Dead bodies, lesbian kisses ... and Patrick Swayze

Actors Claire Sweeney and Philip Olivier on Brookside

Claire Sweeney: says Brookie was 'relentless but brilliant'

Monday, May 23, 2016

Actors Claire Sweeney and Philip Olivier chatted with Paul Ross earlier today about the show which made their careers. 

At its height in the 1980s and 90s, TV soap opera Brookside attracted around eight million viewers anxious to keep up-to-date with the lives and loves of the inhabitants of the fictional Brookside Close in Liverpool. 

Standout storylines included a dead body buried under a patio, the first openly gay character in a British soap and, in 1994, a hugely controversial pre-watershed lesbian kiss between two characters. 

The actors both got their big break in the show, which was produced by Channel 4 from 1982 to 2003.

Sweeney, who played Lindsey Corkhill before graudating onto shows including Celebrity Big Brother and 60 Minute Makeover, revealed how much work went on behind-the-scenes. 

"For two years I was in the make-up chair at 8am," she told Paul. "I'd have six-to-eight scenes, leaving around eight in the evening. I'd go home, have dinner, and then be learning [lines] until 12 or one in the morning. 

"It was relentless, but it was brilliant."

Olivier, who played Timothy 'Tinhead' O'Leary from 1996 to 2003, told Paul about his stand-out memories

"I was only 15 when I started," he said. "I was getting storylines about car crashes, helicopter crashes. It was just living the absolute dream, the absolute fantasy."

Claire also revealed what it was like to work with Hollywood legend Patrick Swayze. She appeared alongside the Dirty Dancing star in the musical Guys and Dolls in 2006

"He was a dream, an absolute dream," she said. "He was such a humble guy I forgot how famous he was until his opening night when there were 'riots' in the streets.

"He was such a lovely guy."