2015 NewsKickstarting the Crossroads Reunion SpecialGlen Allen (UK Gold, Channel 5) has launched a Kickstarter campaign in association with the Crossroads Fan Club and ATV to put together a special reunion ‘mini episode’ which forms part of the Return to Crossroads charity DVD. Reuniting cast such as Tony Adams, Jane Rossington, Cindy Marshall Day, Sherrie Hewson and Jean Bayless to return one last time to their famous hotel characters ‘Crossroads: The Reunion’ will find out whats happening down in Kings Oak in 2015.While the Return to Crossroads documentary has been funded this extra special feature needs a little extra financial support in order to allow the scenes to be recorded by a professional crew.Vincet Ball to appear in Home and AwayFormer Crossroads actor Vincent Ball is to guest star in popular Australian saga Home and Away. The 91 year old Australian actor, played one time love interest for Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon) - Kevin McArthur. Ball appeared in Crossroads - on and off - from 1965 to 1974. He went on to appear in Grundy production The Young Doctors also produced and directed by Crossroads’ Alan Coleman and Reg Watson. Ball retired from acting in 2003 but has returned to TV for the Seven Network series for a special storyline commemorating the Anzac Day centenary. Playing WWII veteran Tom Knight he stars in the episode alongside Home and Away regular Ray Meagher as Alf Roberts.Crossroads Repeats to air on Big Centre TVCrossroads episodes are returning to Midland TV screens 50 years after the first episode. Its been fifteen years since the last repeats aired on UK Gold across the country, Now BCTV are to air classic editions to the region - and beyond via their website. The full press release is below:Check in and check out Crossroads, exclusively on Big Centre TVIconic British television soap, Crossroads, will be brought back to the small screen by Big Centre TV, which launches this Saturday, 28th February, at 6pm on Freeview Channel 8. In a move that will delight fans of the show, Big Centre TV plans to broadcast all existing episodes, including some classic early episodes from the 1960s. Crossroads originally ran from 1964 to 1988 on the regional Channel 3 network and at its peak the show’s viewing figures reached up to 18 million. The show, which was the UK’s first full length daily soap, revolves around the village of Kings Oak, near Birmingham, and the main location of the Crossroads Motel.Channel director, Chris Perry, said: “It’s an incredible honour to bring Crossroads back to viewers. More than 4,500 episodes were filmed, but only around 1,500 have survived and these are mostly from 1978-1988. The earlier editions were largely lost and only a few classic editions survive. However, we plan to show all editions available, including those known as the 'Crossroads Classics'.“Bringing Crossroads back to the small screen has only been possible because of the close partnership between Independent Television and me and my team at Kaleidoscope. Arranging this deal was not easy as checking assets from the 1960s took time, restoration and research, but we are deeply proud to be the new home of such an iconic programme.”One of the show’s stars, Jane Rossington, who played Jill Richardson, said: “I am delighted that audiences will be able to experience the phenomenon that was Crossroads. We filmed at a number of locations here in the Midlands, so it’s great that Big Centre TV, the local station for the area, has chosen it as the headline show.Many people have fond memories of the show and even today I meet people who remember characters and storylines.”Big Centre TV is the UK’s newest station and will cover Birmingham, the Black Country and Solihull, providing an estimated 2.3m viewers with an eclectic mix of local and national programmes. It will broadcast seven days a week and programmes will also be available online, giving the station a potential global audience.Andrew Gavaghan, Granada Archive operations manager, said: “[The archive] and Kaleidoscope have worked together for many years in sharing knowledge and information about Channel 3’s rich broadcasting history and [Granada] has donated archive materials to Kaleidoscope to help assist with its endeavours in preserving and exploring past British TV programming. “The in-depth knowledge and enthusiasm that Kaleidoscope possess, is a valuable resource not only to the broadcasting and production communities but also to anyone interested in this important area of our culture.”Crossroads will be broadcast weekdays at 9.30am. There will be additional screenings each weekday at 6pm and 11pm.Jane Gurnett gives her support to a soapy StorylineActress Jane Gurnett is one of the