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Brookside (1982-2003, Sue Johnston, Ricky Tomlinson)

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UK Primetime soap that started on Channel 4 the same day that channel itself started. Brookside (simply focusing on the lives of a group of people living in Brookside Close in a suburb of Liverpool) was and remained gritty with bad language and real life well to the fore. The early years of the show were dominated by the Grant family, husband Bobby (who seemed to spend years on Strike), his wife Sheila and their kids Barry, Damon and Karen.

The show was always issue led and some of its most notable storylines included the notorious body under the patio character of Trevor Jordache, murdered by the daughter he had been abusing, this was Beth Jordache (played by Anna Friel) who seemed to be the main focus of the show in the mid nineties and also performed the first lesbian kiss on a UK soap.

Over the years characters in Brookside have had to suffer sieges, religious cults, explosions, murder, in fact you name and it seems to have happened to someone in Brookside Close.

The show was originally to have been called Meadowcroft and there have been two short spin offs called Damon and Debbie (1987) and South (1988). Occasional video releases were also released in the show’s later years.

Brookside had its final prime time episode on 21 November 2002. Due to falling ratings the show moved to Saturday afternoon’s only in omnibus form (previously the omnibus edition was an additional broadcast). This continued until C4’s existing commitment to broadcast the show ceased.

In its final few months the show was relegated to a late-night slot and had its final-ever episode on 4 November 2003 for which Paul Usher and Claire Sweeney returned. The winding-up plot involved a gradual mass exodus of residents after the houses were bought up by a nearby incineration plant.

A special DVD was released following this called ‘Brookside: Unfinished Business’ to tie up some further loose-ends.

Incidentally the show sets did live on in a small way with Mersey TV, who also make Hollyoaks and Grange Hill, used some of the houses in the former Brookside Close.

production details
UK / Channel 4 – Mersey – Lime TV – ITV Studios / 2915 episodes / Broadcast 2 November 1982 – 4 November 2003

Creator/Executive Producer: Phil Redmond

important cast members included:-
AMANDA BURTON as Heather Huntingdon
ROB SPENDLOVE as Roger Huntingdon
SUE JOHNSTON as Sheila Grant
RICKY TOMLINSON as Bobby Grant
PAUL USHER as Barry Grant
SIMON O’BRIEN as Damon Grant
ALEXANDRA PIGG as Petra Taylor
BILL DEAN as Harry Cross
JOHN McARDLE as Billy Corkhill
DAVID YIP as Michael Choi
ANNA FRIEL as Beth Jordache
BRYAN MURRAY as Trevor Jordache
NICOLA STEPHENSON as Margaret Clemence
RACHEL LINDSAY as Sammy Rogers
SUE JENKINS as Jackie Corkhill
DEAN SULLIVAN as Jimmy Corkhill
ALEXANDRA FLETCHER as Jacqui Dixon
VINCE EARL as Ron Dixon
MICHAEL STARKE as Sinbad Sweeney
LOUIS EMERICK as Mick Johnson
JIM WIGGINS as Paul Collins
DOREEN SLOANE as Annabelle Collins
JUSTINE KERRIGAN as Tracy Corkhill
STEVEN PINDER as Max Farnham
HELEN GRACE as Georgia Simpson

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Clochemerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

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Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochemerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

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TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

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In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

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Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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