Tina Malone: ‘I thought I’d be divorced by now’

The Shameless and Brookside star, 57, opens up following her temporary split from toyboy husband Paul and reveals why she's eating more after dramatic weight loss

Tina Malone

by Tina Malone |
Updated on

A recent survey said that 75 per cent of people say isolation has had a positive effect on their relationship. And overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how my husband of nine years, Paul [Chase], and I have got on during lockdown.

We temporarily split earlier this year, so at the beginning of lockdown, I thought I’d be either divorced or would have killed him after eight weeks with him. And there have definitely been moments when it’s crossed my mind – it’s inevitable when you’re with someone 24/7.

Tina Malone husband
Tina and her husband Paul who is 19 years her junior ©Shutterstock

These are tough times – we’re all more bored, frustrated, scared and angry than we’d usually be, so it can be a pressure cooker. But what’s great is that you have the arguments, and because you can’t go off somewhere or run away from it, you really have to sit down and address the issues or solve the problem.

Communication has really improved with us, and I think that will make us stronger in the long run.

Tina Malone
At her heaviest, Tina was nearly 20st ©Shutterstock

‘Fear makes us reach for food and alcohol’

I’ve had a well-documented weight loss journey. I lost 12st after having a gastric band fitted in 2012, going from nearly 20st at my heaviest to 7st 6 at my lowest, and I’m now just under 9st.

I’m proud of my achievement and I feel so much better for it, especially being more active and being able to play with my six-year-old daughter Flame. The coronavirus pandemic has made me think about it even more.

Tina Malone gastric band
After having a gastric band fitted, Tina dropped to 7st 6 ©Shutterstock

Statistics show that, if you’re obese, you’re twice as likely to suffer complications. I feel lucky that I took control of my weight and got healthier, and on the whole, I have mainly stuck to it, even though with lockdown it would be so easy to adopt a less healthy lifestyle.

Everyone being confined to their houses means many people will be nowhere near as active as they were before. It’s all very well saying there are fitness classes online, but what about those who aren’t tech savvy or have no space to do so?

Check out: gone from our screens but not forgotten - why we still miss Brookside


34 reasons why we still miss Brookside - swipe to see

1. The Saturday omnibus1 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

1. The Saturday omnibus

Watch the Brookie omnibus, go out on the lash - that was the accepted Saturday ritual for many of us during the 90s. Followed by the EastEnders Omnibus with a hangover on the Sunday. Good times.

2. Barry Grant2 of 34

2. Barry Grant

Pat Phelan and Warren Fox have NOTHING on the original soap bad boy, Barry Grant. He once popped a gun up a rival's bottom when he tried to rape his girlfriend. You don't get that in Corrie. He was pretty phwoar as well.

3. Damon and Debbie3 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

3. Damon and Debbie

Damon and Debbie who were so cool, they even got their own spin-off. They were Brookie's answer to Romeo and Juliet (or Scott and Charlene). They went on the run after their parents didn't approve of their relationship. Sadly it led to Damon getting stabbed and dying in Debbie's arms, but still, it was good while it lasted!

4. The opening credits4 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

4. The opening credits

Who could forget the wonderful opening credits? It was like a day trip around a rainy Liverpool in 30 seconds, before delivering us right to the entrance of Brookside Close. Perfect.

5. Jimmy Corkhill (particularly Jimmy on drugs)5 of 34

5. Jimmy Corkhill (particularly Jimmy on drugs)

Like Barry Grant, Jimmy Corkhill is a Brookside icon. During his mammoth 17 years on the show (he was the longest serving cast member), Jimmy had every storyline going - from committing petty crime to being diagnosed with bi-polar. But it was his long-running drug abuse storyline that really got to us – and showed what an exceptional actor Dean Sullivan is. Jimmy was high on coke while driving and caused his neighbour Frank Rogers to swerve off the road. Frank died and Tony Dixon (Ron's son) was seriously injured. He eventually died from his injuries too, and Ron – unaware of Jimmy's involvement in the crash – asked him to be a pallbearer at the funeral. Jimmy cracked at his graveside and confessed his guilt. Oh, and in less devastating drug-related fails, he also had a cringe one-night-stand with Nikki 'The Perm' Shadwick.

6. The Scouse-isms6 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

6. The Scouse-isms

The residents of Brookside Close seemed to have their own language – a bit like Danny Dyer in EastEnders. Here are some of our favourites:'Scallies' – rascals'Calm down, calm down' – Chill out a bit'The lecky' – The electricity'The Bizzies' – The police'Come 'ed, soft ollies' – Hurry up, silly bollocks'The werks' – a full English breakfast

7. Issues7 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

7. Issues

One thing Brookside did brilliantly was tackle difficult social and economic issues in a way no other soap has done before or since. In one tiny close there were social climbers, social fallers, drug addicts, yuppies and –at one point – a religious cult. They also tackled hard hitting stories like rape, divorce, child abuse, incest, infertility, bullying and domestic abuse before any one else dared. That was before it all went a bit silly and gangster circa 2002.

