About the Show Here we look at the Crossroads story overall, we have more detailed features on each era of Crossroads in our ‘ Decades ’ section. Crossroads   was   launched   by   one   of   Independent   Television’s   biggest   programme   producers   and   broadcasters, ATV   Network.   The   company,   which   began transmitting   in   1955,   is   today   mainly   remembered   for   its   populist   output   however   it   also   offered   a   wide   range   of   high   quality   factual,   drama   and entertainment programming to the schedules. ATV   also   wasn't   ashamed   to   produce   cheaper,   but   popular,   series   too.   So   when   it   was   mooted   that   they   should   make Britain's first daily half-hour serial company boss Lew Grade agreed. Crossroads   was   the   first   to   be   tagged   with   the   name   'soap'   in   the   UK,   with   all   the   negative   connotations   that   come   with it. The rest were called continuous drama serials and aired only two episodes a week. While   the   BBC   and   Granada   said   it   couldn't   be   done,   ATV   set   out   to   put   on   air   a   'soap'   in   a   format   that   had   never   been tried   in   the   UK.   It   would   be   based   on   the   daily   soaps   of America   -   a   country   which ATV   was   close   to,   having   worked   in   co- operation with a number USA broadcasters. The   idea   for   Crossroads   came   about   in   1959,   however,   its   beginnings   started   back   in   1954   when   ATV   sent   two   of   their production managers to America to study television formats. Noele   Gordon   spent   a   year   studying   broadcasting   at   New   York   University,   and   also   had   a   spell   as   an   announcer   on   a   local   syndicate   station,   while   Reg Watson spent time with the American Broadcasting Company making notes on the techniques and formats American broadcasters worked with. One   format   that   he   noted   as   being   particularly   popular   with   daytime   audiences   was   the   daily   soap   operas,   which   aired   for   an   hour.   Just   like   many dramas in the UK of the time they aired live with no retakes. When   Independent Television   launched   in   1955,   both   Noele   and   Reg   were   on   the   management   of ATV   in   London,   however,   nothing   would   be   done   about 'soap   opera'   until   nine   years   later.   Noele   moved   in   front   of   the   camera,   having   been   a   West   End   theatre   star,   to   present   several   programmes   including pioneering daily magazine series Lunch Box. Produced   by   Reg   Watson   over   time   the   show   began   to   produce   a   weekly   outside   broadcast.   In   1959   when   an   expected   audience   attendance   of   3,000 turned into 27,000 at Nottingham Forest Football Ground Lew Grade wanted more. Reg   told   Lew   that   a   daily   outside   broadcast   of   Lunch   Box   would   be   technically   impossible   with ATV   Midlands'   limited   resources,   however,   the   fans   were turning up to see Noele, and he had an idea that could utilise her popularity - as the matriarch of a potentially national soap opera.
Show History: 1964-2003
Nothing   more   was   said   about   the   soap   opera   until   1964   when   Birmingham   Mail   reporter   Ivor   Jay   submitted   a   script   detailing   the   plot   of   a   drama   series that   was   set   in   an   urban   Birmingham   boarding   house,   which   was   to   be   run   by   two   sisters.   ATV   was   looking   to   expand   their   serial   production;   They already had hospital drama Emergency Ward 10 airing two episodes a week from ATV in London, but the Midlands was lacking its own regular drama. Lew   Grade   called   in   Reg   Watson,   who   had   some   basic   experience   in   serial   from   a   short   while   spent   at The Archers   radio   serial,   and   screenwriters   Hazel Adair and Peter Ling who were at that time writing BBC twice weekly office based saga Compact. The   B&B   idea   didn't   appeal   to   Hazel   and   Peter,   they   suggested   to   Lew   that   they   would   happily   work   for ATV,   but   with   their   own   idea.   They   were   given two days to come up with something else. Taking   Ivor's   basic   idea,   they   transformed   it   into   a   near   Birmingham   story   of   a   middle-class   village   with   the   focal   point   on   one   family   in   two   key locations: a shop and a motel, one in the village centre, the other standing at a crossroad on the outskirts. It was called The Midland Road. Lew   liked   the   idea,   it   particularly   appealed   as   it   would   be   entirely   different   from   Coronation   Street   with   a   middle-class   backdrop,   but   a   range   of characters   from   all   levels   of   society.   Lunch   Box   would   be   axed   to   make   way   for   the   series,   and   Noele   Gordon   would,   as   Reg   had   suggested,   take   on   the leading role. "The   whole   idea   of   the   serial   was   to   provide   the   Midlands   viewers   with   a   story   set   in   the   Midlands   itself.   There   was   also   the   chance   of   getting the   serial   taken   up   by   other   Independent   Television   companies,   so   this   meant   a   wonderful   opportunity   to   project   the   Midlands   image   to   the   rest of   Britain.   