Janet Hargreaves dies aged 81
As the deluded Rosemary Hunter actress Janet Hargreaves became a soap icon, she appeared not long after the arrival of on-screen husband David (Ronald Allen) in 1971.
The couple returned to the UK following her affair while they ran a hotel overseas. The fling with one of their hotel staff saw the couple try to patch things up, but it wasn’t to be. Over the years Rosemary featured in the storylines she suffered a cancer scare, an accusation of shoplifting and several attempts at making her presence felt at the Crossroads Motel – including offering to buy shares to become closer to her estranged husband.
Her most bitchy moments came in the late 1970s when son Chris (Stephen Hoye) attempted to marry ‘common waitress’ Diane (Susan Hanson) in order to get hold of a legacy bestowed on him by his late maternal grandmother Stella Dane (Mary Barclay) which would only be granted to him upon marriage or reaching 30. In 1980 David decided to marry his latest love Barbara Brady (Sue Lloyd).
It tipped Rosemary over the edge and she shot him during the engagement party. Rosemary was sent to a psychiatric hospital to recover. Janet made many television and theatre roles across her career with other on-screen roles in Doctor Who, Follyfoot, Hetty Wainthropp Investigates and Doctors to name only a few. Janet died on Saturday, August 4th 2018, only a few days after Crossroads co-star and friend Carolyn Jones.
She was also great friends with Jean Bayless who played Cynthia Cunningham in the soap. Janet had lived in Wandsworth, London, for many years and continued to act, and teach acting, into her 80s. She was born in Surrey in 1937. (August 2018)
Carolyn Jones dies aged 77
Carolyn Jones joined Crossroads in the summer of 1977 when the series was pulling in up to 18 million viewers per episode. The show shot the actress into immediate stardom. Viewers stopped her in the street to give their views on the latest goings-on at the Crossroads Garage where her character, Sharon Metcalfe, worked.
It was the start of a seven-year run in Crossroads that saw the actress bring an earthy depth to the character that was rare in the series at the time due to the volume of episodes produced and the speed of the production turnaround.
Despite the soap format, Carolyn took Sharon to every emotion, making her one of the most popular characters in the series. In 2012 she also noted she could be more realistic, she felt, due to being set in the garage rather than the motel. She said ‘the garage is concrete floor acting, the motel is carpet acting.’ This suggests the garage scenes were more gritty, leaving the motel to its middle-class dilemmas.
During her time in Crossroads Carolyn saw Sharon suffer a sea of heartbreak at the hands of the opposite sex. First there was a brief encounter with Garage foreman Jim Baines (John Forgeham) who took comfort in Sharon’s arms when his wife became reclusive. Then garage boss Victor Lee (Victor Winding) wooed her only to be snatched away by another. His brother Eddie Lee (Roy Boyd) later gave more than sympathy to Sharon, but again it wasn’t to be.
There were others including police officer Ashley Lamont (Martyn Whitby). However, things became complicated when she found his dad, Reg (Reginald Marsh) also had an attraction to her. Another married interest was garage investor Oliver Banks (Kenneth Gilbert). While her love life was a running tragedy for Sharon her friendships were strong. She became close to Diane Hunter (Susan Hanson) when they flat shared.
Carolyn recalled ‘We’d play games with each other, hide things on set that wasn’t supposed to be there to see how the characters would react during a take’. She looked out for Benny Hawkins (Paul Henry), who had learning difficulties, and befriended Nina Paget (Nina Weill) the first Downs Syndrome actress/character in a soap opera.
The story made News at Ten and received much praise from Barnardo’s and the press. Following this ground breaking story Carolyn decided to move on from the Crossroads Garage and the storyline saw her become a special needs teacher.
Other television credits include LWT’s Within These Walls, BBC soaps Doctors and EastEnders and a recurring role over the past three years in BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. Carolyn was born in 1941 in Vancouver, Canada. She relocated to London when she was 17 working as a waitress between acting roles. It was while waitressing she first met friend (and later Crossroads co-star), Janet Hargreaves.
