Fictional books

Brookside - Moving In front cover

Brookside: Moving In

By: Colin Northway
Released: 1982
Publisher: Fontana Paperbacks
ISBN: 000616689X
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: The builders have finished and gone. Now the houses in the small close stand empty waiting for their first owners.
The Grants – A close-knit family, moving from a nearby council estate, leaving behind their old way of life – and their old friends.
The Huntingtons – Newly wed, ambitious, spendthrift. Brookside will be their first home.
The Collins – When Paul was made redundant, their comfortable prosperity ended. Now they must face the harsh realities of life in the 80’s.
Brookside comes alives and grows as these and other families, together with their children start to build a new community.


Changing Lives book

Book 1: Changing Lives

By: Barry Woodward
Released: 1985
Publisher: Methuen
ISBN: 0-413-41420-5
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: Overnight, one madman with a gun brought dramatic change to the lives of Brookside’s residents. Every household in the Close – young and old – was shocked by the shooting of black nurse Kate Moses. Nevertheless life has to go on… As, week by week, memories of the siege at Brookside fade, those left behind have other problems and choices to face.

Book 2: Weathering the Storm

By: Kathleen Potter
Released: 1986
Publisher: Methuen
ISBN: 0-413-41430-2
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: A summer wedding for Heather, and a second chance – but all is not what it seems. Nick has a secret, and Heather has difficulty with her step-children. Across the close the Grants have to come to terms with an attack on Sheila, and the list of suspects causes uncomfortable reverberations in some unlikely corners of Brookside Close. Rod comes of age in style, and needs all his resilience and resourcefulness as he plans his future in present-day Merseyside…
As temperatures rise and the days grow longer, turmoil is never far away for the inhabitants of the Close, with secrets to be hidden and new problems to be confronted.

The Journals of Beth Jordache book

The Journals of Beth Jordache

By: Rachel Braverman
Released: 1994
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
ISBN: 0-7522-0972-8
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: Beth Jordache is a young woman with a past haunted by disturbing secrets and a future shrouded in uncertainty. The tightly-knit community of Brookside Close is a difficult place for someone who must keep her private life strictly private and Beth, having been unable to share her thoughts and feelings for so long, pours her hear out into this journal. For years she bore witness to the vicious beatings meted out to her mother by her violent, alcoholic father and was herself abused and brutalized by the man.

Here Beth gives her own account of her father’s grisly demise; she tells of the torment involved for her, her mother and her sister in concealing his disappearance; she describes the dilemma in which she finds herself when she risks losing her best friend, Margaret, by coveting her as a lover and she writes about the confusion and turmoil of struggling to come to terms with her own sexuality.

Jimmy Corkhill story book

The Jimmy Corkhill Story

By: Rachel Braverman
Released: 1995
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
ISBN: 0-7522-0846-2
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: Jimmy Corkhill was first seen in Brookside Close almost ten years ago but has never really been the sort of person most of the residents would welcome as a neighbour. Always walking with one foot on the wrong side of the law, Jimmy never had far to look for trouble, but when he started to dabble in drugs and quickly became hooked, his previous misdemeanours began to look positively saintly compared with the depths to which his drug addiction drove him.

Stealing from friends, and jeopardizing his reconciliation with his estranged wife, Jackie, Jimmy embarked upon a journey of self-destruction, dragging those around him into a maelstrom of despair and heartache. Although a prison sentence gave Jimmy the chance to reflect on his past and consider how to tackle the future, have his experiences taught him enough to keep him on the straight and narrow? This is his story…

Beth Jordache - the New Journals book

Beth Jordache – The New Journals

By: Rachel Braverman
Released: 1995
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: A second volume featuring the difficult times of Beth Jordache of the television series “Brookside”.

It explores her relationship with her family and her friendship with Chris, which leads her to question her own sexuality and her love for another woman.


David Crosbie’s Memoirs

By: Rachel Braverman
Released: 1995
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: Unknown

Sinbad's scrapbook cover 1
Sinbad's scrapbook reprint

Sinbad’s Scrapbook – Secrets of a Window Cleaner

By: Frank Jeffery with Mal Young
Released: 1995, Reprinted 1996 (with alternative cover)
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
ISBN: 0-7522-1081-5
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: Bet you didn’t think I kept a scrapbook, did you? I don’t broadcast it, like, because some people might think it’s what trainspotters do. I did it to keep a sort of record of me life in a place that seemed to get more important to me as time went by.

When I took a look through the book I realised it told quite a lot about Brookside Close…in fact more than about me! I’ve worked and lived around the Close for more than ten years now and believe me if anyone knows what’s going on it’s the window cleaner. You can’t see behind closed doors but through panes of glass it’s a different story.

