Lynette   as   Glenda   Brownlow   (later   on   Glenda   Banks)   was for   a   decade   one   of   the   most   popular   members   of   the Brownlow    family.    She    also    was    part    of    some    of    the groundbreaking   storylines   in   the   series,   including   rape   and test tube babies. How   did   you   first   get   the   part   of   Glenda   Brownlow   in Crossroads? I   was   with   a   London   agent   and   they   just   sent   me   for   the   audition   but   I   originally   auditioned   for   the   part   of   the   Salvation   Army   girl   Jane   Smith,   but   I wasn't   right   for   that   and   then   they   came   back   a   couple   of   months   later   and   said   "would   you   read   for   this   part?"   so   it   was   sort   of   a   process   of   elimination really! The   character   first   arrived   as   a   'run   away'   hiding   from   her   parents.   She   left   the   motel   when   she   heard   her   parents   (originally   played   by   different   actors   to the   ones   we   came   to   love)   were   on   their   way   to   Kings   Oak. After   finding   little   success   in   London   Glenda   headed   back   to   Birmingham,   however   on   the   way became a  rape victim of a dubious lorry driver. Can you tell us a little about that storyline? I   think   I'd   run   away   to   be   a   dancer   with   Pan's   People   (laughs)   they   were   always   very   extreme   storylines! And   I'd   hitch-hiked   to   London   I   think   and   then   I'd got   a   job   at   the   motel   and   then   my   parents   arrived   to   take   me   back   I   think   and   then   that's   when   the   family   sort   of   came   in   and   we   got   our   own   set   and everything. Your   screen   mother   Kath   was   a   very   caring,   maternal   character   but   your   screen   father Arthur   was   notoriously   cantankerous.   The   original   Kath   was played   by   Hilary   Martin   and   Arthur   by   Brian   Haines.   However   we   all   recall   the   more   popular   actors   Pamela   Vezey   and   Peter   Hill,   who   made   the parts their own. What were the latter like in real life? Actually   quite   similar   to   the   parts   they   played   to   be   honest!   They're   both   dead   now   sadly,   but   Pamela,   she   didn't   actually   have   any   children   of   her   own funnily   enough   but   she   was   a   perfect   mother   figure,   you   know.   Peter   was   a   bit   narky   sometimes   (laughs)   but   they   were   lovely,   they   were   really   nice people. Is it really true that people took the show seriously, actually believing it was a real motel? Oh   God   yeah!   Well   you   remember   Roger Tonge   (Sandy),   he   used   to   get   people   who   would   like   punch   his   legs   in   the   street,   because   they   couldn't   work   out how   he   was   standing   up,   why   he   was   out   of   his   wheelchair.   And   when   I   was   pregnant   people   used   to   come   up   and   wanted   to   touch   my   tummy   which   I always though was rather bizarre! So you used to get stopped in the street a lot? Oh gosh yes, even now actually all these years later some people still remember. Glenda's husband Kevin had an affair with your screen cousin Iris and later with Carol Sands. What was the public reaction like to those storylines? Well   David   was   actually   going   out   with   JoAnne   Good   who   played   Carol   Sands   so   that   confused   people   a   lot,   but   yes   I   used   to   get   a   lot   of   people   coming   up to me and telling me "I think you ought to know" (laughs) and "we don't like to do this but we think you ought to know" so they took it very seriously. But they were both great mates of mine anyway so, you know, that was all right! In   1983   you   had   a   storyline   which   took   the   public   by   surprise   when   Glenda   had   a   test   tube   baby,   Katy   Louise.   How   did   you   find   that   storyline   and what was the public reaction like? Well   I   think   it   might   have   been   the   first   time   a   test   tube   baby   was   on   television,   I   think   it   was   the   first   time   it   had   been   covered,   but   it   was   quite   funny because   I   was   pregnant   in   real   life   so   they   wrote   that   in   as   well   so   I   was   able   to   go   right   though,   you   know,   the   real   pregnancy   sort   of   thing   and   people mistook   the   test   tube   storyline   for   my   real   life   and   kept   asking   me   how   my   test   tube   baby   was   coming   along,   so   that   wasn't   so   great   (laughs)   but   that   was good   because   everyone   used   to   look   after   me   a   lot   'cos   I   worked   right   up   to   6   weeks   before   I   had   her,   so   that   was   a   nice   time   actually.   