JoAnne Good has had a varied career, including in recent times a radio and television presenter and was a regular ‘dog expert’ on ITV’s The Alan Titchmarsh Show.
However her ‘big’ acting break came on Midland institution.. yes, of course, Crossroads.
How did you get the part of Carol Sands – had you done much television before?
I’d done lots of light entertainment for the BBC and I had wanted to appear in it for ages so I wrote twice a week every week for about 6 months and so when the audition came there was a huge, huge file on me and the producer was someone called Jack Barton and he said “I can’t believe you’ve applied to us! Everyone else leaving drama school wants to join the RSC and you want to join Crossroads!”And he said, “We’re looking for a car mechanic and it’s to be quite a butch part” and then they thought it might be quite funny if they had someone very small playing the part so I think probably because of my enthusiasm that’s why I got it!
So you were a bit of a fan of the programme before?
What was it like for a young actress coming into a well-established series and working alongside people like Ronald Allen and Sue Lloyd?
Well, Ronnie and Sue almost adopted me really because all my storylines were with them because I started off by playing their housekeeper and they used to cook for me on a Monday night, they were very parental. So it was lovely it wasn’t intimidating at all, not at all. It was literally like one big family.
Carol Sands was a very rebellious young lady – she regularly gave David and Barbara the benefit of her political opinions when she was their housekeeper and ended up blazing a trail for women’s lib by becoming a trainee mechanic at the garage. What did you think of the character and were you like her at all?
No, I’m not at all like her! I’m quite sexist really, I trail my feminine foibles or I certainly did at that age. I don’t know, I remember I kept saying “How political do you want?” and I used to wear badges with “Save the Whale” and all that written on it and that was quite interesting and maybe if I’d been older I would have used it more as a political statement but at the time I enjoyed very much the more indulgent storylines, the intrigue between characters and the affairs and all that sort of thing, that’s what I loved.
What was the atmosphere like on set? Was it very serious or were you able to have a bit of fun?
It was very nerve-wracking actually because it wasn’t live but there were very few editing facilities so it was quite scary to be quite honest and on Friday nights we all wanted to get the last train back and wanted to get back down to London and the last train from New Street was at 8.40 so if you were in that last episode that was recorded on Friday everyone was saying “please don’t dry, please don’t dry” because we want to be on that train so that was even more nerve-wracking.
But all the camera crew were like family in fact lots of the actors married camera crew and they were all filming Tiswas and we used to go and sit in on Tiswas, ATV and later Central Television was like one big family.
It’s often been said that some people blurred fiction with reality and believed that the Crossroads Motel was real. Did you ever come across people who believed that you really were Carol Sands from the Crossroads Garage?
Yes, they do, people used to call me that, they used to call me by that name (Carol Sands) and they still do, it’s strange to think back on it but it is confusing.
But we all do that don’t we with soaps, we all tend to call people in Coronation Street by their character names.
In the series, your character had an affair with Glenda’s husband, Kevin Banks. Is it true that you and David Moran became an item in real life?
Yes, we lived together for two years and he and I bought our first flat together in Dulwich actually – so on-screen and off-screen we had the same storyline!
What reactions did you get from the public to the various storylines you were involved in?
David Moran was hit in Boots for having an affair with me when he was married to Glenda and I remember him coming back and telling me about that. But I think because people used to think Glenda was a bit boring they used to feel “oh go on Carol, go for it! “I remember we went to Crete and there was a train delay and we were stuck in departures with loads of viewers in the departure lounge for ages and they all were totally obsessed with the storyline and for about two hours David and I were sat there answering questions.
And did they believe it?
They half believed it! When they saw that we were actually having an affair, because also Ronnie and Sue were having an affair so it was like you all lived your storylines, I don’t know whether you’d begin to believe in your own publicity yourself!
Have you managed to see any of the new series of Crossroads? How do you think it compares?
I don’t watch it because I’m so jealous that I’m not in it! I’d love to be in it and that’s why I don’t watch it. You know, the whole thing about our Crossroads was it was so shoddy it was cult viewing and this one I think tries to be a bit more sophisticated and I am very bitter that I’m not in it!
So you were sorry when you were written out of the original?
Oh God yes! It was like the best job I’ve ever had in my life. You know, my friends were in it, it was home really it was like being kicked out of your family and you always believe you’ll be asked back. And I think probably the problem with me is that I ended up having an affair with someone in it and I don’t think they liked that, I think they felt that you should keep the two things separate. So that was probably my downfall!
What have you been doing since you left Crossroads?
I still do bits of telly but I do loads of radio now, I have my own radio show now on the BBC which is nice so I do the Breakfast Show for Brighton on the BBC and I do local television for BBC South but it’s mainly more newsy stuff now I don’t act very much at all really.
I do a pantomime about once a year and that’s as far as the acting goes really.
Are you still in touch with any of the other members of the cast?
I’m still in touch with Glenda (Lynette McMorrough), and I’m in touch with Ange who played Iris and who Lynette is also very much in touch with, and Ian who played Lynette’s brother (Ron Brownlow) I still see him. Many of them have died you see, Pam Vezey was a great mate. I speak to David from time to time ‘cos he’s living in Ramsgate. Tony Adams I see loads of because he lives down here.
What would you say were your fondest memories of Crossroads?
I loved every bit of it! One of my best memories was Tony Adams saying “Let’s go and see the poor people shopping in the Bull Ring” in his Rolls Royce! And he played “Chariots of Fire” and it was like everyone was in slow motion and we were just watching them. And then, blow me down, 6 months later Tony Adams and I were the poor people in the Bull Ring because we’d both been written out!
Interview conducted by Daniel Landsberger for the Crossroads Fan Club, 2002.