One of the more interesting Sunday papers used to have a slogan that said ‘All of human life is there’. Well that’s nothing when you start to look through me scrapbook and see what’s been going on in the Close over the years… Sinbad.


The Official Companion cover

Brookside – The Official Companion

By: Phil Redmond, John McCready
Released: 1987
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 0-297-79164-8
Format: Hardback

Cover blurb: In celebration of the 500th episode and the 5th anniversary of Brookside. The official companion…the facts and personalities…the characters and cast…the full inside story from behind the scenes and in front of the cameras. The indipensable guide to Channel 4’s favourite drama serial.


Brookside – The First Ten Years: The Authorised History

By: Geoff Tibballs
Released: 1992
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
ISBN: 1-85283-197-9
Format: Hardback

Cover blurb: Brookside is Channel 4’s top rated series, and this book is a celebration of its first ten years. Features include:
– Exclusive interviews and character profiles of the Brookside stars, past and present.
– Month-by-month 10 year diary of the story
– Behind the scenes information on how the series is made, plus an in-depth look at Brookside Close and the new Dixon’s Trading Post.
– Over 150 never-seen-before photographs from Mersey Television and Channel 4 archives.

Life in the Close

Brookside – Life in the Close

By: Geoff Tibballs
Released: 1994
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
ISBN: 1-85283-946-5
Format: Hardback

Cover blurb: Look inside Brookside’s famous cul-de-sac in this house-by-house companion:
– Before and after: where characters came from and where they are now
– What happened where: maps and diagrams to show where important incidents have happened and the comings and goings of all the characters
– Who lives where: names and addresses of everyone who has ever lived in Brookside Close
– Photographs of the stars, past and present

The Early Years cover

Brookside – The Early Years

By: Geoff Tibballs
Released: 1995
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
ISBN: 0-7522-1051-3
Format: Hardback

Cover blurb: Thirteen years after the very first episode was shown on 2nd November 1982, Phil Redmond’s Brookside remains one of Channel Four’s top-rated shows – still pioneering new practices and renowned for tackling hard-hitting real life issues such as drug abuse, teenage pregnancies, homosexuality and rape.

This book, revised and updated from its original edition, Brookside: The First Ten Years and published to coincide with transmission of Brookside: The Early Years on UK Living, chronicles the show from its conception at the beginning of the 1980s to its prime today, taking in profiles of cast and characters (past and present) details of how programmes were made, and a month-by-month plot summary. A fabulous handbook for the true fan.

The Brookside Files cover

The Brookside Files

By: Geoff Tibballs
Released: 1996
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
Format: Hardback

Cover blurb: Brookside enjoys a reputation as the most controversial soap on screen, because of its contemporary issue based storylines. In The Brookside Files, the residents of Brookside Close describe in their own words the major events of the last two years, while the team that creates Brookside provides an exclusive behind-the-scenes perspective.

The Brookside Files includes:

  • Jimmy Corkhill on drugs
  • Sammy Daniels on leaving your child home alone
  • Katie Rogers on bulimia
  • Mick Johnson on steroids
  • Nat Simpson on his sister Georgia
  • Ron Dixon on keeping a younger woman happy
  • Lindsey Stanlow on husband Gary and Mike Dixon

Fully illustrated with over 100 photographs, this is an unmissable book for all Brookside fans.

Total Brookside cover

Total Brookside – The Ultimate Guide to the Ultimate Soap

By: Geoff Tibballs
Released: 1998
Publisher: Ebury Press/Random House
ISBN: 0-09-186491-7
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: Total Brookside is the ultimate book for all Brookside fans. It is the last word in Brookside publications, covering everything you ever wanted to know about the ultimate soap.

In this, the most comprehensive Brookside book ever, TV expert and long-time Brookie fan Geoff Tibballs presents a complete guide to the romances, break-ups, breakdowns, births, binges, murders, sieges, fires, scams, gnome-thefts…all the dramatic events that have happened in the programme since November 1982.

Total Brookside also includes:

  • The full script for the first ever episode of Brookside
  • A comprehensive month-by-month guide to events on the Close from 1982 to the present day
  • A complete Who’s Who of every recurring Brookside character
  • Details of the celebrities who have appeared on Brookside
  • A history of the controversy surrounding the show over the last decade-and-a-half
  • An inside look at the writers’ meetings and how the fate of a character is mapped out
  • Where are they now? The careers of the show’s most famous alumni
Real Soap cover

Brookside – Real Soap

By: Kay Nicholls
Released: 1999
Publisher: Generation Publications Ltd
ISBN: 1-903009-07-3
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: It’s just an ordinary looking close, filled with ordinary looking houses. But no one could have prepared for the assault on our senses that Brookside has unleashed – over 17 years of madness and mayhem including rape, murder, incest, explosions and even an outbreak of a deadly tropical virus.

