Season One Episode Guide

Episode 1 (T 02-11-82 “B—–ks”) Written by Phil Redmond

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.

Episode 2 (W 03-11-82 “Mass”) Written by Phil Redmond

When Bobby’s car breaks down, the Collins family give the Grants a lift to church. Roger wants to keep an eye on what else is happening outside in the Close, but Heather would prefer him to come back to bed.

Episode 3 (T 09-11-82 “Shortage”) Written by Phil Redmond

Paul registers for benefit, Lucy struggles at the local, realising that her posh voice and background will be a disadvantage. Barry has a dodgy suggestion for Annabelle.

Episode 4 (W 10-11-82 “Productivity”) Written by Phil Redmond

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…….

Episode 5 (T 16-11-82 “Cost”) Written by Phil Redmond

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…….

Episode 6 (W 17-11-82 “Diminishing Returns”) Written by Phil Redmond

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.

Episode 7 (T 23-11-82 “Gav and Pet”) Written by Phil Redmond

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.

Episode 8 (W 24-11-82 “Humping”) Written by Phil Redmond

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.

Episode 9 (T 30-11-82 “Burgled”) Written by Phil Redmond

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.

Episode 10 (W 01-12-82 “Property Values”) Written by Phil Redmond

A buyer for Gavin’s cookers turns up at the Huntingtons’. Barry tries to persuade Sheila to bump up their insurance claim.

Episode 11 (T 07-12-82 “Intervention”) Written by Andy Lynch

Sheila is hassled, Bobby is pressurised, Gavin is visited by the council and given a week to dispose of his cookers, and Arthur dies.

Episode 12 (W 08-12-82 “Home Improvements”) Written by Allan Swift

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.

Episode 13 (T 14-12-82 “Burglar Alarm”) Written by Andy Lynch

Roger has an alarm installed, Gordon is resentful, Lucy is being followed, Petra is ovulating and Barry is stabbed.

Episode 14 (W 15-12-82 “Insecurities”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

Roger does his Christmas shopping, all of which is then stolen. Bobby is under increased pressure to end the strike as Christmas approaches.

Episode 15 (T 21-12-82 “Ill-mannered”) Written by Allan Swift

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.

Episode 16 (W 22-12-82 “Christmas Spirit”) Written by Andy Lynch

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.

Episode 17 (T 28-12-82 “Bit Of Business”) Written by Andy Lynch

Barry is determine to get revenge on his attacker, Paul receives some encouraging news, but Petra is still feeling fed up and depressed.

Episode 18 (W 29-12-82 “Open House”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

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.

Episode 19 (T 04-01-83 “The Real World”) Written by Allan Swift

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.

Episode 20 (W 05-01-83 “Too Good To Be True”) Written by Andy Lynch

Paul jumps to some wrong conclusions. Petra becomes more obsessed about having a baby. Sheila makes a decision, and Damon invites his mates over.

Episode 21 (T 11-01-83 “Individualism”) Written by Andy Lynch

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.

Episode 22 (W 12-01-83 “Money”) Written by Barry Woodward

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.

Episode 23 (T 18-01-83 “Nothing’s Easy”) Written by Len Rush

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.

Episode 24 (W 19-01-83 “The Poverty Trap”) Written by Frank Clarke

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.

Episode 25 (T 25-01-83 “Measuring”) Written by Andrew Lynch

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.

Episode 26 (W 26-01-83 “Copped”) Written by Frank Clarke

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…….

Episode 27 (T 01-02-83 “Prospects”) Written by Barry Woodward

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.

Episode 28 (W 02-02-83 “He Was Younger Than Me”) Written by Phil Redmond

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.

Episode 29 (T 08-02-83 “Inertia”) Written by Helen Wilson

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.

Episode 30 (W 09-02-83 “Campaign Plan”) Written by Frank Clarke

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.

Episode 31 (T 15-02-83 “Intent”) Written by Len Rush

Barry 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.

Episode 32 (W 16-02-83 “Sides”) Written by Helen J. Wilson

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.

Episode 33 (T 22-02-83 “Verbal Volleyball”) Written by Chris Bernard

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.

Episode 34 (W 23-02-83 “Social Studies”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

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…….

Episode 35 (T 01-03-83 “Rates”) Written by Phil Redmond

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.

Episode 36 (W 02-03-83 “Altruism”) Written by Phil Redmond

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.

Episode 37 (T 08-11-83 “About Damon”) Written by Jimmy McGovern

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.

Episode 38 (W 09-03-83 “Closed Shop”) Written by Helen J. Wilson

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.

