Research by Ian Armitage, Elizabeth Garrett and Alex Loveless. Additional material courtesy of Vicky Ling.
A thumbnail guide to Crossroads creators Peter Ling and Hazel Adair. Peter Ling Peter   Ling   co-created   Crossroads   along   with   Hazel   Adair   back   in   1964.   Ling   started   out   as   an   office   boy   before   being   employed   in   the   advertising industry. As   a   Bevin   boy   during   World   War   II,   he   started   to   write   and   ran   a   theatre   in   the   barracks   in   the   army   pay   corps. Just before he was demobbed he contracted TB and had to be hospitalised. He   then,   while   in   hospital,   began   writing   for   radio.   Friend   and   actor   Jon   Pertwee   gave   encouragement   towards Ling's writing abilities. In the early '50s Ling wrote comedy for Whirlygig, a BBC children's show. The   newly   formed   Associated-Rediffusion   television   company   gave   him   the   job   as   a   script-editor   and   then became Head of Children's Series on shows such as Small Time. He wrote for the Eagle comic. Ling   also   wrote   for Associated-Rediffusion   shows   such   as   Murder   Bag,   Crime   Sheet   and   Jango,   and   in   1961   created a   new   soap   for   the   BBC   called   Compact,   with   Hazel   Adair.   He   was   later   contracted   to   The   Avengers   where   he wrote a couple of stories with his wife Sheila Ward. In   1964   Ling   and Adair   created   a   new ATV   soap   opera   set   in   Birmingham   -   Crossroads   was   born!   Ling   also   created Champion   House   in   1967   and   wrote   for   Associated-Rediffusion   on   the   Sexton   Blake   detective   series   and   also   The Mind   Robber,   which   was   a   story   for   the   BBC's   pioneering   science-fiction   series,   Doctor   Who   in   1968.   There   were many   other   programmes   including   Green   Shoes   with   George   Cole   and   Happy   Holidays,   starring   Hattie   Jacques   and John Le Mesurier. In 1987, new incoming Crossroads producer William Smethurst decided to bring in his own team of writers and Peter Ling was no longer required. Hazel Adair Adair   started   her   television   writing   career   in   1951   on   the   science-fiction   series   Stranger   From   Space   which   ran until 1953. She   then   wrote   and   devised   her   own   drama   series   in   1955,   Sixpenny   Corner. This   was   commercial   television's   first daily   drama   serial   running   for   10   minutes   every   morning,   the   show   later   moved   to   evenings   when   ITV   Daytime ceased transmitting due to poor ratings. Sixpenny Corner ran until the summer of 1956. Emergency   Ward Ten   launched   in   1957;   It   was   the   first   UK   hospital   drama-serial   and   the   first   kind   of   long-running weekly   drama   by   ITV.   Ward   Ten   ran   for   a   decade   and   later   was   revived   by   ATV   Network,   for   independent television,   as   General   Hospital   from   1972   to   1979.   Hazel   had   submitted   some   storyline   ideas   to   the   producers   for the   1950s   medical   serial,   which   later   saw   her   play   a   bigger   role   in   the   show   when   it   made   the   move   from   small to big screen. Along   with   the   creator   of   the   TV   series,   Tessa   Diamond,   Adair   co-wrote   the   film   version   of   the   ATV   medical drama. The 1959 film was aptly titled; Life On Emergency Ward Ten. She   then   left   television   for   a   short   while   to   start   working   on   another   movie   in   1961;   Dentist   On   The   Job   was   a comedy   which   she   co-wrote   with   Bob   Monkhouse. Then   she   joined   forces   with   Peter   Ling   in   1961   for   the   BBC   soap Compact, the twice-weekly saga that ran until 1965 - Crossroads, it was claimed, helped killed it off! She devised Champion House, again with Peter Ling in 1967, this one-off series ran for 30 episodes. The   1970s   saw   British   comedy   films   fall   into   decline,   however,   it   didn't   stop   Hazel   trying   to   revive   it   with   the   bawdy,   Keep   It   Up   Downstairs.   The   film was   met   with   a   far   from   warm   reception.   Hazel   stayed   on   and   off   with   the   Crossroads   team   until   the   mid-1970s.   Ling   and   Adair   have   however continued to work together from time to time on various projects throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Series Creators