Brookside shows us that almost anything can happen to a bunch of people who look about as exciting as cold porridge. Brookside certainly goes for the jugular when it comes to entertaining storylines.

Whatever the secret of Brookside’s success, it manages to keep us hooked from one cliff-hanging, nail chomping episode to the next. And the real-life stories behind the stories are just as juicy…

20 Years of Brookside book

20 Years of Brookside

By: Graham Kibble-White
Released: 2002
Publisher: Carlton Books
ISBN: 1-842227-64-5
Format: Hardback

Cover blurb: A year by year journey covering the Brookside story as seen on screen and behind the scenes, this official book will provide a thorough, almost obsessive, guide to Channel 4’s flagship show. Written by two Brookie scriptwriters with an overall commentary by the show’s creator Phil Redmond, and illustrated throughout with fantastic photographs, Twenty Years of Brookside will cover every aspect of the groundbreaking show, making it a must-have for fans past and present.

Cast/Production Crew

Mid-term report cover

Phil Redmond – Mid-term Report

By: Phil Redmond
Released: 2013
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780099569169
Format: Hardback/Paperback/E-book

Cover blurb:

Swimming pool disasters. Drugs, and just say ‘no’. Flying sausages. School like you’d never seen it before.

Lesbian kisses. Bodies under patios. Exploding shops. Suburban life like you’d never seen it before.

Bad boys on bikes. Loveable geeks. Leggy blondes. Students like you’d never seen them before.

Three classic TV programmes. One TV genius. This is the behind-the-scenes story of how a working-class lad from the Liverpool suburbs went from living on a housing estate to buying one, and from comprehensive school dinners to lunch with the Queen. Along the way he learned a lot of lessons, broke all the rules, and changed television for ever.

Highbridge cover


By: Phil Redmond
Released: 2017
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780099569176
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: The dramatic novel from the writer and creator of Brookside, Hollyoaks and Grange Hill.

Three years ago, Janey Nolan was murdered in the centre of town.
Today, no one knows who did it.
Sick of waiting for the powers that be to rid the streets and school gates of dealers, druggies and parasites, Janey’s brothers want to avenge her death. While Sean decides to explore the routes and corridors of political power, Joey chooses more direct action in and among the alleys and pathways of the neighbourhood itself.
But can the brothers find Janey’s killer without bringing more danger to their town?
Jimmy Mcgovern book cover

Jimmy McGovern

By: Steve Blandford
Released: 2013
Publisher: Manchester University Press
ISBN: 9780719082481
Format: Hardback

Cover blurb: This, the first book length study of one of Britain’s leading television writers, Jimmy McGovern, links his work to key changes in British television over the last thirty years. McGovern’s versatility has meant that his work ranges from soap opera to crime series, studio based single drama to art house features for theatrical release. The book therefore acts partly as a survey of the way that drama for the small screen has mutated and changed over a key period in its history. Steve Blandford’s percipient and readable book extensively examines some of McGovern’s most influential work, including Brookside, Cracker, The Lakes, Hillsborough and The Street.

Ricky book


By: Ricky Tomlinson
Released: 2003
Publisher: Time Warner Books
ISBN: 978-0316861984
Format: Hardback/Paperback

Cover blurb: I know that I’m going to get stick over this book, but there you go – it can’t be helped. And some readers might think I’m a terrible liar when they read what follows, but everything in this book is true. Enough lies have been told about me, without me adding to them.’

Famous as the lovable couch potato Jim Royle of The Royle Family, Ricky Tomlinson has entertained millions without ever leaving his armchair. Now, in his long-awaited autobiography, he surprises yet again with a remarkable story of love, hardship, humour, injustice and triumph.

His mother used to tell him that he had lived three lives, but even she miscounted. He has been a plasterer, banjo player, stand-up comic, union agitator, political activist, film extra, award-winning actor and unwilling guest of Her Majesty’s prison service.

Renowned and respected for his honesty, wit and integrity, Ricky brings all of these qualities to his extraordinary, moving and inspiring story.

Sue Johnston – Things I Couldn’t Tell My Mother

By: Sue Johnston
Released: 2012
Publisher: Ebury Press
ISBN: 978-0091938901
Format: Hardback/Paperback

Cover blurb: Sue Johnston always seemed to be disappointing her mother. As a girl she never stayed clean and tidy like her cousins. As she grew older, she spent all her piano lesson money on drinks for her mates down the pub, and when she discovered The Cavern she was never at home. The final straw was when Sue left her steady job at a St Helen’s factory to try her hand at that unsteadiest of jobs: acting.

