It’s surprising how many stars have swapped the cobblestones of Coronation Street for the suburban driveways and gardens of Brookside.
Oldham actress Nicola Stephenson, Rochdale-born Anna Friel and Rovers Return barmaid Sue Jenkins all started on the Street before crossing over to Liverpool.
Coming back the other way were Sue Johnston, of Royle Family fame, Louis Emerick and Michael Starke, known to millions as window cleaner Thomas ‘Sinbad’ Sweeney in Brookside.
Other performers who appeared in both prime-time soaps include Kate Fitzgerald, who played Loretta Chase in Benidorm, Mark Monaghan, who was Dr Owen Davis in Holby City, and Marji Campi who portrayed Joyce Watson in Surgical Spirit.
Local actresses Nicola Stephenson and Anna Friel had no idea they’d make TV history on Brookside when they first appeared on Coronation Street.
Friel, who began her stage training at the Oldham Theatre Workshop, made her professional debut at the age of 13 playing the daughter of Michael Palin’s character in the 1991 drama series GBH.
She appeared in two episodes of Coronation Street as Vicky Arden’s friend Belinda Johnson in August 1991. Friel also played Poppy Bruce in Emmerdale a year later.
But the role that made her a household name was Brookside’s Beth Jordache. She played the character from 1993 to 1995 in some of the most memorable storylines in British soaps.
These included the murder of abusive father Trevor Jordache, whose body was famously buried under the patio, and TV’s first pre-watershed lesbian kiss with best friend Margaret Clemence, played by Nicola Stephenson.
Its impact was immense. More than nine million viewers watched the January 1994 episode of Brookside when it first aired – and it reached an audience of five billion when Danny Boyle included it in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.
Friel, who was 17 at the time, went on to win the National Television Award for the Most Popular Actress – the first of many accolades for the girl who attended Crompton House Church of England School and Holy Cross College.
Stephenson went to North Chadderton School before playing newspaper delivery girl Priscilla Millbanks on Coronation Street in 1988.
Stephenson was in Brookside from 1990 to 1994 as live-in nanny Margaret Clemence. She has also appeared as Tess Harris in Emmerdale, and teacher Allie Westbrook in 11 episodes of Waterloo Road.
Another actress who appeared on the Street first was Sue Jenkins, who played barmaid Gloria Todd for 238 episodes from 1985 to 1988. She had relationships with Mike Baldwin (Johnny Briggs) and Alan Bradley (Mark Eden).
Her Brookside character Jackie Corkhill had a much tougher time trying to tame errant husband Jimmy in stories involving drug addiction and attempted suicide from 1991 to 2000.
Actor Michael Starke played window cleaner Thomas Sweeney in Brookside for 16 years before appearing as head porter Kenneth Hopkirk in hospital drama The Royal.
He was briefly in Coronation Street in 2007 as kebab shop owner Jerry Morton – but producers wrote him and his screen family out of the series in September 2008.
Louis Emerick was popular taxi driver and shopkeeper Mick Johnson in Brookside from 1989 to 2001. He played PC Walsh in 55 episodes of Last of the Summer Wine and came third in Celebrity Masterchef 2008.
Recently he appeared opposite Beverley Callard in Coronation Street as Liz McDonald’s love interest Mike Thornberry. Son Steve McDonald (Simon Gregson) was highly suspicious.
Actress Kate Fitzgerald played Nancy Tinker, Beth’s mother, in seven episodes of Coronation Street from 2015 to 2019. She is best known as Doreen Corkhill in Brookside, a role she portrayed for five years.
Sue Johnston played Brookside matriarch Sheila Grant from the soap’s launch in 1982 until 1990. She was Rovers’ landlady Gloria Price in Coronation Street from 2012 to 2014.
Her comic timing reached its peak in the Granada TV-produced comedy The Royle Family, written by Timperley-born Caroline Aherne. Her performance as long-suffering wife Barbara won her a BAFTA award in 2000.
Marji Campi was Jack Duckworth’s girlfriend Dulcie Froggatt on the Street in the early 1980s before appearing as Jessie Hilton in Brookside from 1998 to 2002.
Mark Moraghan played fork-lift truck driver Adrian Mortimer in Coronation Street in April 2015 after playing Greg Shadwick in Brookside. His character enjoyed a brief dalliance with Street regular Eileen Grimshaw before leaving the series.