It   got   some   stick for   making   it   look   easy   to   have   a   baby   in   that   way.   But   the   show   did   show   another   character   who   had   been   trying   years   to   have   a   test   tube   child,   I   think those complaining didn't watch or they'd have known that. Your   screen   daughter   was   actually   played   by   your   own   daughter   Emily.   Is   she   showing   any   signs   of   following   in   her   mother's   footsteps   and   pursuing a career in acting? Well   she's   18½   now   and   she's   just   left   college   and   she   studied   drama   at   college   so   she's   just   sort   of   joining   the   ranks   of   the   unemployed   at   the   moment (laughs) but she's looking for work and hopefully she'll get something, but she does want to be an actress. Crossroads   was   famous   for   having   been   filmed   "as   live"   which   meant   that   most   minor   mistakes   stayed   in.   Did   you   ever   experience   a   scene   where things went wrong but you just had to carry on? Oh   God   (laughs)   millions   of   times!   One   of   the   best   ones   was   when   a   floor   manager,   you   know   the   man   who   is   in   charge   of   cuing   the   scene   and   tells   you when   to   start   the   scene,   and   we   had   a   big   Irish   floor   manager   who   was   very   well   built   like   a   sort   of   rugby   player   and   he   was   putting   his   arm   up   and   down to   cue   somebody   but   didn't   realise   that   the   actor   was   actually   standing   in   front   of   him   and   garrotted   him   on   the   back   of   the   neck   and   the   actor   passed out! (Laughs) And   another   really   good   one   was   somebody   didn't   hit   their   mark,   you   know   they   give   you   a   little   mark   to   get   onto   when   you're   doing   a   scene,   and   they hadn't   got   time   to   stop   so   the   floor   manager   crawled   on   his   tummy   and   moved   the   actor's   feet   while   he   was   talking   and   the   actor   just   carried   on,   he wouldn't   stop   you   see   (laughs).   They   just   had   to   do   anything   to   keep   going!   Oh   God,   there   were   always   different   things   happening,   in   fact   they   don't   do many things "as live" any more but it was funny. After   Arthur   died   his   work-shy   cousin   Wally,   played   by   Max   Wall,   came   and   stayed   with   the   Brownlows   and   caused   a   lot   of   unrest   in   the   family. What was Max Wall like to work with? Amazing! Absolutely   amazing,   I   mean   you   can   imagine   can't   you,   he   didn't   take   anything   seriously   (laughs)   and   they   used   to   play   the   Crossroads   theme   in the   studio   at   the   end   of   the   recording   and   one   of   the   funny   things   he   said,   somebody   shouted   that   the   music   was   still   playing   and   they   were   trying   to   get them   to   stop   and   somebody   shouted   "Kill   the   grams"   and   Max   said   (impersonating   Max   Wall)   "Well   at   least   wound   them!"   (Laughs)   He   was   always,   you know, he always had a funny line, he was lovely! Max Wall was very spontaneous was he? Oh   God   yes,   and   I   mean   he'd   never   say   what   was   written   either,   do   you   know   what   I   mean?   (Laughs)   He'd   just   make   up   his   own   funny   endings   and   it   was too late to do anything about it, you know, so he'd just say what he wanted! When   you   first   came   into   the   programme,   the   motel   was   still   presided   over   by   Meg   Mortimer   but   during   your   time   with   the   programme   it   had   been through all sorts of changes, especially after Philip Bowman took over. What did you feel about all the changes? Well   when   Phillip   Bowman   took   over   David   and   I   were   written   out   anyway   and   that   was   very   hard   because   I'd   been   in   it   all   through   my   twenties   really   and that   was   quite   horrid   but   there   were   so   many   changes   after   that   I   think   a   lot   of   people   missed   the   way   it   had   been   really;   because   they   tried   to   make   it more upmarket and then there were much more, what