Episode 39 (T 15-03-83 “Donkey Work”) Written by Len Rush

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.

Episode 40 (W 16-03-83 “A Stay-Behind”) Written by Andy Lynch

Sheila waits at home while Bobby and his mates endlessly drink and drivel after-hours about nothing of any significance or interest.

Episode 41 (T 22-03-83 “Hard To Get”) Written by Chris Bernard

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.

Episode 42 (W 23-03-83 “Camp Beds”) Written by Barry Woodward

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.

Episode 43 (T 29-03-83 “Paving Stones”) Written by Helen J.Wilson

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.

Episode 44 (W 30-03-83 “Gentle Persuasion”) Written by Frank Clarke

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.

Episode 45 (T 05-04-83 “Which Way Is South?”) Written by Andy Lynch

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”.

Episode 46 (W 06-04-83 “Party”) Written by Andy Lynch

Damon and his friends become uneasy about Alan, but their fears prove unfounded. The Huntingtons’ party doesn’t go as planned.

The Cast

Episode numbers shown in brackets are those in which the characters appeared and these do not always match up exactly with the end credit graphics, on some of which there are minor errors. The end credits are displayed on a blue background throughout, although in episodes 35 to 42 they are formatted slightly differently. At the end of episode 7, there is a freeze-frame of Gavin, which slowly fades into the blue background.

Several of the characters, including some of the residents, were played by performers relatively new to television – but some would progress to very successful careers later on. Some of the minor characters were played by performers who would return in major roles later on in “Brookside”, including Peter Christian, John McArdle and Gladys Ambrose – while others, such as Dean Williams, Gerry Fogarty, Valerie Griffiths and Paul Kelly, would occasionally reappear later playing a variety of entirely different minor characters!

Annabelle Collins (nee Harvey) – DOREEN SLOANE (1-5, 7, 9, 12-23, 26, 29, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 39, 43, 45, 46)
Paul Collins – JIM WIGGINS (1-7, 9, 12-23, 26, 29, 30, 32, 35, 36, 39, 43, 45, 46)
Gordon Collins – NIGEL CROWLEY (1, 2, 5, 7, 12-19, 21-23, 29, 32, 36, 39, 41-43, 46)
Lucy Collins – KATRIN CARTLIDGE (1-4, 8, 9, 12-22, 24, 29, 30, 32, 36, 39, 41-43, 45, 46)
Bobby Grant – RICKY TOMLINSON (1-5, 7, 8, 10-28, 31, 32, 34, 38, 40, 43, 44, 46)
Sheila Grant – SUE JOHNSTON (1-7, 10-14, 16-27, 30-32, 34, 37-40, 43, 44, 46)
Barry Grant – PAUL USHER (1-3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12-19, 21, 22, 24-27, 29-33, 35, 36, 38, 43, 44, 46)
Damon Grant – SIMON O’BRIEN (1-6, 11-24, 27, 30, 35, 37, 38, 41-44, 46)
Karen Grant – SHELAGH O’HARA (2, 4-8, 11, 13, 16-23, 25, 26, 30-33, 37, 38, 43, 44, 46)
Heather Huntington (nee Haversham) – AMANDA BURTON (1-7, 10, 11, 13-15, 18, 19, 21, 24, 26-28, 33, 34, 37, 41, 42, 45, 46)
Roger Huntington – ROB SPENDLOVE (1-8, 10, 11, 13-15, 18, 19, 21, 23-28, 33, 34, 37, 39, 41, 42, 45, 46)
Alan Partridge – DICKEN ASHWORTH (41, 42, 45, 46)
Gavin Taylor – DANIEL WEBB (7-13, 17, 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28 )
Petra Taylor (nee Jones) – ALEXANDRA PIGG (7-13, 17, 20, 21, 23, 27-29, 35, 36, 39, 43-46)

