Brookside is a now defunct 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. The series was produced by Mersey Television and it was conceived by Phil Redmond.
Brookside became very successful for a number of years and is notable for its tackling of realistic and socially challenging storylines. It was at its most popular in the 1980s and the early 1990s. 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 lesbian kiss on British television, as well as a powerful domestic abuse storyline resulting in murder. The series caused an uproar when it featured a storyline featuring a consensual incestuous sexual relationship between two sibling characters during 1996. Brookside was also the first British soap to feature an openly gay character when (Gordon Collins) came out in 1985, and it was also the first to depict serious drug addiction with a number of different 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 July 2003. The final episode was broadcast on 4 November 2003 and was watched by around 2 million viewers.
Although he has nothing to go on, Paul Collins accuses one of his new neighbours of stealing his toilet. But Barry believes that Damon's poor spelling clears him of responsibilty for the graffiti found in Gordon's bedroom.
The Grants are taken to church by the Collins when there car breaks down and Heather wants Roger to come back to bed instead of watching what is going on in the Close.
Paul registers for benefit, Lucy struggles at the local comprehensive.school, realising that her posh voice and background will be a disadvantage. Barry has a dodgy suggestion for Annabelle.
Roger tries to assemble a shelving unit, despite having not enough screws and no instructions. Bobby plans a strike at work, and there are cookers on the move on the Close.......
Paul's digging amuses Damon and his friends. Barry tells a horrific tale of an accident on the building site. Karen brings home her new boyfriend, Demon Duane.......
Heather wonders why Paul is always at home, Roger is becoming agitated about the cookers in the next garden, Karen's period starts, and a strike looks imminent.
New neighbours arrive.......in a large frozen meat truck. Karen wants to persuade Bobby and Sheila to allow her to go on holiday, and Heather gets her revenge on Roger.
Barry makes Duane understand that boasting about his "conquest" of Karen was really not a very good idea. Meanwhile, Lucy is being physically intimidated at school.
The whole close is burgled, but Petra has more reasons to be upset than most. Not only are her house contents not insured even though she works for an insurance company, but she is still not pregnant.
A buyer for Gavin's cookers turns up at the Huntingtons'. Barry tries to persuade Sheila to bump up their insurance claim.
Sheila is hassled, Bobby is pressurised, Gavin is visited by the council and given a week to dispose of his cookers, and Arthur dies.
Gavin plans revenge, Barry delivers his new doors, and Petra fills in her chart. Damon advises Karen to keep quiet about her decision for the moment.
Roger has an alarm installed, Gordon is resentful, Lucy is being followed, Petra is ovulating and Barry is stabbed.
Roger does his Christmas shopping, all of which is then stolen. Bobby is under increased pressure to end the strike as Christmas approaches.
Lucy is rescued from a kiss under the mistletoe by one of her class-mates. Karen wants to go to a party instead of attending the midnight Mass. Derek makes a pass at Heather.
It is an upsetting Christmas for the Collins family, while Karen has a hangover, Bobby has an emergency meeting, Roger's burglar alarm goes off again, and Damon has no presents.
Barry is determine to get revenge on his attacker, Paul receives some encouraging news, but Petra is still feeling fed up and depressed.
The Grants invite all their neighbours to their New Year's Eve party. Roger and Heather return home, and discover that their alarm has been tampered with, and Gavin has erected a multicoloured shed to house his cookers.
Paul has a job interview, and is confident that he has done well. Annabelle starts making clothes for Lucy as part of her economy drive. Bobby goes back to work after the strike, and finds that some of his co-workers are angry.
Paul jumps to some wrong conclusions. Petra becomes more obsessed about having a baby. Sheila makes a decision, and Damon invites his mates over.
Karen and Sheila go shopping, while the rest of the family go to watch a football match. Roger joins a badminton club, and Paul suggests a trip to the Lakes to visit Annabelle's mother - but Lucy refuses to go.
Annie's financial worries begin to trouble Sheila, and Barry discovers that he may also have some money problems. Lucy is amused that, without Paul knowing, Annabelle is looking for work.
