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Brookside was a soap opera introduced with the new British television channel, Channel 4. It became well known at first for its tackling of realistic and socially challenging storylines, before in the 1990s under the guidance of new producers such as Mal Young raising more controversial and sensitive issues.


Brookside, based in a cul-de-sac in Liverpool, appeared in 1982 with the launch of the fourth British terrestrial channel, Channel 4. It differed from other soap operas in the fact that it was filmed in real houses in a real street, as an attempt by producers to add to the realism. Back in the mid 1980s it attracted its highest viewing figure of 8 million people with a plot involving a deranged killer. Conceived by Phil Redmond, who also devised Grange Hill, the soap was set to become Britain's gritty soap, with other compelling and challenging story lines.

Brookside screened its final episode on November 4 2003, after bosses at Channel 4 had announced the demise of the soap in June 2003 due to falling ratings. Channel 4's style had changed to lifestyle programming and Brookside no longer fitted with that schedule.

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