59. Jordache

Tapehead no 59 

A human tragedy, a tale of utter despair…a hellish journey…a story of psychosis, sociopath domestic violence and incestuous rape.

Yes, you’ve guessed it, it’s Brookside. What else could it be ?!! 

Break out the bunting – five days a week, it’s Beth and Mandy Jordache in the dock (Mandy’s hairdresser stands accused). No wonder we’re all having street parties.

Not that Brookside’s special editions are always cause for celebration. The Jordache Patio Week was a farce and the recent plague was presumably someone’s idea of a joke, with Mick, in particular, behaving as if he was in a Chuck Norris movie, frowning hard and moving his eyes form side to side like an Action Man as he mans the barricades.

Luckily (sensibly), apart from a couple of irritating cameos from Ron Dison and Julia Corkhill, each episode is filmed like Crown Court. 

The bit-part jury actors seize their chance to cross their arms and twiddle their pencils in their most Robert de In Niro-like way possible. Brenna (Tevor’s sister) keeps appearing (threateningly) in doorways looking like the woman from Widows or one of Macbeth’s witches. (“You left the poor man’s soul in torment”). Rachel (Tiffany Chapman) has gone back to looking like one of The Cure. 

The prosecution begins with the words, “I’d like to call Mandy Jordache…” but he sadly fails to call her anything.

Instead, he scathingly recalls how she “inflicted a sham funeral on her own daughter” and “left Trevor’s body in the extension” (contravening their planning permission). 

“I had no choice, ” Mandy bumbles. (Episode three is not a good day for Mandy).

Contradicting her defense of diminished responsibility, the prosecution looks at Mandy and sees “traits of criminal genius.” (Yeah, right!) “As for your plea of self defense, I’d say it was Trevor who was in need of defending.”

A bit late but still.

As readers of previous columns will know, these were Tapehead’s thoughts exactly. Trevor was only trying to knock some sense into her.

While Mandy sits in the witness box showing off a new hair-do that can best be described as early Eddie Izzard, Beth sits there, like a baby Winona, furiously pouting at the male jurors.

With a temperament the envy of Eric Cantona, Beth gets the week off to a great start, attacking a witness in the canteen (“she deserved it”) and complaining about everyone eyeballing her all the time (“it’s so embarrassing”), conveniently forgetting she is not only a lesbian sex kitten but a murderess to boot. Phwoarr. How horny can you get ? 

Mandy arrives on the scene with her usual uplifting outlook on life: “God, look at this place!” she moans, looking round the court building, as if she was Catherine Deneuve or someone, adding with her usual spectacular stupidity, “You don’t think they’ve started without us do you ?”

Strangely enough, they haven’t. 

Tapehead has to admit he he’d never looked at Mandy and seen “a clinical assassin” driven by “manipulative prowess”, but by the time the prosecution had finished with her, he was screaming string her up !!! At regular intervals.

The defense respond in kind by bizarrely complaining that Mandy and Beth were “tired” during police questioning, having spent the previous week on the run in Ireland. (Ahhhhhh !)

Mandy predictably has the last word, claiming, “I did it for all the women who suffered what I did” – which is palpably untrue. Friel and Chapman, in particular, are outstanding, and together the whole thing is better than Dostoevsky, though they never do explain why they buried him in the garden instead of just calling the police.

Two endings have apparently been filmed, but Tapehead’s verdict is this: Beth gets an American mini series, playing Heidi Fleiss. Mandy gets to have her hair done in the electric chair.


Brookside- The Trial: 8.30pm-9pm, Monday-Friday, C4