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Lime Pictures, formerly known as Mersey Television, is a Britishmarker television production company, founded by renowned producer and writer Phil Redmond in the early 1980s.

Its first major production was the soap opera Brookside for Channel 4, which ran from the channel's foundation in 1982 until 2003, when it was taken off air due to declining ratings.

A 2-part spin-off ('soap bubble') of Brookside was produced in November 1987 called Damon and Debbie.

ITV Franchise bid (North West Television)

In the 1991 ITV network franchise auction, Mersey Television under the name of North West Television made an audacious bid against holders Granada Television for the North West England franchise, which had been Granada's ever since the inception of independent television in the 1950s, with Granada one of the biggest and the most established of the ITV companies.

The bid was supported financially by Yorkshire Television and Tyne Tees Television and the bid had aimed to provide a more balanced television service for the North West, in particular featuring more content from Liverpoolmarker as opposed to Manchestermarker.

However, although North West Television bid more money for the franchise totalling £35 million as opposed to Granada's £9 million, the licence stayed with Granada as the Independent Television Commission declared that the Mersey Television bid did not meet the required quality threshold.

Hollyoaks and Grange Hill

In 1995, the company began producing a second soap opera for Channel 4, Hollyoaks, which still runs.

Both Brookside and Hollyoaks were created by Redmond himself, and in 2003 the company took over production of another series he had created, the children's drama Grange Hill, which had first been broadcast on BBC One in 1978 and had been made in-house by the BBC until Mersey Television took over.

The company moved production of the series to their Liverpoolmarker base, with the fictional school no longer being established as in Londonmarker but instead an unspecified UK location.

Sale and name change

Mersey Television was bought by All3Media in June 2005 and, in a contractual requirement, renamed Lime Pictures in 2006.

Website Problem

In April 2007, a foul up on the website exposed thousands of applications CVs and personal details.

More recent productions

In 2007, Lime Pictures produced an eight-part series called Living on the Edge, documenting the real lives of a group of teenagers in Cheshire, which was shown on MTV.

In 2007, they produced the short-lived ITV sitcom Bonkers.

In 2008, they produced the first (and so far, only) series of Apparitions, starring Martin Shaw as an exorcist.

In 2009, they produced the BBC Switch reality drama The Season filmed in Val d'Iseremarker.


  1. The Register

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