She spent much of her later years happily in Brentford, Middlesex. From 1969 to 1981 she was married to actor Jeremy Mason who played dubious teacher Richard Lord in Crossroads. Carolyn passed away on July 25th surrounded by loved ones. She had been ill for a short period with an undisclosed illness. ( July 2018)
Crossroads Caring for Carers take over ‘Pay Phone’
Crossroads Caring for Carers (also known as Crossroads Care) in Worcestershire have taken over a old red telephone box. After hearing the Malcolm Boyden show on local BBC Radio where news telephone kiosks were up for ‘adoption’ the care organisation decided to try and get hold of one for their charity promotions and advice services.
Crossroads Caring for Carers paid £1 for the former BT Kiosk. In what is believed to be a charity first Crossroads is the only UK caring organisation to own a red phone box. Speaking on the Malcolm Boyden show on BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester Helen Simmons of Crossroads Caring for Carers revealed the kiosk will be used for open days, promotional events and recruitment days.
The phone box will essentially become a charity information point for Caring for Carers. The phone kiosk is located at a cross-roads Old Malvern Road, Powick, Worcester. The Crossroads Worcestershire outlet also has in their office a Crossroads Motel display showcasing the history of the show through promotional material and photographs.
The patron for the outlet is actor Tony Adams who played Adam Chance in the saga. (June 2018)
Top of the Box with Channel 5
Channel 5 show Crossroads’ popularity with shows looking back to 1978 and 1985. The series sees Paul Henry look back at the world of ‘soap opera’ in the 1978 edition – a year where Crossroads was riding high in the TV ratings, while the 1985 programme looks at the changes to Crossroads in that year with stars Tony Adams and Jane Rossington.
The pair also fondly look at the Corrie and Crossroads homage Acorn Antiques. The late Victoria Wood was an honorary member of the fan club, and devised the ‘soap’ as a tribute to the ‘as live’ serials of the sixties and seventies.
The mid-80s show notes that in 1985 Crossroads had been on the air for ‘21 glorious years’ although Les Dennis found the show more of a sitcom than a drama. Les later popped up in Crossroads as a Doctor, but that was many years later.
In 1985 we learn Crossroads was the 10th most-watched programme of the year. Probably confirming that had Phillip Bowman remained with the show as producer Crossroads would still be with us today on ITV. (May 2018)
Jane Rossington special on BBC WM
Stalwart of Crossroads for over twenty years, actress Jane Rossington has recorded an hour-long programme where she got to pick some of her favourite music and talk about her life for the BBC WM radio series ‘The Other Side Of…’.
The programme invites famous names, associated with the West Midlands, to spend sixty minutes sharing memories and playing their favourite songs. Jane, who played the legendary Jill Richardson – later Harvey and Chance appeared in Crossroads from episode one in 1964 through to the final edition in 1988 – with little time off between.
She reprised the role of Jill in 2001 for the reborn Crossroads, however only appeared for three months in the short-lived revival which ended itself in 2002, before being relaunched one last time for five months in 2003. Jane has also appeared in fellow ATV saga Emergency Ward 10 as Nurse Kate Ford, and played a version of Jill in Brookside in 2000 where she referenced the infamous motel fire of 1981.
The Other Side of Jane Rossington airs from 12pm on Sunday 29th of April on BBC WM. Listeners in the West Midlands can tune into 95.6FM, DAB Digital Radio and the rest of the UK can tune in via the BBC Radio Player. (April 2018)
Crossroads Fan Club website update
The webpages here on crossroadsmotel.co.uk have had their first major update in more than a decade. Also across April and May, many pages which have been absent for a number of years will be restored and updated. Since starting the Crossroads website in the early ’00s much more information has come to light about aspects of the show, and therefore the pages needed a lot of work to bring updated facts and information to them.
We’re glad to say the research is complete and this process is now underway. (April 2018)
Crossroads features in drama Endeavour
The Inspector Morse Prequel saw Endeavour Morse visit the Crossroads Motel – complete with familiar signage and reception area – in the episode which aired on Sunday February 18th 2018 on ITV.