Jeff Bacon – CHRISTOPHER WILD (11, 13, 16, 30)
Frank Blackburn – PETER CHRISTIAN (6, 7, 17, 29, 35, 36)
Julia Broadbent – BETTI LLOYD-JONES (16)
Stan Broadbent – DAVID MILLER (16, 33)
Donald “Ducksie” Brown – MARK BIRCH (1, 4-6, 15, 18, 20, 33, 41, 42, 46)
Sister Catherine – EVE MATHESON (24)
Father Daley – FRANK CROMPTON (31)
Samantha Davis – DINAH MAY (46)
Gizzmo Hawkins – ROBERT T CULLEN (1, 4, 6, 15, 18, 20, 24, 33, 35, 41, 46)
Eric Harrison – CHRIS DARWIN (17, 25, 26)
Irene Harrison – HILARY CRANE (25, 26, 31, 32)
Margaret Huntington – MURIEL LAWFORD (42-46)
Sydney Huntington – BERT GAUNT (42-46)
George Jackson – CLIFF HOWELLS (28 )
Marie Jackson (nee Jones) – ANTONIA MALLEN (29) / ANNA KEAVENEY (36)
Gregory “Jonah” Jones – TOM BRANCH (6-8, 10-12, 15, 16,18, 19, 23, 25, 31, 40, 46)
Michelle Jones – TRACEY JAY (39, 43-46)
Susi McSharry – HELEN MARTIN (6, 8, 11, 18, 22, 41, 46)
Matty Nolan – TONY SCOGGO (2, 6, 18, 19, 23, 31, 32, 34, 40, 46)
Teresa Nolan – ANN HADYN-EDWARDS (18, 34, 40)
Pauline – JEANETTE DOBSON (6, 8, 11, 22, 41, 46)
Carol Pilkington – CATHERINE NICHOLSON (31, 32)
Terry Sullivan – BRIAN REGAN (6, 8, 10, 13, 17, 25, 38 )
Jack Turner – TOM NEWBURY (7, 11, 12, 16, 25, 40)
Vera Turner – GLADYS AMBROSE (7, 20)
George Williams – DOC O’BRIEN (12, 16, 31)

Boy On Bike – ANDREW CARROLL (26)
Mr Bradshaw (Headmaster) – ALAN PARTINGTON (23)
Janet Carver – ASIA DUALEH (8, 9, 15)
Demon Duane – IAN MERCER (5-8, 22)
Mr John Garner – EDWARD ARTHUR (3)
George – DEAN WILLIAMS (15)
Golly – ANTHONY HOOD (8 )
Joey – JEFFREY HOOSON (13, 15)
Jonathan – PAUL ELSAM (16, 20, 24)
Laxo – KARL LORNI (5, 8 )
Marie McGovern – DEANNA BROWN (3, 8, 9, 15)
Patsy – ANITA CATTELL (24)
Mr Jeff Rawlings – PAUL GREEN (9, 15)
Simon Reynolds (Head Boy) – GARY CARR (30)
Schoolgirl – NICKI MAYERS (9)
Sozza – NEIL FLYNN (6)
Mr P. R. Spencer (Headmaster) – ANTHONY WINGATE (8 )
Tim – IAN DONNELLY (13, 15)
Mr P. Todd, Economics Teacher – JOHN McARDLE (6)
Tony – CHRISTOPHER LORD (13, 15)
Tony – ALAN PAUL (30)
Young History Teacher – NORMA LEON (9, 15)
Yvonne – ANN HEGARTY (2)

Arthur “Commie” Clarke – PETER KERRIGAN (7)
Annie Cross – GEORGINA SMITH (4, 22, 24, 38 )
Bill Hargreaves – BRIAN SOUTHWOOD (7)
Jimmy Harrison – JOHN CARR (11, 25, 26, 40)
Joey Harrison – STEPHEN QUINN (40)
Angela Hobbs – ELIZABETH MICKERY (15)
Derek Hobbs – NORMAN GREGORY (15, 23, 27, 34)
Andrew Hoskins – GRANVILLE SAXTON (34)
Pauline Hoskins – EILEEN O’BRIEN (34)
Jean – SHARON POWER (20, 39)
Jenny Kaye – JUDY HOLT (19)
Kenny – MIKE KAY (40)
Bobby “Mallet Head” Kinsella – ANTON BROOKES (6, 17, 19)
Management Rep – RONALD LEAK (16)
Wally Peek – CARL CHASE (22)
Sammy – CHARLIE LEA (17)
Victor Scott – ROBBIE DEE (4, 17, 18, 22, 25)
Dave Simpson – ROGER PHILLIPS (27, 39)
Ted – KEN BLACK (6)
Ted – MICK LAWSON (23)
Alan Torenson – DAVID WILLIAMS (7, 16, 31)
Gary Watson – PAUL KELLY (19)
Bert Williams – SYD NEWMAN (11)