Coronation   Street   was   covering   Lancashire   and   the   North,   and   I   suppose   you   could   say   that   the   twice-weekly   hospital   series Emergency Ward Ten had done the same for the South. "But   Coronation   Street   centred   on   smoking   chimneys,   cloth   caps   and   terrace   houses.      There   was   no   real   cross-section   of   everyday   life   and certainly,   no   one   had   yet   tried   to   cater   for   Midlanders.   The   first   problem   was   to   decide   just   who   the   Midlanders   really   were,   for   our   viewing area   covered   Swindon,   Stoke   and   the   Black   Country.   We   also   extended   south   to   Oxford   and   covered   the   borders   of   Anglia,   as   well   as   part   of Yorkshire   and   Lancashire.   So   although   Crossroads   was   to   be   for   Midlanders,   it   couldn't   just   appeal   to   Birmingham   viewers   alone,   it   had   to   have   a much broader basis." - Noele Gordon. Lew   had   remembered   Reg's   'daily   serial'   idea   and   commissioned ATV   Midlands   to   produce   five   episodes   a   week   across   a   trial   six-week   run.   The   Midland Road   name   was   also   deemed   unsuitable,   with   Reg   eventually   coming   up   with   Crossroads,   which   the   motel   would   also   be   named.   Due   to   the   technical limitations of the time, the idea to name it after the fictional village in which it was set was not an option. After   a   few   weeks   of   promotional   trailers   airing   the   first   episode   was   finally   scheduled   for   broadcast.   It   was   November   2nd   1964   when   the   ATV Midlands   viewers   got   their   first   25-minute   instalment   of   Crossroads   at   6.30pm.   The   week   before   a   press   screening   had   been   held   at   the   West   End Cinema   in   Birmingham   City   Centre,   the   initial   reviews   were   all   positive. The   press   also   gathered   at ATV   Midlands'   HQ,   Rutland   House,   for   a   photocall   in the   same   week   which   introduced   us   to   the   eight   key   actors;   Noele   Gordon   as   Meg   Richardson,   Beryl   Johnstone   as   Kitty   Jarvis,   Roger   Tonge   as   Sandy Richardson,   Jane   Rossington   as   Jill   Richardson,   Brian   Kent   as   Dick   Jarvis,   David   Fennell   as   Brian   Jarvis,   Tony   Morton   as   Carlos   Raphael   and   Malcolm Young as Philip Winter.
Viewers   learned   that   motels   were   relatively   new   in   the   United   Kingdom,   although   they   had   been   around   for   many   years   in   the   USA:   Yes   that   first phone call which opened the series was Jill explaining what a motel was! We   meet   recently   widowed   Meg   Richardson,   who   we   find   out   opened   Crossroads   in   the   grounds   of   her   Georgian   house,   the   home   she   had   shared   with Charles,   her   first   husband   and   father   to   daughter   Jill   and   son   Sandy.   Meg   decided   to   build   the   motel   out   of   the   compensation   money   she   was   awarded due   to   a   motorway   being   built   through   some   of   her   grounds.   The   then   only   18   chalets   cost   just   under   £3   per   night   in   1964.   The   motel   boasted   a swimming   pool;   restaurant   and   bar,   all   open   to   the   general   public   as   well   as   motel   guests.   It   was   set   near   the   fictional   village   of   Kings   Oak   in Warwickshire. The   ATV   Midland   studios   were,   unlike   Manchester's   Granada,   not   purpose   built.   The   Birmingham   base,   on   the   outskirts   of   Aston   Cross,   was   an   old cinema - complete with leaking roof. The Alpha Television Centre was notoriously underfunded and in the early years understaffed. ATV's   focus   was   London   and   their   lavish   Elstree   studios.   The   Midlands   was   somewhat   low   on   the   priorities.   The   television   regulator   on   several occasions   complained   to   the   management   about   the   quality   of   the   studios,   with   little   improvements   made.   In   the   end,   when   the   ITA   (later   IBA) broadcast   licences   came   up   for   renewal   the   regulatory   body   made   it   a   legal   requirement   that   the   Midlands   region   would   have   its   own   purpose-built production and broadcast facilities. Due   to   lack   of   space,   and   by   the   very   fact   the   series   was   only   to   run   six   weeks,   early   sets   were   designed   by   the   entertainment   crew,   and   took   the form of less sturdy theatre flats. While   it   may   have   been   fine   on   Lunch   Box,   critics   soon   noticed   the   motel   was   not   as   sturdy   as   it   could   be.   Crossroads   was   extended   to   a   3-month   run after only a week on air thanks to the instant high ratings in the regions it aired. After   five   months   on   air,   drama   set   experts   from   ATV   Elstree   were   commissioned   to   sturdy   up   the   motel   and   new   main   sets   were   introduced   -   which didn't wobble any worse than those in Coronation Street or Emergency Ward 10. Despite   this,   the   'wobbly   reputation'   of   those   initial   sets   would   haunt   the   show   for   all   of   its   run.   Actors   from   the   show   disputed   that   even   the   early sets   were   as   bad   as   some   made   out.   