Folklore Brookside Filmed on Campus

A spin off of the channel-4 series ``Brookside'', called ``Damon and Debbie'', included scenes of Debbie visiting a University Open Day and shots of the two of them in a terminal room (vuft -- which was specially spruced up for the occasion. Debbie got to use a sun3/50 which was unheard of for undergraduates at that time).

The University News Sheet, Issue 196, October 1987, included this article

Brookside Lakeside

A film crew from Mersey Television, makers of Channel 4's popular soap opera Brookside, were on campus on Saturday 19 September, filming scenes for a forthcoming spin-off series featuring the character Damon Grant and his girlfriend Debbie.

Without wanting to spoil the plot for aficionados of the series, the scenes filmed on Saturday form part of an episode in which Debbie visits the University for an Open Day, and Damon has to search the entire campus to try and find her. He is seen passing the windows of various rooms that we can see Debbie in, but he never turns his head in the right direction at the right time! The exterior shots were filmed around the lake and by Central Hall. Interiors were shot in Computer Science and Goodricke College.

Some of the tricks of the television trade were interesting to observe. For example, all the scenes of Damon running down corridors throughout the University were shot in one corridor in the new computer science building, with only subtle changes in furniture to distinguish between them. To fit in with the plot, the production crew set up a bus stop outside Central Hall -- rumour has it that at one stage 14 conference-attending Samaritans were queued up by it!

One scene involved Debbie programming a computer to flash the words ``Damon loves Debbie'' on the screen. As usual in television what you see on the surface isn't what goes on behind the scenes and what was supposed (in the script) to take Debbie a few minutes to do required many hours of programming from my colleague Charles Forsyth, but, apart from a slight hiccup when one of the actresses accidentally leant on a keyboard and halted the running program, all went well.

Transmission of the three episode series on Channel 4 is scheduled for 4, 11 and 18 November, probably at 10 pm. The scenes of York (both the University and the City) will be concentrated in the first two episodes. Don't miss it!

Jim Briggs,
Computer Science

The event was also covered in Nouse at the time:

Brookside on Campus

The makers of Channel 4's popular soap opera `Brookside' came to campus on September 19, to film Debbie, the girlfriend of the character Damon Grant, attending an open day. Debbie, in `Brookside's' normal ideologically sound way, is breaking down traditional stereotypes by applying to read Computer Science.

But does she get an offer? The script-writers are not revealing this secret. However, Dr Jim Briggs, of the Computing Department, said that as Debbie managed to program the computer in just a few minutes to flash the words `Damon loves Debbie' on the screen, while his colleague, Charles Forsyth, took hours to do it, she is well above the required standard for entry.

Whatever the case, Dr Briggs, the only `Brookside' fan in the department, hopes that they - and the University as a whole - will benefit from the free publicity.

Transmission of the York episodes - which will also be including scenes from the city, where Damon is working in the Dick Turpin Burger Bar, Coney Street - is scheduled for November 4 and 11, at 10pm.

Ruth Williams

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