Barmaid – YVONNE HARRISON (25)
Building Site Boss – DON NAVARO (4)
Constable – RED NEWMAN (22)
Customer – LES JOHNSON (10)
Doctor – MAGGIE FORD (30)
Dromgoole (Burglar Alarm Installer) – ARTHUR KELLY (13)
Educational Welfare Officer – RON METCALFE (24)
Housewife – VALERIE GRIFFITHS (11)
Mr Goddard (Educational Welfare Officer) – JACK CARR (37)
Sergeant “Flash” Gordon – JOEY KAYE (40)
Mr Green (Insurance Man) – CHRISTOPHER QUINN (10)
Mr Hankin (TV Enquiry Officer) – PETER KELLY (26)
Ms Claire Lomax – BARBARA WASHINGTON (11, 12)
Man In Dole Queue – MICHAEL STARKE (9)
Man In Restaurant – MICHAEL STARKE (33)
Dr Metcalfe – STUART RICHMAN (11, 21, 28 )
Milkman – JOHN WHITEHALL (1)
Plumber – JEFF HAWKES (4)
Policeman – DAVID ELMSFIELD (11)
Policeman – DAVID LLOYD (9)
Priest – PETER HOLMES (2, 11)
Railway Official – JOHNNY MALLON (6)
Shopkeeper – GERRY FOGARTY (18 )
Telecom Man – JIM COLEMAN (13)
Television Reporter – IAN ALEXANDER (11)
Window Cleaner – DAVE DUTTON (29)

Dawn – MARY FAY (1)
Griff – GARY ROBERTS (2)
Jacko – PAUL STANTON (2)

Brian, factory worker/picket (6, 10, 15)
Carol, shop assistant (11)
Chiswick, footballer (17)
Graham, a sixth-former (30)
Greaves, footballer (17)
Jane, a sixth-former (30)
Jed, mate of Gavin and/or Barry (12)
Jeff, work colleague of Roger ( 6)
Jerry, factory worker/drinker (6, 7, 40)
Jev, factory worker/picket (10)
Winston, Sammy’s hound (17)


This fairly self-contained opening season is mostly devoted to introducing the members of two families who have recently moved to live in the newly-built Brookside Close, Liverpool – the Grants and the Huntingtons – and two further families who also move there in the early episodes – the Collinses in episode 1 and the Taylors in episode 7. It concentrates on their daily life and problems at home, at work and at school; and while each family’s early storylines tend to be relatively independent of each other, there is some gradual interaction between them. Major events include the burglary of every occupied house on the Close – although the emphasis is on how each individual household reacts and deals with their losses – and the sudden, unexpected death of one of the new residents.

The dates:

It is reasonable to suppose that most scenes are set on approximately the dates on which the episodes were originally aired. There are only occasional more specific references that it is Sunday (episode 2), Monday (19), Wednesday (7, 26), Thursday (10, 41), Friday (12, 29), Saturday (21, 25, 42), December, and “three weeks to Christmas” (10), Christmas Day (16), “almost New Year” (17), New Year’s Eve, then New Year’s Day 1983 (18 ), the middle of Winter (21), Winter (22, 24), the weekend (32), St Patrick’s Night (40); Good Friday / April 1st (43), and 1983 (45). Based on dialogue in other episodes, it is Saturday in episode 1, it is Tuesday in episode 11, and it is Easter Sunday in episode 44, Paul lost his job eight weeks ago (2), and receives a response to a job application: “Thank you for your letter dated 6 January 1983” (29); the Grants have lived in the Close for a month (2), although Sheila has worked full-time in a shop for 23 months (38 ); and Gavin and Petra have been unsuccessfully trying for a baby for eighteen months (10, 28, 39) – or, according to Frank “about two years” (36). In episode 18, the last to air in 1982, Barry alters a sign saying that Victor’s shop will open on “JAN 5” so that it reads “JAN 15”; and in episode 31 he has missed Valentine’s Day. There is a 1983 Year Planner on Sheila’s doctor’s wall in episode 30.

The characters:

The original “Brookside” characters are very different from those in other soap operas – in the following ways:

  • They swear…….some of them in nearly every line, especially in the earlier episodes – although this is perhaps beginning to be toned down later in the season. There is, for example, a scene slightly reminiscent of “Carry On Abroad” in episode 29, in which the window cleaner mouths an obscenity at Paul Collins, without actually being heard…
  • They watch television…….as Karen and Jeff set off to go out in episode 13, Sheila has been watching “Coronation Street”, whose closing theme can be heard. In episode 31, Alan Torenson is watching “breakfast television” – which has only recently begun. There are mentions of “Chips” (5, 6), “Opportunity Knocks” (11), Clint Eastwood (11, 25), “Popeye” (13), “It’s A [bloody] Knockout” (13), “Multi-Coloured Swap Shop” (18 ); “Flash Gordon” (19); “Incredible Hulk” (19), “Batwoman” (19); Ian St John (21), Perry Mason (21), “The Three Stooges” (23); Big Daddy (24), “Doctor Who” and Daleks (25, several times), Pam Ayres (33), “The Epilogue” (34); “Cap’n Birdseye” (34); “Tonto” (37); “Raffles” (37); “Panorama” (39); “Play School”, “Magic [Rotten] Roundabout” (40), “Crossroads” (41), “Blue Peter” (41); Laurel and Hardy (42), “Colditz” (44), and “What The Papers Say” (45). And throughout episode 27, the featured households appear to be tuned in to the same television or radio programme!
  • They talk politics…….contemporary political figures referred to include Michael Edwards (episodes 1, 4), Michael Heseltine / Heseltine (1, 45 / 40), Maggie/Mrs Thatcher (10, 38 ), Yuri Andropov / Andropov (15 / 35); Brezhnev (17), General Galtieri (19), Joe Gormley (23), Arthur Scargill (23, 38 ), John De Lorean (27), [Norman] Tebbit (34), [Tom] King (40), Michael Foot (45) and [Tony] Benn (45).
  • They go to the toilet…….yes, they do. Damon is the first, and one of the most frequent, visitors (episodes 5, 23 and 41), followed by Frank (7), Karen (8 ), Annabelle (16), Petra (20), Gizzmo (24, 33 and 35), Sister Catherine (24), Barry (36) and Paul (46).

Other name-checks:

“Boadicea” (episodes 3, 5 and 15); Florence Nightingale (3, 4); Orson Welles (7); “James Bond” (8 ); Sir Alfred McAlpine (10); “Sherlock” [Holmes] (11); Chairman Mao (12); “Her Majesty” / the Queen (12 / 24); “Clark Kent” (15); “Lois Lane” (15); “The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B” (20); “Willy Wombat” (21); “The Beatles” (21); “Teardrop” [Explodes] (24); [Echo and the] “Bunnymen” (24); “Dexy’s” [Midnight Runners] (24); Connie Francis (24); Einstein (24); Kipling (25); “Arabian Nights” (25); Dhobi Wallah (35); Picasso (35); Englebert Humperdinck’s “Last Waltz” (36); Al Capone (37); Rembrandt (38 ); Omar Sharif (39); Neil Armstrong (40); “Human League” (41); “Twiggy” (41); Vivienne Westwood (41); Lord Sefton (43); and “Ivan the Terrible” (45).

The locations:

All of the action in this season is set in Manor Park, Liverpool, with the exception of parts of episodes 1, 16 and 24. In the first of these, after some initial establishing shots, there are scenes of the Collins family clearing and leaving their previous home on the Wirral, then travelling to their new residence in Brookside Close; and in the others, Lucy and Jonathan are briefly seen in a pub, and at Jonathan’s home, as she revisits her former environment.


None, but Petra reveals that she is pregnant (episode 36), and that the baby is due at the beginning of November (43). Although it is not Carol’s birthday in episode 31, it is Damon’s in episode 35 [see “Goofs” below]; it is Bobby’s, on April 1st, in episode 43; and we are told in episode 43 and reminded in episode 45 that Roger shares a birthday with his father Sydney – April 2nd [but see also “Goofs” below] – which, Michelle explains in episode 45, makes him Aries, a ram. We are also told that Gordon is 14 (19), Lucy is 16 (19), Barry is 23 (44), Karen is 15 (5, 21, 30), Damon is 14 (10, 37), Irene is “about 35” (26), Petra is in her early 20’s (34), and Michelle is 18 (38 ).

It is also mentioned that Barry is ten years younger than Eric (25), Gavin is younger than Roger and George (28 ), Paul makes a point of declaring at his job interview that he is 55 (19)…….although he may not have been telling the truth! Lucy has apparently told her 19-year old boyfriend Jonathan (16) that he is 58 (24)! Not to be outdone, Paul’s interviewers, Gary and Jenny, reveal that they are 28 and 27 respectively (19). We also learn that Annabelle’s yet-to be-seen mother is 82 (21), the unseen – but eventually briefly heard – Maureen, one of Teresa’s children, is 16 (34), the unseen sister of Ducksie is the same age as Karen (23), and the yet-to-be-seen Mark Gossage is older than Gordon (39).