8. Hot dads8 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

8. Hot dads

Whether you liked a bit of rough like Greg Shadwick, or something a bit smoother like Ol' Blue Eyes, Max Farnham, there was a hot dad in Brookside Close to suit your tastes.

9. Emily Shadwick9 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

9. Emily Shadwick

When Emily Shadwick (played by Jennifer Ellison) first moved to Brookside Close, she was a mousy little school girl who did a lot of sport. But overnight – it seemed – she became Emily Shadwick Sex Kitten. Her hair got blonder, her boobs got bigger, her skin got tanner and Jennifer Ellison became a lad's mag pin-up.

10. Tinhead10 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

10. Tinhead

Tinhead, Tinhead, Tinhead. The absolute definition of a scally with a heart of gold... eventually. Tinhead – played by Tim O'Leary – was first introduced as a bully and Mick Johnson tried to get him expelled from school for bullying his son, Leo. Eventually, Sinbad took Tinhead under his wing and he turned his life around. He was often Emily's voice of reason when she wanted to do Really Bad Stuff to Susannah Farnham (who she blamed for her dad dying). He even went to prison for her. Now if THAT isn't true love, we really don't know what it.

11. Sinbad11 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

11. Sinbad

Sinbad – AKA Thomas Sweeney – was the roly-poly window cleaner and best friend of Jimmy Corkhill. He was a bit of comic relief on the Close at first, but after helping Mandy and Beth Jordache dispose of a dead body under a patio, it's hard to go back to funny. Things got even darker (how is that possible?) when Sinbad was accused of child abuse – and not everyone on the Close believed his innocence. Sad face.

12. Jacqui and Katie12 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

12. Jacqui and Katie

These two were #friendshipgoals before #friendshipgoals were even a thing. They were bezzies (BFFs) through everything. And by 'everything' we mean bulimia (Katie), being a surrogate (Jacqui), joining a religious cult (Katie) and marrying the man she was a surrogate for (Jacqui).

13. The Scouse perms13 of 34

13. The Scouse perms

No man could rock a perm like the men of Brookside Close. Best when coupled with a proper 80s shellsuit, obviously.

14. Ray Quinn14 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

14. Ray Quinn

Before he became a reality star - skating his socks off in Dancing on Ice and and finishing in second place behind Leona Lewis in 2006 X Factor - actor/singer/dancer Ray Quinn played Anthony Murray in Brookside. His main storyline involed him being bullied by girls and eventually murdering the ringleader. Unsurprisingly, the child killer storyline has gone down as one of the most shocking in British soap history.

15. Beth and Margaret15 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

15. Beth and Margaret

These days they'd be known as Bargaret. Or maybe Meth. Hmm, on second thoughts, maybe not Meth. But Beth and Margaret were THE soap 'ship before soap 'ships were even a thing. Sorry Robron, but you have nothing on this pair. When Beth hooked up with her friend, nanny Margaret, their lesbian kiss went down in history, as it was the first pre-watershed girl-on-girl smooch ever. Go Brookside!

16. Bobby and Sheila16 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

16. Bobby and Sheila

Before Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston were Jim and Barbara Royale, they were Brookside LEGENDS Bobby and Sheila Grant (aka. Barry Grant's parents). Times weren't as fun in the Grant household as the Royale's though. Bobby and Sheila eventually separated following Sheila's rape and the death of their son, Damon.

17. Style goals17 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

17. Style goals

From 80s shellsuits and Jacqui Dixon's Clueless inspired 90s wardrobe, to Lindsey Corkhill's cleavage-y trouser suits, Brookside was just a non-stop rollercoaster of style. Seriously.

18. The Religious Cult18 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

18. The Religious Cult

Evil Simon was the religious cult leader; he preyed on Katie Rogers and took her virginity as initiaton into the group, brainwashed Terry Sullivan after his wife and son died, and had an on-going feud with Barry Grant which culminated in him trying to blow up No.5 after Barry tried to evict the cult! When Simon eventually gassed himself in a car it was REALLY hard to feel sad.

19. Ron and Bev19 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

19. Ron and Bev

When Ron Dixon split with his first wife, DD, he hooked up with Bev McCloughlin. She was quite a bit younger than him so it was all pretty controversial. The pair were brilliant comedy value though, and even renamed their house Casa Bevron. Bev gave birth to their son Josh two years later... but then it came out that Ron wasn't Josh's dad, but his granddad after Bev's one-night-stand with Ron's son, Mike. Not so much comedy after that.

20. The Helicpoter crash20 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

20. The Helicpoter crash

During one of Brookside's many sieges, a helicopter got gunned down and crashed into The Parade (see below). Unfortunately The Parade also included a petrol station (because of course). There was a big explosion (obvs) and the entire Parade was taken out. Interesting fact, it's actually now part of the Hollyoaks set.

21. The Parade21 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

21. The Parade

Talking of The Parade... the original Parade opened in 1991 and caused a lot of excitement as suddenly there were a whole load of new locations – such as Ron Dixon's Trading Post, a pizza shop, a hair salon and the nightclub, La Luz (fancy!). In true Brookside style, The Parade was soon marred in tragedy when Terry's wife Sue and her son Danny fell off the scaffolding and died. It was later revealed that Barry Grant killed them.