The edition also saw a Jill Richardson and Amy Turtle feature, although the latter was only seen and wasn’t – rarely for Amy – heard. (February 2018)
Jess Conrad to appear in Last Laugh in Vegas on ITV
The singer and actor – who appeared in Crossroads back in 1978 as Philip Bailey – is one of the stars signed up to appear in the series which sees big names of the 60s, 70s and 80s put together a show for Las Vegas audiences.
The series is set to air on British screens later in 2018. Others lined up to feature include Hi-De-Hi actress Su Pollard who coincidentally worked with Noele Gordon on Summer Royal for ATV back in 1980. (January 2018)
Radio presenter Ed Doolan dies aged 76
Friend of Noele Gordon, radio broadcaster Ed Doolan has passed away after suffering from vascular dementia since 2012. He was heard in Crossroads a couple of times as a radio announce – although never seen in the show. His station, for the West Midlands, BBC WM, have been paying tribute to their biggest name across the day, with a special programme airing this evening from 5pm. (January 16th)
Ed was born in Sydney, Australia in 1942, however, he didn’t start his broadcasting career until the 1970s when he joined the German World Service in Cologne. Prior to radio presenting he had worked first as a teacher, notably at the Highgate School in London in the sixties. After his radio début in 1970 he moved to the UK and joined Midlands commercial broadcaster BRMB (now Free Radio Midlands) at its launch in 1974.
It’s during these years that he became well known for playing quirky songs, including the Naughty Top 40, and luring in big names for interviews. Across his years with BRMB he also featured in Birmingham based ITV soap opera Crossroads on several occasions – however was never seen, simply appearing as himself on the radio providing Kings Oak with news updates.
He also lured Crossroads’ leading lady Noele Gordon onto ‘the wireless’ where they hosted a number of specials later suggesting she should present her own programming, which she went on to do. That was something that endeared him to listeners, he often saw the talent in others and helped where he felt he could, a professional who also was proud of the West Midlands and championed the region and its people.
In 1982 Ed himself was lured over to the Beeb where he would spend the rest of his broadcasting career with BBC WM. His tried and tested production mix of great music, novelty hits and star interviews carried on at the corporation, while he also added a social mix to his shows with phone-ins and taking up causes for his loyal listeners.
This later lead to a consumer affairs programme launching in its own right with Ed at the helm. He gave Turkey Awards to people or companies who had done wrong, playing the sound of turkeys gobbling. Conversely, there was the Dove Award for those worthy of love and praise. He was a daily fixture across the West Midlands until 2011 when he retired from his weekday slot, however, continued to host a weekend series for BBC WM.
In 2012 he informed listeners he had been diagnosed with vascular dementia, later featuring in an edition of BBC One’s Inside Out highlighting dementia.
The BBC earlier today announced they had been informed by his agent Paul Vaughan that Doolan had ‘died in his sleep at home in the early hours of Tuesday. His wife Christine was with him.’ (January 2018)
Crossroads footage ‘re-found’ for a second time
In 2007, Manager of CAS, Mike Garrett, noticed that clips used on two documentaries produced in the 1980s had much longer footage than the usual 30-second length of news clips in the ATV News ‘clips’ collection. As a consequence, whilst ITV staff Greg Taylor and James Feltham were assisting CAS to build it’s image galleries, in 2008 Mike requested Greg investigate within ITV’s Archive, for the location of film cans holding the full lengths of previously unused insert footage and provided Greg with a compilation of these longer clips for reference in the enquiry.
Greg Taylor informed us in 2008 that his enquiry found that the Crossroads film insert cans were in Central’s news film library, which had been moved to Leeds Archive from Nottingham. This was also verified by former Central TV staff who informed us that they had seen the titles of these Crossroads Insert cans in the Central News film library at the ATV Centre, Broad Street and later when the library was moved to the East Midlands archive at Nottingham after Broad Street closed.