None. We are told that childless couple Eric and Irene Harrison have been married for 15 years (episode 25), and Heather says Gavin and Petra had only been married for “a few months” – not that she would necessarily know (33). And there are no indications of how long Paul and Annabelle, Bobby and Sheila, Matty and Teresa, Stan and Julia, George and Marie, Margaret and Sydney, Jack and Vera, Angela and Derek, or Andrew and Pauline have been married. Roger and Heather, however, must have married less than two years ago, as that’s when they first met (15).


Two. Arthur Clarke dies of a heart attack in episode 11; and Gavin Taylor, who dies of a brain haemhorrage in episode 28, has been dead for four weeks in episode 36. We are also told that the following unseen (and never-to-be-seen!) characters are no longer alive: Sheila’s mother / Karen’s grandma (episodes 1, 2, 10 / 6); Bobby’s grandfather (17) and Uncle Paddy, who died broke in a two-up-two-down off Scotland Road (23); Mrs Grice, who has recently died, and on whose estate Roger is assigned to work (23); Annabelle’s father, who died when she was quite young (45); and Marie’s mother (45).

Characters not seen yet, but there’s just a chance that they may be coming along later:

Ducksie’s mother (episodes 4 and 15); Jonah’s kid / his wife and son (6 / 46); Heather’s parents (14) / her mother (18 ); Annabelle’s mother, Lucy and Gordon’s grandmother (21, 43); Gizzmo’s brother (22); Mark Gossage / Mark (35, 36, 43 / 42), who has a band called “Jugular Vein” (42), and his garage-owning cowboy father (35, 43), Bob (35); and Marie’s two children (36, 39). [ Not to mention…….the Pope (2, 6, 43) ]

And those that are also mentioned, but are destined to remain unseen forever:

The Blakes, friends of the Collins’ (episode 5); “Mary and her brood”, relatives of the Broadbents (16); Cas van Marik, Jakob and his mother in Volendam, who Paul and Annabelle met on a Dutch holiday (29); Mrs Pritchard and her husband, local residents (39);…….Jonathan’s parents / mother (16, 24 / 42), and his uncle in Chiswick (20); “Hazelhurst” (9) and welshman “Britty” (18 ), teachers at Brookside Comprehensive; Sally, its headmaster’s secretary (8 );……..Angus Crawford / Crawford, Gordon’s friend (30, 32, 35 / 36); his father (32, 35), who is a JP (32), his mother – allegedly a heavy drinker – and his sister, Louise (32); Mr Peters, French teacher (23) and Mr Gregory, another of Gordon’s teachers (39);…….Bobby’s father (12, 17, 34) and mother (12); Mr and Mrs Duffy, acquaintances of the Grants (2); Jimmy Harrison’s wife / Joey’s mother (11, 40), kids [other than Joey] (11) and brother-in-law (11); the O’Briens, friends of the Grants (16); Steven Grainger (19) and Old Fowler / Ted Fowler (31 / 32), employees of Fairbanks Engineering; Dave, a barman (26); WPC Chambers’ brother (40);…….Rose, Sheila’s manageress at the shop (24, 38 ); Mr Carmichael, the shop owner (38 ); Don, Annie’s husband (4); Jason, brother of Carol, the non-speaking daughter of the un-named Housewife, and her two other kids at school (11); Pete McKenzie, Sheila’s boyfriend when she was 15 (21); Father LeVell, one of the younger priests at Sheila’s church (31); Matty’s family / mother and father (32, 38 / 40); Teresa’s daughter, Maureen, and “the others” [siblings] (34);…….Dickie Wilson, hurt in an accident, and his two girls and a boy under 5 (5) – who was on the dole for two years before losing his arm (8 ); Roy Haskins (10), Sally (16), Pauline (16) and Trisha (18 ), mates of Barry; Eric’s brother in St Helen’s (25); Mrs Pilkington, Carol’s mother (32);…….Yvonne’s father, mother, Bez – a relative – and “her Tommy” (2); Susi’s mother (5), father (41) and auntie (44); Pauline’s mother (5); Tracey, a friend of Karen’s who is on the Pill, and her mother (6); Duane’s mam (7, 8 ), dad (8 ) and nan (8 ); Jeff Bacon’s dad, Jack (13); Golly Gallagher, who Karen once battered on Damon’s behalf (30);…….Gizzmo’s mother (4, 33, 35) / parents (24) / father (27, 33, 35), his Uncle Billy (35) and Tommy, another family member (33); Ducksie’s father (15), his sister (23), and his brother Joey (41); “Boxy” Dwyer, a well-known truant (5); “Jock Strap” (5, 35), “Puker” (6), “Faggot” (6) and “Lavington” (6), their teachers; Elsa’s mother (24); Brian Kelly, a former pupil of Damon’s school who once tried to burn it down (33);…….Mr Delaney (23, 33) and Smallwood (27), clients of Roger’s; Marilyn, the wife Mr Delaney is divorcing (23); Glenys, Derek’s secretary (23); Angela’s parents (27); Sister Catherine’s brother in Bootle, and his baby (24);…….Gavin’s father (12) and brother (17); Lee, a mate from whom Gavin gets his videos (9); Irene, Frank’s “woman” (9); Sammy’s daughter (17) and brother (27); Colin, Jean’s “man” (20); Judith, Dave’s pregnant and ill secretary (27), and her husband (27); Linda, another of his employees (39), Dave’s wife (39); Mr Venables, a manager at the same firm (39); Brenda Gibbs from the wool shop, a mate of Michelle (39), and Brenda’s mother (39).