Yet when Sue was bringing up her own child alone, her mother was always there to help. And playing her much-loved characters Sheila Grant in Waking the Dead and Barbara in The Royle Family– although her mum wouldn’t say she was proud as such, she certainly seemed to approve. And in her mother’s final months, it was Sue she needed by her side.

The relationship with your mother is perhaps the most precious and fraught of any woman’s life. When she began writing, Sue set out to record ‘all the big things, and all the small things. Everything I wanted to tell my mother but felt I never could’. The result is a warm, poignant and often very funny memoir by one of Britain’s favourite actresses.

You never said goodbye book

John McArdle – You Never Said Goodbye

By: John McArdle
Released: 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN: 978-1517180805
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: Acclaimed actor and director John McArdle had an arduous path to fame and success. The unexpected death of his father when McArdle was only sixteen upended his world, sending him into a tailspin that would last for a number of years.

But instead of letting his pain, mistakes, and bad decisions derail him forever, McArdle decided to use them to fuel his passion for drama. At the age of twenty-seven, he enrolled in acting school – eventually graduating and earning the role of Billy Corkhill during the heyday of Channel 4’s Brookside.

Now in this stirring autobiography written in the form of a letter to his father, McArdle shares intimate details of his life – including his struggle with drugs and alcohol as a young man, the years he spent abroad, and how his father’s death helped shape him into the man he is today.

From Grange Hill to bipolar

From Grange Hill to Bipolar and Back

By: George Wilson (Christopher)
Released: 1998
Publisher: Boxtree Ltd
Format: Paperback

Cover blurb: This is the true story of George Wilson aka George Christopher.

A normal, working class boy who found fame in the children’s hit tv show Grange Hill, playing the lovable scouse rogue Ziggy, when he was just 15.

He lived in London for four years, there were a few bad times but soon he relished in this new way of life. Met some amazing people, loved working on the show, the laughter with the cast, the nightlife are just a few of the things he loved.

Sadly when he finished things began to spiral out of control for him. He got in trouble with the police, witnessed the horrendous scenes at the hillsborough disaster in 89, first hand, unemployed, became reclusive etc.

These are just a few of the things that gradually put him in his first Psychiatric hospital for six months in 1991. Not only affecting him but his family and friends too.

Eventually he’d get out and for seven years live a normal and exciting life living and working abroad, landed a major part in Brookside playing doomed drug addict little Jimmy Corkhill, writing and producing plays etc. Then in the summer of 1999 he found himself back in a Psychiatric hospital in South Wales, after all hell broke loose on a mountain top. Again he would beat it. Three more times he’d find himself in these places and find out he had Bipolar.

The whole point of this book is to show people, yes, bipolar is scary and at times soul destroying but learning to deal with it too. There are ways a person can control the illness to a degree, and not let it control the person. Took a long time, many lessons learned, many things given up. He had to go through hell before he got to heaven. This book is both funny and sad, Most importantly remember, It’s one of the most frightening things in the world, but it’s not the end of the world.

Ray Quinn autobiography

Ray Quinn – This Time Round

By: Ray Quinn
Released: 2015
Publisher: Percy Publishing
ISBN: 978-0992929879
Format: Hardback/Paperback

Cover blurb: For most of you that have chosen to take a look at this book, you are people that have seen me grow up in front of your eyes. From my early age in Brookside and then X-Factor. Many of you will believe I have had a gifted life, which in truth I have. What you may not know is that at some points, it has been hard, harder than I ever would have imagined.

My story is going to take you on a journey, a journey that I have enjoyed, from my early years of dancing that many of you may not know about, through Brookside, X-Factor, and that is where most of you will know me from.

X-factor made me a house hold name, but it had its price. My age had its price, and those around me used my age, naivety and my dream to be an entertainer to their own advantage. I’m not going to judge them. I will talk my way through my life and I will let you be the judge.

This book has been written so I can tell you my story and with the old saying ‘You can’t put old head on young shoulders’. I want to guide anyone who follows their dream to entertain, the pit falls of the life they aspire to.

If I could go back would I do things differently? Yes I would.
Do I regret my life? No I don’t. This is my story and this is who I am now. I am closing a chapter and stepping into a bright new horizon and I would like to leave my past experiences behind me. How you chose to interpret them is all up to you.


Brookside magazine - early 90s
Brookside magazine - late 90s

These are two examples of an official Brookside magazine that existed in the 90’s. It’s not known how many issues they ran for, but it’s interesting to note that both covers say ‘Issue 1’ which suggests it stopped and re-started at some point.

If you have any more info about this publication, get in touch!