25 March 2010

Release Brookside On DVD Campaign

Brookside - life in a Liverpool Close in the 1980s. The Collins family, Annabelle, Paul, Gordon and Lucy had come down in the world from the leafy Wirral; Jimmy Corkhill's brother, Billy, had gone up in the world from the local council estate. Regular visitor Jimmy managed to upset life in the Close; Barry Grant was not really a bad lad... or was he? His mother, Sheila, faced a late-in-life pregnancy; Hard-bitten Marie Jackson took her campaign to get her wrongly imprisoned husband released all the way to Downing Street; Harry Cross and Ralph Hardwick got on each other's nerves; Heather Haversham was upwardly mobile; Pat, Sandra and Kate found themselves held at gunpoint by a madman...

When Brookside first hit our screens on Channel 4's opening night in November 1982, we were faced with a soap that was determinedly of the 1980s. Phil Redmond, the show's creator, wanted the new soap to be firmly anchored in the current day.

It was a fair point. Some felt that Coronation Street and Crossroads were lingering in the 1960s, and sometimes even venturing as far back as the 1950s in the attitudes displayed. Brookside was to be set in the here and now, on a new private housing estate which represented a move up in the world to some, a move down to others, and an acceptable place to live for young professional people.

No cosy local pub where all the adult characters assembled. No cosy shop on the corner.

The show went for social issues, examining them in an up-front manner and breaking taboos. Here on Brookside in the 1980s we found the first gay character in the UK TV soaps; we found thorny subjects like rape fearlessly confronted; and we found a soap that some considered too left wing, some considered too subversive to be a soap, but that nobody found boring.

Well, at least nobody I knew!

And certainly not cosy.

Brookside is, of course, now a thing of the past. But its influence is still felt in our modern soaps.

It was truly groundbreaking.

Here at '80s Actual, we'd love to see the 1980s episodes again, and a campaign is now underway to get classic episodes from the entire run of the show released on DVD.

Lee Brady, of the campaign, has written to us:

As the Brookside DVD Campaign grows larger, we would like to remind everyone about it.

The Brookside DVD Campaign aims to get the 'Classic' or 'Best Of' episodes released at some point in the future. We currently have over 4,400 signatures from Fans & Cast. We wil be in the next edition of Soaplife magazine, released 13th April. So, would you care to join our Website & sign our online petition?

Remember all those great storylines and characters in the 80's? Sheila Grant's rape storyline? Bobby Grant & Harry Cross? The very first episode where Damon Grant steals the Collinses' toilet with his mates? The highly innovative "soap bubble" about Damon & Debbie? The Corkhills - Billy, Jimmy & Jackie & Cracker the Dog? There was tons & tons of great characters & storylines. Class acting & brilliant realism. We would all love to sit on the sofa once again and remember all those great tv moments on DVD.....

Please visit the website for more details:

As I wrote earlier, the Campaign aims to get episodes from across the show's entire run released.

And we wish it every success.


Maria said...

Harry Cross is a Liverpool legend!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely groundbreaking soap.