Unable to build his shelving-unit, Roger is annoyed that he has received “only six screws” in episode 4, but is equally annoyed that he has received “only four screws” in episode 5.

For most people, things would be “within arm’s reach” – but for Roger in episode 10, “What we have is usually within arm’s length.”; and Jonah stumbles over a line in episode 11: “He’s most probably munching through……his way through a heavy lunch on ex’es”.

Bobby is torn between “unless we’re careful” and “if we’re not careful” in episode 12: “Management’ll walk all over him unless we’re not careful.”; and Sheila omits her fourth word, “just”, in episode 24: “Otherwise there won’t be a murder at the shop, there’ll be a murder here as well.”.

Confronted with her pills in episode 26, Karen tells Sheila: “You found them in our Barry’s room this morning.”. But there are indications elsewhere in this episode that it is now Wednesday, and the pills were found in episode 25, on Saturday! And although it is clear from the dialogue in episode 6 that the doctor Barry is taking Karen to see is male, it is a female doctor who admits prescribing them for her to Sheila in episode 30.

Also in episode 30, Paul’s arithmetic lets him down: “It came to £36.50, plus £15.24 for drinks. That’s £50.84 altogether.”; in episode 33, Ducksie trips over a line: “The kip of her in that weird gear she li- she wears,”; and, although it is Damon’s birthday in episode 35, he is 14 both previously (in episode 10) and afterwards (in episode 37).

Petra replaces “about” with an extra “as” in episode 43 – “She knows about as much as looking after babies as I do.” – and muddles a line in episode 44: “They’re bound to jump to the cert…….the wrong conclusions.”. And there are other clear indications of when Roger and Sydney’s birthdays are…….but Sydney’s observation in episode 45, after the event, is not one of them: “It’s our birthday a week this week.”.


The Collinses have sold their house in the Wirral to the Croxwells (episode 5); their estate agents are “Samuels”, 1 Old Street, Liverpool, whose telephone number is 051-242-7394 (1); and their removalists are “Fleet Removals of Liverpool” (1). They read the Times (episode 2), the Guardian (3, 4, 18, 29, 32, 45) and the Echo (4, 14, 26, 45) – one of whose headlines is “LOCK-OUT SHATTERS JOB HOPES” (4). Paul is sounding out an opportunity with North West Oils (23), Annabelle used to have a Morris Minor (35), and Gordon has a “Apple Personal Computers” poster on his bedroom wall (41, 42).

Lucy is a fifth-former (30); she wants to take “A” levels in Sociology, Economics, Social History and General Studies (3); and she has a “Nuclear Britain” poster on her bedroom wall (41). Her former school is Ladymount (3, 8, 14, 23, 42, 45), and the girls’ changing room at her new school, Brookside Comprehensive, in which she hides, is room “G24” (3). Her boyfriend, Jonathan, a trainee operator with his father’s computer firm (16), started sleeping around when he was 14 (24).

Sheila used to go to “The Cavern” when it was a jazz club (21). Bobby’s father worked at Broxborn Metals (12), which closed down “last month” after 100 years (1). Lorries Bobby and his pickets turn away are from “BRS Truck Rental, Warrington”, telephone number 0925-55202 (11), and from J.C. Bradfield & Co Ltd, 68-76 Gt Howard St, L’Pool, telephone number 051-230-3947 (15). Barry, who calls at “Rapid Hardware Stores Discount Garden Centre” (22), who borrows a truck bearing the telephone numbers 709 4732 and 708 8916 (36), and whose Jaguar has a tax disc dated 31.8.83 (8 ), plays with Terry in a football team also including Greaves (17), Chiswick (17) and goalkeeper Bobby Kinsella (5).