Further, three previously lost episodes were found on ITC film stored at a Perivale vault upon Greg Taylor’s investigation. Both of these film archives were more recently consolidated into ITV’s Archive at Leeds. In 2015, Mike Garrett informed Chris Perry, who runs the archive preservation organisation Kaleidoscope (KAL), of the location of the Crossroads film inserts cans, that they had been confirmed by ITV staff to still be in the Central News film library at Leeds Archive.
This was in the hope that Big Centre TV, at the time run by KAL, could broadcast the inserts in addition to their 2015 replay of the Crossroads series. This didn’t materialise after Big Centre TV could no longer secure funding to continue broadcasting the soap. However, ITV staff located the insert cans from the Central News film library during its consolidation at Leeds Archive.
In 2016, KAL requested ITV’s Content Delivery service to digitise the content of 4 of the film insert cans into standard definition on digibeta and provided KAL with a DVD compilation for airing at their public events. These 4 cans alone contained multiple reels of film. Some of this footage was then shown to members of the public in 2017 by KAL for the first time since it was broadcast in the 1960s, including magnificent footage of the cast in Tunisia, Spain, various cast flying planes, Carlos in a fight in a warehouse and from storylines of the Motel bomb and Sandy visiting Paris.
ITV staff also located more than 30 further cans of multiple reels of film inserts, rushes and out-takes which were yet to be digitised. (March 2017)
Actor John Forgeham dies aged 75
Forgeham, known for his roles in Footballers Wives, The Italian Job and Crossroads, has died at the age of 75. The Sun notes John passed away on Friday afternoon after suffering internal bleeding following a fall on Wednesday.
The tabloid goes on to say John fell from his bed and broke his collarbone. He was later rushed to hospital however died from the internal injuries. John was born in Kidderminster, West Midlands, on the 14th of May 1941. Deciding on a career in performing arts he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he embarked on a two year RADA scholarship from 1962 to 1964.
He graduated with a Silver medal for Best Performance student. Other notable achievements including his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, founding the Globe Shakespeare Theatre in Sydney Australia, following a tour of the country with the RSC. Film roles included parts in 1969’s The Italian Job, Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall of 1973, 1977’s Star Wars and 1993’s The Young Americans.
Television roles saw John in many guest parts or small roles; these included programmes such as ABC TV’s The Avengers, BBC’s Z Cars, Thames Television’s The Sweeney and ATV’s Father Brown. His first major long-running role was in teatime soap opera Crossroads which aired four nights a week during the 1970s. John joined as motor mechanic Jim Baines in 1974, at first down on his luck before finding work and a home in the fictional village of Kings Oak.
Playing an unsympathetic Brummie, storylines included initially being homeless as he, and his family, squatted in David Hunter’s (Ronald Allen) cottage, the struggles of his wife Muriel (Anne Rutter) who, unknown to Jim, suffered from Agoraphobia. While his boss was sympathetic to her plight; this only lead to him believing they were having an affair. This, in turn, lead him into the arms of garage secretary Sharon Metcalfe (Carolyn Jones). A softer side of the character however was seen during scenes featuring his on-screen children.
Other storylines saw him suspected of attacking Vera Downend (Zeph Gladstone), the motel’s hairdresser and stealing the salon takings. Barman Bill Warren (David Valla) picked Jim out of a police identification parade, and for a time almost everyone at the Crossroads Motel believed that he was guilty. Fortunately, for Jim, the police picked up a burglar and found Vera’s cashbox in his digs.
Jim however never entirely forgave his motel co-workers and his so-called friends for deserting him. One of his final storylines saw the character win the jackpot on the pools and it seemed his life was on the up, however, the money brought its own problems. After all the publicity surrounding the presentation, Jim’s home was vandalised and he was inundated with begging letters.
Girlfriend Sharon seemed to be growing cooler, and there was more trouble for Jim after a very public clash with waitress Diane Parker (Susan Hanson) who sued him for slander after the row in the motel foyer. After departing the Crossroads Motel in 1978 other roles included parts in Granada Television’s Crown Court, BBC TV’s Juliet Bravo and Central Television’s Boon. There were more substantial roles in shows such as the BBC’s Final Run and Nice Work, Granada’s Prime Suspect and the Beeb’s Making Out.