faces supporting a new ‘comedy soap opera’ idea by former Crossroads writer Neil Anthony Docking and Crossroads director Maxine Evans. A Kickstarter campaign to raise £10,000 to make three episodes has proved successful.Storyline is described by production company, Independence Pictures, as a fast-paced, quick-fire comedy with dramatic twists- set behind the often unruly, unbalanced and unyielding scenes of a fictional soap opera. Docking and Evans believe it will give viewers the chance to see what really goes on behind the scenes of a long running saga and what actors, producers and storyliners really get up to behind the scenes.Jane is best known to Crossroads viewers as motel owner Kate Russell, appearing in the series from 2001 to 2003.2014 NewsActor Bernard Kay diesKay who starred hundreds of television series across his career, including BBC police saga Z Cars (from the very first episode) and science fiction drama Doctor Who, has died aged 86. The actor also starred in a number of movies including Dr Zhivago and Carry On Sergeant as well as many stage productions.He joined Crossroads in 1984 as motel garage boss Harry Maguire, however it was his son Pete Maguire (actor Mike McNally) who took both characters into one of the biggest storylines of 1985 in the soap opera. Pete was addicted to illegal drugs, and disowned by Harry eventually ended up overdosing and dying.Before turning to acting Bernard had been a reporter working for his hometown paper The Bolton Evening News. He turned to acting when he was conscripted into the army for his national service in 1946. He then trained professionally with the Old Vic Theatre School. He was married to the actress Patricia Haines who died in 1977 aged only 45, Bernard died at his home on 29th December 2014.Fans back Crossroads Documentary DVDAlready over £10,000 has been invested by fan club team members including Doug Lambert and Mike Garrett into the DVD which aims to be the most in depth about Crossroads, however to give fans some incentives to back the project a Kickstarter fundraising page was launched this week (Nov 11th).To the amazement of the project team, lead by the documentary’s voice over artist - Glen Allen (of UK Gold and Channel 5 fame to name a few), over £1100 has been raised in less than two days!The money will be used to add extra ‘exciting’ features to the DVD release which is due out to mark Crossroads’ 50th at as an as-yet un-named date in 2015. Cast interviewed for the documentary already include Jane Rossington, Tony Adams and the shows’ first director Alan Coleman.The final total raised via Kickstarter and other donations totaled over £3000. The DVD sales itself once completed will be given to Crossroads Care.Central News airs extended feature on Crossroads anniversaryNovember 3rd saw Central News air a special feature on the golden anniversary of Crossroads. The report, which can be seen here, saw Jane Rossington and Tony Adams return to the ‘Crossroads Motel’ along with members of the Crossroads Fan Club, to discuss and celebrate fifty years since episode one first aired on ATV Midlands back in 1964.Reporter Andy Bevan looked back over classic scenes while a treat for fans saw Rossington and Adams reprise their roles of Jill and Adam Chance reunited in a ‘special scene’ which finally gave them a happy ending.Newspapers mark Crossroads 50th anniversaryNewspapers including the national publication ‘The Express’ and several regional papers including The Birmingham Mail and Sutton Coldfield Observer have run articles on the serials’ golden anniversary.BBC News online also marked the landmark date with a feature on the Crossroads Fan Club’s gathering at Ramada Sutton Coldfield, the Penns Hall Hotel, which was used as the exterior of the Crossroads Motel in the 1980s.Crossroads 50th Special on the BBCAs usual its the BBC who mark a major Crossroads anniversary nationally and for the 50th BBC Radio 2’s Paul O’Grady Show is to host a reunion special with Jane Rossington (Jill 1964-1988, 2001), Tony Adams (Adam 1978-1988, 2001-2002), Paul Henry (Benny 1975-1987) and Susan Hanson (Diane 1965, 1966-1987).Paul O’Grady will also be reading fan memories of the series and you can leave your own memories with the show via email@example.com. Crossroads began on November 2nd 1964 and became an instant hit with the television public, less successful with many television critics who compared a daily serial with a twice weekly saga - however over the decades on air the series provided many ground breaking storylines and iconic characters. The soaps escapist slant also provided many bizarre and outrageous moments too.The Paul O’Grady Crossroads Special airs on November 2nd from 5pm to 7pm on BBC Radio 2. Online