can I say, sort of "posh" people, you know what I mean, but it was still very popular. But   I   think   when   Noele   Gordon   went,   I   think   from   then   something   went   really   anyway,   I   think   that   that   was   the   heyday   really   wasn't   it   when   she   was   in   it and Sandy and Benny and all those old characters, you know? Were you very disappointed when you and Kevin were written out of Crossroads? Yes,   I   was   devastated   at   the   time   because   I'd   been   in   it   since   I   was   21,   well   I   got   it   on   my   21st   birthday   and   it   had   become   my   family   really   more   than   a job,   do   you   know   what   I   mean?   But   sort   of   now   I   look   back   and   think   it   was   probably   for   the   best   because   at   least   then   I   was   still   young   enough   to   sort   of try to do other things. But I did miss it, I missed the people more than anything but you know life goes on doesn't it? I   think   the   friends   I   made   there,   and   which   I   still   have,   so   many   have   died   sadly,   but   like   you   talk   about   Iris   and   Kevin   ...   do   you   remember   Mr.   Paul   - Sandor?   He's   a   great   friend   of   mine!   The   friends   I   made   then,   you're   talking   about   golly,   20   odd   years   ago,   are   the   best   I've   made   in   my   life   and   I   think that's probably the best bit that came out if it. Have you been watching the new Crossroads and would you consider returning if asked? Oh   gosh,   I   haven't   seen   it   very   much   because   I've   been   doing   theatre   work   which   is   great   and   obviously   you're   working   at   night   time   but   oh   God   yes   I mean   when   it   was   originally   mooted   to   be   coming   back   I   thought   "Oh   I   wonder   if   I'll   get   the   phone   call"   or   whatever   but   you   know   work   is   work   and   in   this business you can't be too proud (laughs). Obviously   the   only   think   I   would   say   is   that   my   mum   always   says   "you   can't   go   back",   you   know   what   I   mean,   and   I   think   Kathy   Staff   went   back   for   a   while and   I   think   she   sort   of   said   you   can't   recapture   the   old   days   really. And   it's   so   different   now   isn't   it,   my   goodness,   so   racy   (laughs)   all   sorts   of   things   going on! I think that most of the fans would like some people to return just so that it's recognisable. I   think   they   should   have   at   the   beginning   had   a   few   more   maybe,   I   mean   I   never   understand   why   they   didn't   approach   Paul   Henry   as   Benny   because   if   you ask   anybody   who   they   remember   most   from   Crossroads   it's   Benny   isn't   it,   and   Miss   Diane.   I   still   see   her   now   and   again,   she   came   to   see   me   in   a   couple   of things. Were you aware of all the Crossroads websites which have sprung up over the last couple of years? No, do you know I wasn't because I'm absolutely useless as far as computers or anything like that goes, so I'm amazed! Who out of the old cast are you still in touch with? Iris,   David   who   was   my   husband   Kevin,   Sandor,   Janet   Hargreaves   -   do   you   remember   who   played   Rosemary?   She's   still   a   friend   of   mine.   Kathy   Staff   of course who I've known from the very first day, so that's going back a bit. Tony Adams I still see him I've done panto with him, he's lovely! Do you still get a lot of people coming up to you now and asking you about Crossroads? Yes,   it   amazes   me   because   it   is   a   long   time   but   yes   it   goes   in   phases   where   there'll   be   like   a   couple   in   a   day   and   you   think   "golly",   you   know,   "that's   weird because it was a long time ago". But yes it was very good to me and I had a fantastic time all through my twenties, you know. Finally could you tell us a little about what you've been doing since you last appearance in November 1985? Well   I've   been   doing   theatre   really,   at   the   moment   I'm   touring   round   the   country   in   "The   Railway   Children"   and   I   always   do   pantomime,   this   year   I'm   doing Stevenage   playing   Fairy   Godmother   so   I've   just   been   doing   plays   really,   touch   wood   I've   kept   going   and   just   do   whatever   I   can   do   and   I'm   still   at   it   (laughs) still trying to earn a living!
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