Given recent government lethargy overthe hot potato of property construction, the early years of Channel 4’s first soap opera Brookside now look like a poignant tribute to Newbuild Britain. For the suburban north, Brookside was our life on screen. The drum pad and synthesizer theme tune sounded like something off a below-par Omd album. The Liverpool of the title sequence looked touched by the photography of Tom Wood and the smoothie aggro of Derek Hatton. On Brookside Close – a cul-de-sac of boxy Barratt homes – recognisable local dramas were dignified with episodic, Dickensian, sign-of-the-times significance.
Brookside was Phil Redmond’s second generation-defining TV idea after he’d wrestled the schoolyard back from the plummy worlds of Just William and Mallory Towers with Grange Hill. It was his running commentary on Thatcher’s Britain,