It was however in drama Footballers Wives he would get his most memorable television role. Appearing in the Shed Production from 2002 to 2004 as businessman Frank Laslett, the character was part of many of the shows big, and over the top, plots. The flamboyant chairman of the fictional Earls Park Football Club was part of that rich wheeler-dealer self-made set.
While he glittered in his gold jewellery his mouth gave away his less than lucrative past and upbringing. The divorcee was a little lonely, and made the worst decision of his life when he married scheming, selfish, Tanya (Zoe Lucker) who ultimately saw his demise with a hard sex session and a Viagra induced heart attack.
Following his time with Footballers Wives John worked less on television, this followed a spell of ill health and other personal problems. He rarely appeared as himself on TV, however, took part in the ITV reality series Celebrity Fit Club in 2004. (March 2017)
Actress Liz Smith dies aged 95
Former Crossroads actress Liz Smith has died. The performer appeared in the Midland saga back in the early 1970s. A spokeswoman for the actress’s family released a statement today (26th December) confirming that she has passed away.
She had recently turned 95. Smith is best known in recent times for her role in BBC One comedy The Royle Family and is also fondly remembered by sitcom fans for her appearances in the first series of The Vicar of Dibley. The popular character actress also starred in 2point4 Children, Lark Rise to Candleford and Wallace and Gromit’s The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Born Betty Gleadle in 1921 in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, she took on Smith as a stage name. Early acting roles in the 1970s included parts in Emmerdale Farm, Crossroads, Crown Court and Within These Walls. Her first longer-term role was in I Didn’t Know You Cared. (December 2016)
TV Themes explored by composer Tony Hatch
Tony Hatch is to host a special programme looking at the world of the television theme for BBC Radio 2. Tony’s first telly tune was for ATV children’s series Tingha and Tucker entitled Over the rickety bridge. This lead to the Crossroads theme, also for ATV, being composed in 1964.
Other tunes swiftly followed including the BBC series Man Alive in 1965, action series The Champions for ITC, YTV’s rural serial Emmerdale Farm in 1972, Border Television’s game show ditty Mr & Mrs in 1972 and BBC mid-week sporting highlights show Sportsnight in 1973. Tony’s last major telly theme was for Grundy Productions’ soap Neighbours in 1985.
As well as top TV themes Tony is also well known as a pop composer devising and co-writing hits including Downtown, Joanna and Don’t Sleep In The Subway. Chart success saw Tony as a regular on ATV talent series New Faces in the 1970s, and you might have guessed he composed the theme tune ‘You’re a Star‘ sung for the show by Carl Wayne.
Over the hour on BBC Radio 2, he will treat listeners to a smattering of those familiar and unfamiliar notes. They will learn why hearing the opening theme to Newsnight always brings a smile to the face of composer George Fenton; why Paul McCartney was furious with Cilla Black when she mis- performed the signature tune to Cilla live; and how Morse Code has been used in more themes than just Inspector Morse.
Tony will also be quizzing listeners on their sporting theme knowledge. The programme airs on Radio 2 on November 1st at 10 pm. (November 2016)
Crossroads appears on Channel 5 shows
Crossroads has popped up on a couple of recent Channel 5 productions. The Most Shocking Moments of the 1980s saw Noele Gordon’s dismissal at number 19 in the top 50 moments that stunned the decade.
Colleague Anne Diamond and co-star Tony Adams recalled the events which saw the former West End actress’ departure from ATV in 1981. (August 2016)
Noele was back in on Channel 5 screens in When Celebrities Go Pop. The programme looked at the cross-over of personality to ‘pop star’. Noele, of course, had been a successful musical performer on the stage in the 1930s and 40s, however, turned to releasing vinyl recordings several times during her career. In 1981 she was lured into releasing ‘After All These Years’ and ‘Goodbye’ to mark her departure from Crossroads.
