performed the unveiling ceremony."
18. Charles and Diana raid Litrotech
Two raiders wearing Prince Charles and Diana masks pulled off a daring raid at local factory Litrotech to mark Brookside’s 12th anniversary. Brookside’s Mr Nice Guy Mick Johnson and girlfriend Marianne were implicated in the robbery – resulting in them being dramatically hauled away by police on their wedding day
19. Rachel Jordache goes shoplifting - and on the run
They were no Damon and Debbie, but teenagers Rachel Jordache and Lee Banks ran away to London to escape shoplifting charges. They returned after Rachel – who was doing it all for cash-strapped mum Mandy – was almost led into prostitution.
20. David Crosbie’s wheelie bin fury
Yes this really was a Brookside storyline – resident busybody David Crosbie needed a cause to get his teeth into, and found one when he learned the council was planning to give all the residents wheelie bins. Horrified, he decided to mount a campaign and was supported by Mo, the sister of Rosie Banks.
21. Ron Dixon becomes a pantomime dame
Ron Dixon put on the performance of a lifetime in a Christmas panto at La Luz. David Crosbie talked him into taking part - but neglected to mention that Ron would be playing the dame. And viewers were in stitches at watching the truth dawn on him as he unpacked the costume.
22. Mandy Jordache is blackmailed by a loan shark
Mandy Jordache got into trouble with her finances and was forced to sleep with loan shark Kenny Maguire to clear her debts - leaving Sinbad hellbent on revenge.
23. Mick Johnson’s stalker
Unlucky Mick attracted the unwelcome attention of son Leo’s teacher Jenny, who even told her friends they were engaged. The police didn’t take him seriously until Jenny threatened him with a gun and held him hostage.
24. Lindsey and Mike are arrested in Thailand
Lindsey Corkhill and Mike Dixon were trying to start a new life together abroad but her furious ex-husband Gary planted drugs in her daughter Kylie’s teddy bear. It briefly brought together feuding neighbours Ron Dixon and Jimmy Corkhill in a campaign for justice for their children.
They later split up and Mike decided to write a book about his experiences.
25. Jacqui dates an aristocrat
Down to earth Scouser Jacqui Dixon fell for posh Nathan Cuddington, who in true soap style turned out to be the son of an Earl who owned a stately home. They got engaged, but Nathan called off the wedding at swanky Cuddington Hall after realising Jacqui was having doubts about their relationship.
26. Bev marries Lance’s Brazilian boyfriend
Bev offered to marry Lance’s Brazilian lover Fred so he could stay in the country. They walked down the aisle but of course it all ended in tears. Bev changed her mind about having a baby for the couple, Fred was deported back to Brazil and Bev went on the run to avoid prison.
27. Jimmy becomes a teacher
Jimmy Corkhill had many careers during his time in Brookside - drug dealer, bouncer and pizza parlour worker among them. At one point he faked his qualifications and managed to become a teacher at Brookside Comprehensive, becoming popular with his students.
28. Laura electrocutes herself
Jonathan Gordon-Davies and wife Laura were Brookside’s resident young professional couple in the late 80s. Her untimely demise came when she switched on a bathroom light that had been incorrectly wired by her father, falling down the stairs and into a coma.
Eventually Jonathan agreed to switch off her life support machine and moved on with a Canadian woman called Cheryl.
29. George Jackson goes to jail
The siege the following year overshadowed this somewhat, but in its day it was the Brookside equivalent of Coronation Street’s Deirdre being sent to prison. In 1984 fireman George Jackson innocently gave details of a warehouse layout to a local gangster and was wrongly convicted for the armed robbery that followed.
It led to the Free George Jackson campaign and wife Marie’s infamous fight with Sheila Grant – but poor George stayed behind bars.
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