Cindy Marshall-Day played the troubled Tracey Booth for its almost three-year revival in the 2000s. On May 3rd 2006 the glamorous performer took time out of her busy schedule to pop into a hotel near her home to chat with some select fans from the Crossroads Fan Club, of which she had accepted a role of Patron for the CAS online presence.
Here you can see some of the results of a questions and answers session. To make the conversation flow better in text-form the questions have been rearranged into a more organised style, rather then the order they were asked at the event.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you got the role of Tracey Booth in Crossroads 2001-2003?
My agent submitted me for the part of Tracey. I was in LA when I found out that they were interested in me for the role on Crossroads. I flew back and did the audition the next day. It took ten days for them to let me know I’d got the part, I was a wreck!
Did you enjoy your time on Crossroads?
Oh yeah! I loved it! The first scene I had to record was with Jane Rossington, I was so nervous! But she was great to work with.
At the very beginning, Tracey was really stupid. She was even calling people by their wrong name, like Minty, she was calling him Monty. She was so brain dead, then suddenly about three weeks later she suddenly became really brainy! And then later on (laughs) she became an alcoholic, one day she wasn’t the next day she was. But mine went on forever, my addiction.
You said you loved working on Crossroads, which version did you enjoy best?
Oh, the second one [2001-02], the third one was ..! (shrugs) Mark two was getting three and a half million viewers. Why change it?
Did you feel that in the 2003 series they’d watered your character down a lot?
Yeah, they had, because I wasn’t in the “royal family” anymore!
It did seem that the strong Russell/Booth family seemed to be sidelined in the later episodes?
Yeah they did, they weren’t as close as they had been. But they were no longer the main family.
Tracey was like a new version of “Jill Chance” suffering all the problems life threw at her such as alcoholism, did you see similarities?
Yes, Tracey was very like the original series Jill, she was very close to her family and all that stuff too. Kate etc..
Did you enjoy Tracey’s humorous moments, like singing on the bar drunk?
Oh my goodness, that stuff on the bar! That was horrendous! I can’t sing!
Did you know the 2002 series was coming to an end before it went off the air for four months?
No, no, no, no. God no. Everyone thought they were all coming back. We all just thought we were going on a break.
Its believed by some fans that the third series was internally sabotaged by Carlton and Granada bosses at that time to simply close Central Television’s Nottingham studios, were the cast and crew aware of any of that?
I don’t think Yvon knew about any of that. We were not told of any reasons.
Did you like the series three producer, Yvon Grace?
Oh yeah, she’s a really nice lady.
Was there anyone you didn’t get on with?
There wasn’t anyone I didn’t get on with. Sherrie is great, Colin is great, Jane Gurnett was like my best friend, all the cast were fine to work with. Joanne Farrell was really nice, Lucy Paragetter and Jane Rossington too.
When in 2002 Carlton, decided to change the show into a new style, did they warn you about the planned revamp?
They did, they took us out for tea. Yvon Grace took us out for tea, to the Ritz or some sort of hotel like that. And she said that Jane Asher was coming in.
Was that all the series two cast?
No, no. Sherrie Hewson and Jane Gurnett had their own private meeting. Rebecca Hazelwood had her own private meeting with Yvon. So it was Jim Dunk, me, Lucy Paragetter and Roger Sloman. Only four of us, and only six from the original 26 cast. Colin Wells and Gilly Gilchrist were fired. I thought that I would be coming back though before the meeting took place as Tracey was quite popular, although so was Phil Berry [Neil Grainger] but he didn’t come back.
Do you know why they were sacked?
I think they had to choose between Tracey or Jake [Colin] to stay, I don’t think they were allowed to keep both, as the new main family were to be the Samsons rather than the Russells.
One of Tracey’s last big stories in Crossroads was her affair with Dave Stocks. What did you think of that?