at bbc.co.uk/radio2, on DAB and on 88-91FM. It can be heard again here.Neil Grainger appears in BBC drama ‘Casualty’Neil, who played Phil Berry in Carlton’s reboot of Crossroads from 2001-2002, appeared in an episode of BBC One’s long running medical saga Casualty (Sat Oct 18th). Featuring in the edition entitled ‘The Index Case’ Neil appeared as David Swann who has a few problems concerning an ill wife, who is pregnant to another fella and gets worse as its discovered she is suffering from a rare terrible virus. Just a regular day in the Emergency Room then…Angus Lennie DiesPopular actor Angus Lennie has died aged 84. Scottish born Lennie is best known for his role as Shughie McFee in ATV’s Crossroads as well as several film roles, most notably in The Great Escape.“Angus Lennie has died in a nursing home, aged 84. The Glasgow-born actor was best known for his role in the classic wartime escape drama but had also parts in TV favourites including Crossroads, Keeping Up Appearances and Monarch of the Glen.” - The Daily MirrorAngus was born in 1930 and spent his early years in Glasgow, attending Eastbank Academy in the city. He attended the 94th, 1st Shettleston, Company of the Boys’ Brigade in his home city before taking up acting, first in amateur productions before moving onto repertory theatre across the UK. He later joined the showbiz glitterati, such as Bruce Forsyth and Ronnie Corbett, at the Windmill Theatre, in Soho, London, as a dancer before moving onto television and movies.“Angus hadn’t been in the best of health for around five years. He had to withdraw from the Crossroads 45th event at the NEC Birmingham in 2009, and was unable to take part in a few other bits and pieces there after. He was always popular at events with fans, having made Shughie a great comedy character in Crossroads.” - Mike Garrett, who manages the Central endorsed Crossroads Fan ClubAngus died at a nursing home in Acton, London. Angus Lennie, 18 April 1930 – 14 September 2014Crossroads Appreciation Society appears in the Weekly News newspaperA double page tribute to Crossroads has appeared in the Weekly News newspaper. The publication was a huge supporter of Crossroads throughout the 1970s and 80s.The article speaks with CAS Manager Mike Garrett about the soap opera and its continued popularity during its 50th year celebrations. (June 2014)Crossroads Cabbie DiesThe Birmingham Mail report that, taxi driver to the stars, Brian Binns has died aged 64. From the 1970s onwards Binns ferried a host of celebrities around the Midlands the newspaper notes. Presenters and actors working at the BBC Pebble Mill Studios and the ATV and Central studios were regulars in his cab.“TV presenters Chris Tarrant, Sally James and Gary Newbon, chart stars UB40, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and a string of Crossroads actors were among his customers.” - Birmingham MailThe father of three also didn’t take to diva attitudes, he’s noted as chucking out of his cab Watchdog presenter Anne Robinson when she got snotty. Binns, from Redditch, died April 23rd.“If I wanted to escape I gave him the nod and he would rumble in, shirt flapping around his waist, and announce he couldn’t wait forever. That gave me the opportunity to say I would have to go. I used him a lot for work. He was a massive man and that shirt would always be hanging out.” - ATV and Central Sport presenter Gary Newbon speaking to the Birmingham Mail.Unforgettable Noele Gordon to be repeated on Channel 3 - AGAIN!The 2012 celebration of Crossroads’ leading lady Noele Gordon is to be re-shown again - following its recent repeat in March. The first repeat aired on Channel 3 back on Saturday March 22nd at 1pm. This time its airing at 1.30pm on Sunday the 27th April, again on the network. The documentary featuring interviews with friends and co-workers such as Sue Nicholls, Jane Rossington, Alan Coleman and Tony Adams will also be shown on UTV and STV.Kate O’Mara dies aged 74Forever remembered for her glamorous roles in shows such as Dynasty and Howard’s Way, O’Mara checked-in to Crossroads in 2003 as Lady Alice Fox.Paul Henry to appear on Celebrity edition of PointlessActor Paul Henry is to feature in BBC One’s game show Pointless. The celebrity special is due to air in April 2014. The edition is a 1970s special which sees other contestants from the decade including Tiswas’ Sally James and Anna Karen from On The Buses.Unforgettable Noele Gordon to be repeated on Channel 3The 2012 celebration of Crossroads’ leading lady Noele Gordon is to be re-shown on Channel 3 on Saturday March 22nd at 1pm. The documentary featuring interviews with friends and co-workers such as Sue Nicholls, Jane Rossington, Alan Coleman and Tony Adams will also