The programme looked at her farewell ‘pop moment’. (December 2016)
Made Television to take over West Midland broadcaster Big Centre TV
Big Centre TV, based in Walsall, is the UK’s largest Local TV broadcaster outside of London. Launching in February 2015 it originally took the air with a mix of ambitious regional content and a selection of archive programming from ATV, notably Midland soap opera Crossroads and a ‘best of’ Tiswas the 1970s children’s Saturday morning magazine show.
However in recent months, the channel has relied on cheap American imports to form part of the daily schedule; airing 1950s and 60s sitcoms including The Lucy Show, with Lucy Ball, in the afternoons and the morning news programme cut down and partly replaced with The Beverly Hillbillies.
Made Television, who operate several Local TV stations, including Made in Tyne and Wear and Made in Cardiff, will re-launch Big Centre TV as ‘Made in Birmingham’. Made in Birmingham will span the West Midlands region, including major UK cities, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry and Stoke.
The TV station will add more than 3.2 million potential viewers to the network’s reach, and increase its overall universe in the UK to 15.5 million viewers.
Despite the trumpeted success the ‘city stations’ have gained a fair amount of criticism, with Big Centre TV coming in for critical comment mainly noting cheap-looking production values, even poorer programme content and technical issues such as low sound and low lighting. These issues have dogged the ‘local’ channel since launch.
BCTV underwent an image revamp earlier in 2016 to improve the look of the station, which gave it a slightly more professional feel. (October 2016)
Former Crossroads and The Archers Producer William Smethurst dies
The man credited with saving The Archers from the axe but who took Crossroads to its final check-out, William Smethurst, has died aged 71. The radio and television producer best known for overseeing BBC Radio 4 serial The Archers from 1978 to 1986 and Central Television soap Crossroads from 1986 to 1988 died on July 22nd.
Smethurst was hailed in the press as the man who saved the radio saga from the Beeb’s swinging axe in the late 1970s and is still fondly remembered by listeners of the production for his mix of keeping the plots true to the ethics of village and country life while injecting drama and humour.
The Archers is set in the fictional midland village of Ambridge and during Williams reign was produced at the now-demolished BBC Pebble Mill studios in Edgbaston. His era in charge is looked upon as a ‘golden time’ for the show with ratings and critical praise at a peak for the programme. A few miles down the road in Birmingham city centre bosses at Central Television were looking for a new producer back in 1984 and offered Smethurst the top job – he first refused.
The position was filled by Australian Phillip Bowman who took soap opera Crossroads, which had first aired in 1964, to new ratings success and viewer appreciation. But top bosses Ted Childs and the late Andy Allen were less impressed with the slick upmarket new Crossroads and asked William to reconsider in 1986, this time he accepted. His changes saw ratings free-fall as a change of theme tune, titles and format saw viewers desert the one-time top rating saga in their millions.
Plans to rename Crossroads as Kings Oak – after the fictional village setting – were aborted when Central Television pulled the show in April 1988. Smethurst, however, remained with the company, overseeing other more successful programming including drama Boon starring Michael Elphick, David Daker, and Neil Morrissey.
He also devised and produced at the Central Birmingham studios space-based soap Jupiter Moon, which was part of the early BSB schedules. Posting on The Archers BBC page, Graham Seed, who featured in both The Archers and Crossroads, paid tribute to his former boss:
“I not only played Nigel Pargetter for William [in The Archers] but also Charlie Mycroft in Crossroads. I owe him so much. He understood the inherent comedy of village life and gave me a fabulous break. Nigel was his creation and what a privilege it was to work with him. He was a brilliant special man.” (July 2016)
Victoria Wood dies aged 62
Comedy icon Victoria Wood, who was an honorary member of the Crossroads Fan Club, has died aged 62 after succumbing to cancer. Wood, who shot to fame on ATV’s New Faces talent show in 1974, became a member of the Crossroads Appreciation Society following her soap opera spoof Acorn Antiques bringing the world of the worst of Crossroads – and other shows we may add – to screens.
Victoria always said her ‘send-up’ of Crossroads was an affectionate rib at the hazards of live television serial and no malice was intended. She however occasionally threw in the fact she was a member of the fan club into her live stage act, especially if she knew other members of the society were in the audience.