Yvon took me to one side, she said to me “I’ve got this fantastic idea, you’re going to love it. You’re going to have an affair with Dave.” And I said “Who’s Dave!” (laughs) And it ended up being Jim Dunk and I went “Aaaah” There wasn’t a lot I could do, I couldn’t turn around and say “God Dave is revolting!”
So not one of your favourite storylines?
It was so unbelievable, wasn’t it? But Dave was good with Scott, he helped Scott with all his homework.
What scenes did you enjoy doing?
I loved the scenes with Vince the chef, I like Vince, I thought he was really funny. He was so mean to Tracey, and she clawed back. He was jealous because Tracey is so beautiful. (laughs)
Did you enjoy filming the more harrowing stuff, such as Tracey attempting suicide on the cliff top?
It was quite good at the time, as I didn’t need an hour and a quarter in make-up! (laughs) I don’t care I’ll record scenes without make-up!
And then Tracey became Bar Manager in 2003, did Yvon know she was a recovering alcoholic?
Well, who gave me that job? Wasn’t it Angel? It wouldn’t have been Kate! Kate would have realised it was too dodgy to give her that job.
Were there a lot of bloopers and mess-ups?
Oh yeah! All the time! We were all under a lot of stress and strain.
How did you feel about the role of Scott, your screen son being replaced with a new actor?
Well, Matthew Maude was alright, but my little Scott, Kieran Hardcastle was brilliant. We used to have an absolute laugh, we used to tease each other, we got on brilliantly, we had such a laugh we used to bicker! Then he was replaced with the older actor, he’d aged so much. He looked like he was 24, he went from being a little school kid..!
Who was the worst for forgetting their lines?
Jane Rossington and I used to write all our lines down in the salon! They were in the appointment book!
Have you kept any scripts?
Not many, I used to burn them. I kept the last few scripts, which were never filmed.
Which characters did you like the most?
Jill and Adam, I loved those two. Jake was a great character as well.
What have you been up to since Crossroads ended?
Well, I did lots of theatre and panto and stuff like that. Then I bought a house in Scunthorpe and it’s taken me a year and a half to do it up because it’s a really big house. And I’m busy looking after my horses and stuff.
Crossroads ended as a dream, with all the staff working in a supermarket rather than a hotel. What did you think about that?
Well, that’s the reason I think Yvon is a really nice person, as she let Princess [Cindy’s dog] appear in the final episode. I had been asking her to write Princess in, and she on the last one let her on it. Although filming was a nightmare, as the supermarket we filmed in was very strict, they wouldn’t let her on the floor!
With your husband Tony being a producer – was he critical of your portrayal of Tracey, did he watch it?
He used to always watch it, I used to get cross with him. I used to say there are other things to do in the house! He was never critical, not at all.
Were you a fan of the original series?
Oh yes, I loved the original Crossroads! And I used to think Adam Chance was really handsome!
You had worked for Central Television before on a couple of shows but notably on the game show, The Price Is Right, at the same time the original Crossroads was being made, did you ever see the original show in production?
No, because by the time I worked on The Price Is Right it was being made at Lenton Lane studios [Nottingham]. Crossroads was still at Broad Street [Birmingham]. Only mark two and mark three were made at Lenton Lane, I think.
What was it like working on The Price Is Right? Oh that was really good fun! We used to get drunk every night!
You’ve also done some presenting recently for satellite television. Did you enjoy that?
Yeah, it was ok, you actually saw my house on that. I think they’ve pulled the plug on that show now though, the channel’s gone bust! Typical, everything I touch goes bust! (laughs)
In true Crossroads style!
Do you have any plans for the future?
I don’t want to do anymore theatre, not at the moment anyway, I’ve done so much of that.
Would you do a musical?
Oh, I don’t know, I’m rubbish at dancing!
Finally, would you ever come back as Tracey Booth should Crossroads ever return?
Oh, of course, I would, but I don’t think it’ll ever come back – sadly.
Interview conducted by Michael Cooke and Mike Garrett along with members of the Crossroads Fan Club, 2006.