The barmaid at “The Swan”, Bobby’s local, is married to the brother of the wife of the cousin of Terry (25), who works for Rushworths (8 ). Victor’s shop, next door to “Deakin’s Furniture Warehouse”, has a “To Let” sign bearing the name “Sykes Waterhouse” and the telephone number 051-236-9152 (6). Alan Torenson’s job title is “Head of Industrial Relations” (31); and Carol Pilkington works at the hairdressers’ “Silver Streak”, whose telephone number is 722 4422 (32). Jonah, whose full name is Gregory Botswana Jones (40), went to Brookside Comprehensive (18 ), and has a boat called “Fireball Dinghy” (46); and Matty’s parents originally came from Waterford (40).

Karen goes to St Luke’s Roman Catholic Secondary School (6), and has posters of David Sylvian of Japan (6), Adam and the Ants (6), Dexy’s Midnight Runners (32) and Grace Jones (32) on her bedroom wall. The postal address of the Close – “Manor Park, Liverpool 43” appears on the envelope in which she receives a Valentine card (33), and also appears on Paul’s rates bill (35). Damon reads “Tiger” comic (19), used to live at “Hollowcroft Heights” (33), and is given a jacket costing nearly £15 for Christmas (17, 38 ). Gizzmo’s father has been on the dole for three years (4), and he and his wife are both illiterate (35).

Like the Collinses, the Huntingtons don’t have central heating (3). Their home phone number is 6394 (33), the code on their burglar alarm is 1658 (13), and they lose possessions valued at £1,600 in their second burglary (37). The alarm installer’s van bears the name “ADT – Residential Division” and the telephone number 061 831 7081 (13). Roger, a solicitor’s clerk (13), was once “drunk and disorderly” when celebrating an 18th birthday (43). His clients include Smallwood’s, a business based in Wolverhampton (27) and Delaney, who wants to meet him in the “Baltic Fleet” (23).

Heather’s clients include the “Jackson Brothers” (4); the dress she buys for the Law Society dinner costs £125 (13, 15); and she was at school with Catherine in Ireland (24). Sydney, Roger’s father, used to be an HGV driver, and now works in a paint shop (46). He lives in Salford (43), where his local pub is “The Widow’s Rest” (46). Pauline Hoskins is the deputy head of Warrendale Comprehensive (34), and Alan Partridge’s carpets are delivered in a lorry bearing the name “Spotlite Discount Carpets Limited” (42). He is left-handed (45) – as are Jerry (7), Lucy (9, 15, 22, 32), Dr Metcalfe (11) and Barry (18 ).

Gavin and Petra previously lived in a flat above a shop (28 ). Petra originally met both Gavin and Frank, who has spent time in prison for a motoring offence, at a Christmas party at “The Grafton” (36). Her work-mate, Jean, used to type invoices at a ball-bearing factory (39). Gavin reads the “Daily Post” (9), his doors are delivered on a lorry bearing the name “TILLY TIPPERS, Liverpool” (12), and his local is “The Slaughterhouse” (27). Petra (20, 45) and her boss, Dave (27, 39), are both right-handed – and so are Paul (3, 23, 36), Heather (4, 37, 41), Barry’s boss (4), Jack (7), Annabelle (15, 22, 39, 43), Gordon (17), Victor (18 ), Roger (19, 21, 23, 26, 37), Karen (22, 38 ), Derek (23), Sheila’s doctor (30), Bobby (38 ), Damon (38 ), Terry (38 ) and Sydney (42).

“Blink-and-you-miss-it” moments:

At the end of part one of episode 19, Paul is confident as he leaves the office where he has been interviewed – but the expression on the face of the non-speaking elderly secretary he passes reveals that she has formed a much more realistic view of his prospects…….

In episode 20, Lucy says that Jonathan is loaning her “The Beastly Beatitudes of Balthazar B” – and this would appear to be the book by J.P. Donleavy which she is then seen reading in episode 21!

Probably due to restrictions on advertising in the early 1980’s, a box of “Kleenex” tissues briefly seen in close-up beside Gavin’s bed in episode 28, has the “K” and “x” of its brand name blacked out.

The end-of-season cliffhanger:

The party-goers – all of the residents and several of their friends – have moved on to the Grants’; and, when Alan asks Damon why exactly they are having the party, Damon jokes that it is a regular weekly event on the Close, and it will be Alan’s turn to hold it next week…….all drink and laugh. A satisfying conclusion to a distinctive opening season of “Brookside” – but many of the sixty-nine seasons to follow would end in considerably more dramatic ways than this…