Damon almost reveals that Karen is on the Pill. Paul wants Annabelle to stay at home, but she would prefer to do some supply teaching. There is more bad news at work for Sheila.
Roger's attempt to take up jogging are not successful. The boys' school reports are not good, so Damon has some serious grovelling to do. Sheila confronts Annie, although Barry has no sympathy.
Barry has to back down in a heated argument with Victor, but then finds himself being propositioned by Eric's wife. Meanwhile, Sheila finds contraceptives in his bedroom, and is determined to find out whose they are.
Barry's denials when Eric confronts him after hearing rumours of his liaisons with Irene seem convincing enough, but he is not as good at explaining to Sheila why he has contraceptive pills in his bedroom. A TV Enquiry Officer visits the Close, and someone hasn't got a licence.......
Sheila is told that Damon has been playing truant. Gavin and Petra have a blazing row, and he storms out, telling her that she will see him in the morning - if she's lucky. Petra's response is to throw a tray through the glass door after him.
Petra awakens in the morning to discover that Gavin has died in his bed during the night, and has to be comforted by her brother-in-law George, her neighbours Roger and Heather, and - especially - Barry.
Annabelle becomes exasperated when her car is caught behind Gavin's funeral cortege and she runs out of petrol. Paul resolves to be more decisive and find himself a job.
Lucy attends a meeting at school, expresses her grievances and tries to stir up some action. Sheila is not convinced that Karen should be on the Pill, and goes to speak to her doctor. Jeff reveals that Duane has been badly beaten up.
tries to set his relationship with Carol on a firmer footing. Redundancies look certain to occur, as one plant at Bobby's work is to be closed down. Sheila seeks advice from her priest.
Gordon is invited to an all-night party, but Paul wants him to be home by 10.30pm. Matty receives a redundancy notice, and is disappointed when Bobby seems unwilling to use his influence to help him. Carol is not impressed when she meets Barry's bit on the touchline.
Annabelle has an unexpected visitor, while Roger and Heather battle over Derek's dinner party. Damon steals Karen's Valentine card, and takes it to show to everyone at school.
Matty and Teresa have dinner with Bobby and Sheila, and end up arguing over redundancies. Meanwhile, Heather and Roger dine with Derek and Angela and their other guests - and Derek hints to Heather that Roger's career could depend on how co-operative she is.......
Damon steams open the wrong letter. Barry and Frank are horrified by Petra's attitude and her detemination to get Gavin completely out of her life.
Annabelle tries to convince Paul that he cannot claim free meals for Gordon at his private school. Barry and Frank plan a surprise for Petra, but she has a bigger surprise for Barry.
The Huntingtons are burgled again, and Roger sets off around the Close to interrogate his neighbours. The Educational Welfare Officer visits the Grants to find out why Damon has been missing school.
Redundancy in the Grant household forces Damon and Karen to think of ways of earning cash. But Barry brightens the day by bringing home paint for the planned redecoration.
When Petra's boss makes a pass at her, Michelle suggests that Petra tells him that she is pregnant. There are differing views over how a ratepayers' association should be run.
Sheila waits at home while Bobby and his mates endlessly drink and drivel after-hours about nothing of any significance or interest.
The Huntingtons suspect that they have another intruder, and they're right. Damon is stranded in the bungalow after arguing with his mates. Lucy tells Gordon of her doubts about her relationship with Jonathan.
Roger's parents visit for Easter, and his father's offers to help around the house don't go down too well. Gordon suggests that Lucy should give Jonathan a taste of his own medicine.
It's time for church, but Karen and Damon have gone missing. Sydney sees Barry laying paving stones for Petra, and asks whether he could get some for Roger. Lucy drops Gordon right in it.
After Michelle expresses doubts that they should be spending so much time together, Petra and Barry talk things over. Meanwhile Sydney makes Damon pay when he catches him doing something naughty in church.
Alan measures the bungalow, but can he find anybody who knows enough geography to help him out? Roger invites everyone for a drink to celebrate his and Sydney's birthdays. Lucy practises for her stint on "What The Papers Say".