be shown on UTV and STV.Judy Matheson to appear at Memorabilia and ComicCon Convention In BirminghamJust to let Crossroads fans know that I am going to be a guest at The Memorabilia and ComicCon Convention at the Birmingham N.E.C. this coming Saturday (22nd March) and, if there are any who are going to the Convention and remember the character Vicky Lambert, to come and say hello!I have such happy memories of my time working on the show all those years ago in Birmingham!With very best wishesJudy MathesonMiriam Margolyes talks Crossroads auditionActress Miriam Margolyes, who starred in Crossroads as deranged Mrs Perkins who attempted to rob the motel, talked about her Crossroads audition with Graham Norton (BBC One, 21st Feb 2014).“I have actually got a menstrual story if you like… Did I tell you last time when I did an audition for Crossroads? …For those of you who may remember it, Crossroads was a soap opera which took place in Birmingham and I went for an audition.“As I was waiting for my turn to do the audition my period started. I went to the ladies room and in those days there was a long box on the wall ‘Dr Southall Sanitary Towels’ and you put in two pennies and pulled the little drawer and got out the little carton… So I put in my 2p pulled out the little drawer and it snapped back with my finger in it. It was really painful; it tore a great gash in my finger.“I managed to pull open the drawer and extract my finger; I rushed in to the loo and fixed myself up. Came out again and went in [to the audition] and started to read for the [role] and I noticed the script was covered in blood, the people I was auditioning for noticed it too, I saw them looking so I said ‘I’m so sorry my period started…’”Miriam added that she did of course get the role as Mrs Perkins, who had an alcoholic husband. She later attempted to rob the motel.Nadine Hanwell directs The Prime of Miss Jean BrodieFormer Crossroads actress Nadine Hanwell is currently directing a three week run of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie starring former Sky News presenter Viv Creegor. The production runs from the 18th February to the 9th March 2014 with performances Tuesday – Saturday 7.30pm Sunday 6.30pm at the Barons Court Theatre.Crossroads’ 50th Celebration in The People’s Friend MagazineThe People’s Friend magazine put together a wonderful double-page celebration to mark five decades since the first episode of Crossroads hit the air. A host of classic photos and information filled the special feature. (People’s Friend released February 8th)Tribute event for Stan StennettWelsh actor and comedian Stan Stennett, best known for his long running role as Crossroads’ Sid Hooper, will be celebrated with a tribute show in April.The celebration of the life and work of Stennett, who died in November last year, will see a host of performers pay their tribute to one of Wales’ best loved entertainers. The show will feature Johnny Tudor, Colin Price, Peter Lewis, Mandy Starr, Robert Knight, The Meggitt Dancers and the Onllwyn Male Voice Choir with compères Wyn Calvin, Dewi Grifiths, Roy Nobel and Lionel Fanthorpe. A Tribute To Stan Stennett takes place on Wednesday 30th April, 2.00pm at St David’s Hall, Cardiff.Three Book Suggestions...Crossroads features in three recent books. Firstly we suggest David Jason's official autobiography, My Life, where he talks about his time with Crossroads, Noele Gordon and the way the series was put together.On the 'accusations of bad acting' David Jason notes: "Of course that's a terribly sweeping generalisation about a series which a lot of the performances and storytelling was really good. In defence of the production staff and the cast most of the shows 'failings' to hit the mark were the result of hitting everything in a blind hurry, the series was running at a heart-attack rate of five half-hour episodes a week... And yet, for all that, it was a big hit. A television juggernaut, massively popular, the [regional] network's second watched show after Coronation Street and sometimes even capable of nudging ahead of it in the ratings."The second great read is Armchair Nation by Joe Moran which, like TV Heaven before it, looks at the show from both sides - but most importantly the viewers view of it rather than the critics."The different [Ch3] regions showed it out of synch so Crossroads’ Christmases could happen in the summer and vice versa, which added to the sense that the motel existed in a wonky angle to the rest of the universe, unbounded by the linear tyranny of seasons and years. During the ITV strike of 1979 viewers had rung ATV daily to ask what was happening at the Crossroads Motel. By the end of the 1970s its viewing figures had exceeded 20 million and it vied with Corrie as Britain’s most popular programme, remarkable for a serial shown before many people had got in from work.....Crossroads had long excited conflicting responses. Some of the assumed awfulness was folk legend perpeuated by non-viewers.... not since its earliest days, when it was filmed in a disused cinema using theatre flats had the walls of the motel lobby wobbled.”The third is the unofficial Crossroads Quiz Book by Nigel Freestone. 