It may have been two decades since the 13 houses on Britain’s most famous cul-de-sac were boarded up, but Brookside fans will be very pleased to learn that the legendary soap has now found a new home on STV Player.

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Marking the first time the series has been available to stream from the start – and for free – STV Player is taking viewers down memory lane by making all original episodes of Brookside available to stream. Mark your calendars because from 1st February, viewers will be able to enjoy the soap once again.

Set in Liverpool cul-de-sac Brookside Close, the show was conceived by Grange Hill and Hollyoaks creator Phil Redmond, and produced by his company Mersey Television (later renamed to Lime Pictures). It aired on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2nd November 1982, drawing audiences of 9 million viewers at its peak.

The fondly-remembered soap ended in 2003 but will be available to stream from the start (for the first time ever), after STV Player struck a major new deal with distributor All3Media International.

So, as well as devoted fans getting a chance to rewatch the magic of the show, new viewers can enjoy some of Brookside's most memorable storylines, which included the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss between characters Beth Jordache (Anna Friel) and Margaret Clemence (Nicola Stephenson).

Not only was the soap exciting to watch, across its 21-year run, Brookside also became renowned for tackling challenging social issues, such as rape, bullying and incest. In 1985, teenage character Gordon Collins (played by Nigel Crowley) came out to his family, making him the first ever openly gay character in a British TV series.

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Brookside
The cast of Brookside. Getty

That's not to mention the amount of cliffhangers and jaw-dropping moments in the soap, including a helicopter crash and abusive Trevor Jordache, who was infamously found buried under the patio of number 10 in 1995.

Many of Brookside’s cast have gone on to have successful careers including Anna Friel, who most recently starred in Marcella and Monarch. Other notable cast members also include Sue Johnston, Ricky Tomlinson, Amanda Burton, Alex Fletcher, Claire Sweeney and Sunetra Sarker.

Speaking about the streaming news, Sarker, who played Nisha Batra in Brookside, said: “I owe a lot to Brookside as I was lucky enough to have been spotted at a bus stop when I was 15 and given the role of Nisha. Had I known then that Brookside Close would be the road that led me to my surprising and eventful career, I would never have believed it!

“I am thrilled that STV Player is airing Brookie again after all these years. I never fail to hear fans tell me how much they still miss the show. Get streaming and see just how ground-breaking this Liverpool-based soap opera was all those years ago.”

STV Player will drop the first 10 episodes of Brookside on 1st February, and five new episodes will land each week thereafter.

Richard Williams, managing director of digital for STV, said: “It may have been two decades since Brookside drew to a close, but the love for the show from its passionate army of fans has never waned.

"We’re so pleased to be the first streaming service to bring this legendary piece of TV history back into viewers’ living rooms for free, and I hope super fans and new audiences alike enjoy all the nostalgic drama that Brookside has to offer on STV Player.”

Available for free to viewers across the UK, STV Player offers an extensive catalogue of drama from around the world. The service is available on all major platforms, including Sky Q, NOW, Virgin Media, Amazon Fire TV and Freeview Play.

Brookside will be available to stream on STV Player from 1st February. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV guide and Streaming Guide or visit our Soaps hub.

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