Brenda Holden was a club singer friend of Rita Littlewood's. They had known each other since they went to the same school as children.
In 1976, when Brenda was thrown out of her lodgings due to a "misunderstanding" about the rent, she called in a favour by arranging to stay at The Kabin flat while Rita was at a singing engagement in Northampton. She stayed for two weeks, also stepping into Rita's shoes at The Kabin for the duration.
Brenda and Rita mixed in the same circles and soon after arriving she was introduced to Dave Smith, who knew Rita through her ex-fiancé Benny Lewis. With his charm and style, Dave had Brenda's attentions - and more importantly, she had his, putting Bet Lynch's nose out of joint. Later that evening, Dave called at the flat, catching Brenda as she was about to leave for a singing engagement and persuaded her to let him tag along. Having heard that Dave was a businessman and club owner, Brenda's intentions were not strictly romantic; when they returned to the flat afterwards, she asked if he'd hire her, although Dave gave a typically jocular response to put her off. Later, when they paid a visit to the Rovers to begin an evening out, Dave met an old flame, Blanche Hunt, and Brenda was immediately cast aside, much to Bet's amusement. A few days later, Brenda and Bet saw off Dave and Blanche as they left for Kenilworth.
Aside from Rita, Brenda was previously acquainted with Bet and Hilda Ogden, whose local knowledge included some of the more suspect aspects of Brenda's character. Upon seeing Brenda in the Kabin, Hilda mocked her for living apart from her husband and suggested that whatever she was up to it was probably disreputable.