350 questions on the daily saga to test your memory."Was the long-running British soap opera Crossroads, compulsive viewing in your house? Can you recall the cast of memorable characters such a Meg Richardson, Sandy and Benny? Was this hugely popular British soap opera one of your family’s all-time favourite TV shows? If so, you are certain to enjoy The Crossroads Quiz Book.In what year was Crossroads aired for the first time? Approximately how many months in advance were Crossroads storylines planned? Which character spoke the opening line in the first-ever episode of Crossroads? The answers to these brain-teasers and more can all be found in this new book."2013 NewsAlan Coleman DiesAward winning producer and director Alan Coleman who began his television career with ATV in the sixties has died aged 76. (December 2013)Alan Coleman was born in Birmingham, he began his career as an actor, but ventured into the world of television as a cameraman at the Alpha Television Studios in Birmingham, home of ATV and ABC Weekend. Alan was the first director on Britain’s founding daily serial, Crossroads, later becoming head of Children’s Drama at ATV; before moving to Australia where he over saw such shows as Neighbours and Home and Away.Joining ATV in the early 1960s he worked on many programmes including pioneering live daytime entertainment series Lunch Box. In 1964 he moved from cameraman to director bringing to life the first five-nights a-week 25-minute serial broadcast on UK television with the goings on at the Crossroads Motel.In 1974 Alan was headhunted by Reg Grundy and flown out to Australia to help set-up and run the Grundy Organization’s Drama Department. While with Grundy – now Fremantle Media Australia – he produced, wrote and directed many shows which have in recent years become known as “soap operas”. These include Australia’s first teenage-aimed serial Class of 74 – and it’s follow-up Class of 75, Glenview High, female inmate drama Prisoner: Cell Block H and it’s male-prison spin-off, Punishment. He was also one of the leading figures in getting The Young Doctors into production.In the 1990s he was the Executive Producer on Neighbours and later established Shortland Street – which was New Zealand’s first-ever weeknight soap. In the same decade he returned briefly to the UK and joined Thames Television to produce the Channel 5 daily soap Family Affairs. To mark the 55th anniversary of ATV Alan re-joined the company as Honorary President.Stan Stennett DiesEntertainer Stan Stennett, best known for his several years as Sid Hooper in Crossroads has died aged 88. Stan sadly suffered a stroke a couple of weeks ago, and died earlier today (16th November) in hospital. Our sympathies go to his sons and wife Betty.Stan, described as ‘Wales’ Premiere Entertainer’, began his career as a jazz musician during the Second World War, after a stint in the Army he became a full-time entertainer working with some of the biggest names in show business over the next six decades. He performed on everything from BBC Radio variety shows to hit BBC One entertainment series'. He added comedy to his act in the 1950s and by the 1960s was also making moves into serious acting.His first love however was the theatre and performed in over 70 pantomimes as well as hundreds of variety shows across the country over the past six decades. For us he was a strong supporter of Crossroads. In 1989 he put together the 25th anniversary celebrations in association with the fan club and also shared his vast Crossroads archive and memories with us in more recent years.I met Stan for the final time in 2010, spending two days in his company, firstly at his home near Cardiff, and the next day while he put on a show at St David's Hall in the city. All I expected was an interview, what I was given was the warmest welcome by Stan and his wife Betty, who put on a lovely spread! He also spent three hours opening up all his Crossroads archives for CAS to read and copy. He was a gent, a professional and loved entertaining. But most of all Stan was a kind and generous man, we will all miss him at Crossroads. - Mike GarrettJean Kent and Bruce Beeby pass awayMovie and television actress Jean Kent has died aged 92. In the 1940s and 50s she was one of cinema’s biggest UK