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Brookside returns to TV

Rejoice!  Brookside returns to UK screens after 20 years away

Brookside returns to UK screens after a 20-year absence.

The iconic Liverpool-based soap will be broadcast by Scottish television channel STV, but the channel can be viewed by anyone living in Britain.

The soap opera, which is set in Liverpool, chronicles the lives of characters living in 13 houses in a cul-de-sac called Brookside Close.

Rejoice!  Brookside returns to UK screens after 20 years away

Rejoice! Brookside returns to UK screens after 20 years away

The show will air from the start, news that will no doubt delight soap opera nostalgics who watched the show when it first aired in the 1980s.

The first 10 episodes will be added to STV Plater on February 1, and from then on, five episodes per week will be available.

Brookside originally aired on Channel 4’s first day of broadcast on November 2, 1982 and proved an instant hit with viewers.

Fan favorites included Bobby and Sheila and Grant, played by Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston.

The show launched the careers of many industry heavyweights, including Anna Friel, Amanda Burton and Claire Sweeney.

The subsidies !  Fan favorites included Bobby and Sheila and Grant, played by Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston

The subsidies ! Fan favorites included Bobby and Sheila and Grant, played by Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston

Before old episodes were reissued, they were remastered by Lime Pictures, the company that originally made the show when it was known as Mersey Television.

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A spokesperson said: “Brookside is a program that runs with deep affection at Lime Pictures. Its strong social conscience combined with a powerhouse of northern acting and writing skills made it must-watch and formed a pattern of storytelling that has stood the test of time.

“We are delighted that audiences can revisit or enjoy investing in this groundbreaking era of television that put Liverpool on the television landscape.”

Conceived by Grange Hill and Hollyoaks creator Sir Philip Redmond and produced by his company, the soap opera has attracted millions of viewers.

Spinning to stardom: The show launched the careers of many industry heavyweights including Anna Friel, Amanda Burton and Claire Sweeney (pictured left)

Spinning to stardom: The show launched the careers of many industry heavyweights including Anna Friel, Amanda Burton and Claire Sweeney (pictured left)

At its peak, the show drew nine million viewers before ending on November 4, 2003.

Sunetra Sarker has said she “owes a lot” to the beloved soap after she was given the role of Nisha Batra after being spotted at a bus stop aged 15.

The Ackley Bridge and Casualty actress added: “If I had known then that Brookside Close would be the road that led me to my surprising and eventful career, I would never have believed it.”

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“I am delighted that STV Player is once again showing Brookie after all these years. I never fail to hear fans tell me how much they still miss the show. Get the streaming and see how revolutionary this Liverpool-based soap opera was all those years ago.

Throughout its run, the show has tackled issues like LGBT+ and hard-hitting stories like rape, bullying, and incest.

Soap debut: Sunetra Sarker (pictured left) said she

Soap debut: Sunetra Sarker (pictured left) said she ‘owes a lot’ to the beloved soap after being given the role of Nisha Batra after being spotted at a bus stop aged 15

In 1985, teenage character Gordon Collins revealed to his family that he was gay on the soap opera.

The character, played by both Mark Burgess and Nigel Crowley, became the first openly gay character in a British television series when the episode aired.

Brookside also had the first lesbian kiss before the turning point in British history between characters Beth Jordache, played by Anna Friel, and Margaret Clemence, played by future Emmerdale actress Nicola Stephenson.

Anna’s career took her to America where she appeared in the comedy series Pushing Daisies, opposite Susan Sarandon in the country music drama Monarch and alongside Bradley Cooper in the movie Limitless.

Career: Anna's career has taken her to America where she appeared in the comedy series Pushing Daisies, opposite Susan Sarandon in the country music drama Monarch and alongside Bradley Cooper in the movie Limitless (pictured in Broken)

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Career: Anna’s career has taken her to America where she appeared in the comedy series Pushing Daisies, opposite Susan Sarandon in the country music drama Monarch and alongside Bradley Cooper in the movie Limitless (pictured in Broken)

Silent Witness actress Amanda, Hollyoaks actress Alex Fletcher and West End musical star Claire Sweeney also started their careers on the soap.

The soap opera, which is currently available in part on All 4, was brought to STV after an agreement with distributor All3Media International.

Richard Williams, Chief Digital Officer at STV, said: “It may have been two decades since Brookside ended, but the love for the show from its passionate army of fans has never wavered.”

“We’re thrilled to be the first streaming service to bring this legendary piece of TV history back to viewers’ living rooms for free, and I hope superfans and new audiences enjoy all the nostalgic drama that Brookside has to offer on STV Player.’

Brookside will arrive with the first 10 episodes on February 1 on STV Player and five new episodes will land weekly thereafter.

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