22. The Body under the patio22 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

22. The Body under the patio

Probably Brookie's finest hour was the Trevor Jordache story. Estranged wife Mandy and her daughters Beth and Rachel had moved to Brookside Close to a safe house (we're still pondering about the idea of a safe house on the most dangerous close in THE WORLD), escaping abusive Trevor. Unfortunatey he found them and wormed his way back into their lives. Eventually Mandy stabbed Trevor to death with a kitchen knife while he was attacking Beth. With the help of Sinbad, Trevor's body was hidden under the patio. It stayed there until next door began to have problems with their drains sometime later…

23. The parodies23 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

23. The parodies

Harry Enfield managed to make a regular feature in his show Harry Enfield's Television Programme parodying characters from Brookside. The Scousers were three perm-haired, shellsuit wearing, moustachioed Liverpudlians. It was pretty LOLS...

24. The Feuds24 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

24. The Feuds

Basically everyone had a feud with everyone in Brookie. It was a good excuse to tell each other to 'Calm down, ey?' Some of the most memorable feuds were Ron v Jimmy, Tinhead v Sinbad and Emily v Susannah.

25. Alan Partridge25 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

25. Alan Partridge

Yes, there really was a Brookside character called Alan Partridge. He was the first resident of the bungalow and (as far as we know) had nothing to do with Radio Norwich.

26. The siege(s)26 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

26. The siege(s)

As we mentioned, Brookside Close had a few sieges in its time. There was one in 1985 where a gunmen got into the Close trying to avenge his mum's death. It was sealed off but Kate, one of the nurses who had been caring for the gunman's elderly mother, was shot. There was another siege in 2002 which involved drugs and resulted in the helicopter crash. Yes - Brookside was a very dangerous place to be!

27. The stunts27 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

27. The stunts

Brookside became known for it's stunts. Over the years there were car crashes - from Jimmy's coke induced one, to the one that killed Max and Susannah's kids - the helicopter crash, and a gas explosion on The Parade to name but a few. It's a wonder anyone came out alive really!

28. Ron Dixonu2019s Moby28 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

28. Ron Dixon’s Moby

Remember the days when Ron Dixon would drive round in his Moby selling everything from dusters to snacks? Gosh, we miss the 90s.

29. La Luz29 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

29. La Luz

The club in Brookie, orignially La Luz, but also Bar Brookie, Bev's Bar and Bar Brookie again, had it's share of drama including a protection racket. Still, we'd have given anything for a night out there!

30. The houses30 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

30. The houses

Brookside was different from our other soaps, as it was filmed in actual houses on an actual close! This gave it the almost-claustrophobic feel it was known for. Those houses have since been sold off as proper homes... and we're SO sad we don't live in one!

31. The Killer Virus31 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

31. The Killer Virus

Another weird one, Brookside went a bit Killer Bug Zombie Movie at one point, when it was closed off after residents started dropping dead like plague-infested rats. Brilliantly over the top.

32. Nat and Georgia - the incest kids32 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

32. Nat and Georgia - the incest kids

Brookside probably got to it's most controversial and shark-jump moment when the eldest brother and sister in well-to-do family, The Simpsons, were discovered to be having a sexual relationship. It probably wasn't Brookie's finest hour, but the ratings were insane.

33. Lindsey u2018Get Your Gun’ Corkhill33 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

33. Lindsey ‘Get Your Gun’ Corkhill

It all went a bit nuts in the last few years when Lindsey Corkhil suddenly went from being a struggling single mum, to a gun-toting gangster mam with a taste for women. Struggling ratings, did someone say?

34. Whodunnits?34 of 34
CREDIT: Channel 4

34. Whodunnits?

There were plenty of great Whodunnits in Brookie - Who Pushed Sue and Danny? Who Killed Susannah Farnham? Who thought it was a good idea to have an incest story? Etc.Ah Brookie, you may be gone, but you'll forever be in our hearts.

Closer magazine issue 905
Closer magazine issue 905 ©Closer

Watch: Eamonn and Ruth reveal why they argue during the ad breaks | This Morning secrets

Read more

Desperate Scousewives: where are they now?

31 of Celebrity Big Brother's most outrageous moments EVER

Fears for Kerry Katona over her X-rated career

I also know many people are emotional eaters – I definitely am, and there have been some days where I’ve eaten quite unhealthily during lockdown due to fear and panic.

The reason many people are overweight or obese is because of their emotions – so at a scary and worrying time like this,

I think many people will reach for food or alcohol to cope. I’m sure I will have put on some extra weight by eating too many crisps or biscuits during this time – but I know how to rein it in now.

I also feel very lucky to have my husband and daughter to be active with and to cook healthy meals for.

Read even more exclusive celeb interviews in this week's Closer magazine - out now.

Can't get to the shops? No problem. Find out how to get Closer magazine at home.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us