stars and by the 1980s had joined ATV’s most successful daytime serial.Born in Brixton in 1929 Kent’s career began as a child in the theatre thanks to appearances with her variety performer parents Norman Field and Nina Norre. It lead to her own stage career which she launched aged thirteen at the Windmill Theatre in London as a saucy dancer. However it was her appearances in Gainsborough melodramas which made her a movie star of the 1940s and 50s, starring in forty-five films. Her movie roles saw her star alongside names such as Laurence Olivier, Stuart Granger, Marilyn Monroe and Michael Redgrave.Kent became a regular face on TV with her first soap opera role in ATV’s Emergency Ward 10 as hospital patient Gillian Blaine, she also appeared in numerous Playhouse strands in the 1960s and 70s and also BBC serials United! and Angels. Jean would frown upon sad and depressing plots, often hoping for something a little more harmless and fun. In 1982 she promised to inject happiness into soap opera Crossroads, which she felt had become too serious since the departure of lead actress Noele Gordon the previous year. She played Jennifer Lamont in the series for six months in 1982.Bruce Beeby who appeared early in the series has also died. His most prominent role in television, according to The Stage, was in the popular daily saga Crossroads. He played Simon Russell, one of the many rich and upmarket suitors of Noele Gordon’s Meg Richardson.Paul O'Grady goes to Venice with Crossroads Theme(November 2013) Paul, a regular promoter of the Crossroads Motel on his radio show played the theme (Sinfonia Per Un Addio) to the Venice episodes by Rondo Veneziano, which were aired originally in 1983 starring Noele Gordon, Jane Rossington and Tony Adams.Sue Nicholls and JoAnne Good get Motel Nostalgic(November 2013) Sue Nicholls - best known these days for her long running role in top soap Coronation Street - popped onto the Alan Tichmarsh Show earlier this month to discuss the latest Weatherfield plots. She also had time to share with fellow guest JoAnne Good a few memories of their time at the Crossroads Motel.Nadine Hanwell takes on Beatrix Potter(October 2013) And its fitting that the actress should make a public reading of The Tale of Peter Rabbit as Nadine is a direct descendant of Beatrix Potter - her great-great-grandfather was Beatrix’s great-uncle Sidney Potter.Nadine is delighted to be reading for the first time in public The Tale of Peter Rabbit at noon on Saturday the 12th of October as part of the Beatrix Potter Family Festival which takes place from 10am to 4pm at St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington. The event takes place as part of the 100 year anniversary celebrations of Beatrix Potter marrying William Heelis.Nadine began her professional acting career at the age of 12. She trained at Corona Stage School, and has played numerous roles in TV, theatre and radio. However to most of us here she'll be best known for her four years as Marilyn Hope in Crossroads.In 2002 she opened Nadine’s Window at the Barons Court Theatre and has directed/produced over 35 plays there, including “Daisy Pulls It Off” that transferred to the Arts theatre in the west end. In 2012 Nadine resumed her acting career - and recently played the lead role of Doris in the mini-series “Passing On” selected for a Bafta screening. Her book “Nadine Who?...and a dog called Shoe” is a memoir of wandering the parks and streets of West London with her canine companion. Nadine will be speaking to BBC 94.9 this Saturday (5th Oct) at 7.20am. (Twitter @NadineHanwell )Crossroads Theme on Damon Albarn Show(October 2013) Damon Albarn, standing in for Dermot O'Leary, on BBC Radio 2 discussed the Crossroads theme and the programme. Albarn played the 1965 single release of Crossroads by Tony Hatch discussing with Paul Simonon how the chords have been seemingly an inspiration for other music tracks. The show aired on Saturday October 5th.Benny's Theme on Graham Norton Show(October 2013) Paul Henry's 1977 Benny's Theme ended up on Graham Norton's BBC Radio 2 show on Saturday 28th Sept 2013. The song written by Simon May - of the EastEnders theme fame - was originally part of the storyline which saw Benny Hawkins' love Maureen Flynn killed in a road accident. The track noted his love and loss for his wife-to-be. The song made the top 40 after viewers to Crossroads asked for the music to be released. Norton featured the song as part of his feature 'I Can'tBelieve It's Not Better' which plays 'terrible' records.Norton noted: "That was strangely affecting. Well done Paul Henry. You know I've never heard that before, and I don't want to hear it again, but I'm pleased it entered my life for that brief moment."