Born on the 19th of May 1953 in Prestwich, Lancashire, she auditioned for the Derek Hobson fronted talent show while studying at Birmingham University. The series, produced by ATV in Birmingham for commercial television saw Wood win the 1974 series with a performance of witty jokes and musical comedy routines.
A summer variety series followed on ATV with fellow New Faces personalities, however, it was a switch to the BBC that gave Victoria her first major long-running television exposure. In 1976 she joined the Esther Rantzen fronted mash-up that was consumer investigations meets entertainment series That’s Life! providing a weekly musical comedy reflection on current topics of the time.
Across the late 1970s, there were several other ventures in live theatre and television including 1978’s Talent which had proved a success on the stage – with Wood bestowed a gong for Most Promising New Writer. It was adapted for television by Granada in Manchester and saw Wood team up with long-established pal Julie Walters. It was, however, material from the 1980s and 1990s that Wood, and indeed Walters, would be best remembered for.
In 1984 Wood left Granada Television for the BBC, who promised her more creative control over her programming. This lead to the launch of sketch series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV. The show launched a host of well-loved and remembered characters, with Acorn Antiques becoming possibly the best known.
A mixture of the bizarre storylines from Crossroads with iffy production values of serials of the 1960s and 70s, it became a huge hit. Especially with fans of Crossroads, Victoria later would become an honorary member of the Crossroads Appreciation Society.
As Seen On TV ran for two series and a one-off special. The show won a number of BAFTA Awards and, in 1996, it was awarded all-time Favourite Comedy Series by the BBC. In 1988 the ITV network celebrated her comedy talent with the prestigious An Audience With Victoria Wood produced by London Weekend Television. The show later won a BAFTA.
The statement released announcing the writer, actress and comedian’s death noted the 62-year-old had died from Cancer, stating it had been a short ‘brave’ battle against the disease. Wood married magician Geoffrey Durham in March 1980. They separated in October 2002. They have two children, Grace (1988) and Henry (1992). (April 2016)
Sherrie Hewson to step into Grace Brothers Department Store for Are You Being Served? Reboot
They may have “all done very well” in the 1970s and 80s but now the Beeb is hoping for a new hit with a return to the department store sitcom Are You Being Served? The show ran from 1972 until 1985 with a spin-off series, Grace and Favour, running for two seasons in the 1990s following the closure of the Grace Brothers Department Store leaving some of the staff to run a country hotel.
The comedy devised by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft is to air on BBC One later this year as a ‘one-off’ special. Not learning from the dismal Dad’s Army film remake, the Beeb are to reinvent some of the nation’s all-time favourite sitcom characters, including Mrs Slocombe, Captain Peacock and Mr Humphries with a new cast in the roles.
Set in 1988, two years after the original series came to an end, the programme will see former Crossroads actress Sherrie Hewson in the role of Mrs Slocombe. The part was originally performed by the late great one time Coronation Street actress Mollie Sugden. (February 2016)
Terry Wogan Dies
BBC Radio 2’s Terry Wogan has died aged 77. Terry often spoke of Crossroads on his top-rating breakfast show in the 1970s and 80s including branding JoAnne Good’s character of Carol Sands as ‘The UK’s poison dwarf’ in reference to Dallas’ Lucy Ewing.
Other topics of conversation included Doris Luke’s hats and the depressing nature of ‘Benny’s Theme’ by Simon May. (January 2016)
Paul Henry Marks ATV’s 60th Anniversary
Paul Henry, the motel’s popular handyman Benny Hawkins, has appeared on the Lorraine Kelly breakfast programme as part of commercial television in the UK’s 60th Anniversary Celebrations, It was September 1955 when ATV London and London Rediffusion Television went to air as the first weekend and weekday ITV regional companies. (September 2015)
Vanessa Feltz proves she’s a Crossroads super-fan
On BBC One’s The TV That Made Me, hosted by comedian Brian Connolly, Vanessa Feltz proved she really is a Crossroads know- all. The TV and radio presenter amazed Brian with the knowledge of the long-running saga. (September 2015)