Sue   Nicholls,   who   played   waitress   Marilyn   Gates,   said   she   never   saw   any   sets   move   in   the   years   she   was   at   the Alpha Studios. "In   fact,   people   who   suggest   Crossroads'   sets   were   the   worst   on   television   seem   to   talk   as   if   ATV   only   ever   made   the   one   programme,   the   fact the   same   set   designers   worked   on   many   other   ATV   programmes,   along   with   the   studio   hands   and   scenery   builders   suggests   that   Crossroads   sets were actually of a standard of all the ATV and ITC productions." -  Doug Lambert, Crossroads Fan Club spokesman. In   1965   one   critic   said   " Crossroads   is   the   television   success   of   the   year"   and   reviews   remained   mixed.   What   wasn't   doubted   was   its   popularity   with viewers.   Despite   not   all   regions   showing   it   - Tyne Tees   tried   it   in   early   1965   but   dropped   it   after   three   months   -   and   Granada   refused   to   show   it   at   all   - the show was managing a respectable eight million viewers per episode, this increased to eleven million by the end of the decade. In   1966   it   was   voted   ITV   programme   of   the   year   by   TV   Times   readers;   but   the   television   regulator   wasn't   so   impressed,   nor   was   ATV   programme controller   Bill   Ward.   The   factory-style   pace   of   the   series   at   times   left   the   script   to   be   desired   and   new   actors   on   occasion   became   lost   in   the   fast turnaround of the schedule making performances stilted. "The   1960s   press   would   have   people   believe   this   was   a   daily   occurrence,   but   it   wasn't.   There   were   some   good   episode   and   some   bad   episodes. There were some quickly rushed out scripts and some very well horned scripts. "It   also   is   untrue   to   say   the   programme   was   studio   based,   certainly   in   the   1960s   the   series   had   a   lot   of   OB   recordings   on   location,   in   fact   as early   as   episode   one   there   were   some   outdoor   sequences.   Production   notes   survive   from   1965   showing   scenes   being   recorded   to   videotape   on location.   Film   footage   survives   from   across   the   decade   showing   Crossroads   in   various   places   too."   -   Crossroads   Fan   Club   spokesman   Doug Lambert. The   bad   press,   written   by   people   who   didn't   often   even   watch   Crossroads,   was   too   much   for   Bill   Ward;   he   wanted   to   axe   the   series   outright   -   but   was overruled by Lew Grade who noted the high esteem the show was held by viewers and the respectable ratings. Instead,   the   show   was   moved   to   4.30pm   to   trial   out   some   new   serials,   which   ultimately   if   successful   would   have   replaced   Crossroads.   None,   however, were   a   hit   with   the   audience   and   all   disappeared   very   quickly.   After   much   protesting   by   fans,   and   indeed   Noele   Gordon,   Crossroads   was   returned   to teatime viewing. The regulator wasn't so easy to please, and despite pleas, they ordered the show to air only four times a week. In   1969   the   production   moved   into   central   Birmingham   at   the   television   regulator   enforced   new   midland   studios   on   Broad   Street, ATV   Centre.   It   gave the show a chance to expand the sets once more and also bring the programme into colour production.
Information Point: ITA     and     IBA     were     the regulator                  which Independent       Television broadcast on. ITC       was       the       sister company of ATV.
From   1972   onwards   Crossroads   always   out-performed   the   slot   it   aired   in.   The   series   was   from   this   point   on   never   out   of   ITV’s   Top   20   and   rarely   out   of the   network’s   top   ten.   The   feat   all   the   more   amazing   as   the   show   was   never   truly   ‘networked’   with   the   soap   airing   at   different   times   and   days   across the UK. As the Daily Mirror reported on Thursday, October 5th, 1972: “For   the   first   time   in   its   eight   years   Crossroads   - ATV’s   long-running   serial   -   is   in   the   top   twenty.   The   reason   for   the   bigger   audience   is   Granada have   started   showing   the   adventures   of   Meg   Richardson   at   her   Midlands   motel.   More   episodes   of   Crossroads   have   been   screened   than   any   other serial in the UK. “The   latest   JICTAR   ratings   -   used   by   Independent   TeleVision   to   register   size   of   its   audience   -   gives   Crossroads   more   than   10,000,000   per   episode. That   is   more   than   those   who   watched   the   recent   Julie   Andrews   spectacular,   Eric   Sykes   and   The   Two   Ronnies.   Since   Crossroads   airs   at   varying times on ITV and is not screened in peak viewing - and never at weekends - this figure is something of a TV phenomenon.” At   the   show's   peak   in   the   mid-1970s,   up   to   18   million   ultimately   tuned   in   to   see   what   was   going   on   at   the   motel.   As   the   Daily   Mirror   noted   it   was unheard   of   for   a   daytime   series   to   beat   prime   time   programmes   -   but   Crossroads   is   one   of   the   few   to   manage   it.   In   1980   the   saga   was   the   most complained   about   production   in   television   regulator's   viewer   log   -   the   reason?   TV   bosses   had   shunted   the   series   from   its   regular   slot   to   cover   the Moscow Olympics. Noele   Gordon   was   considered   to   be   Crossroads   in   many   respects   and   executives   at   the   programme   were   becoming   frustrated   that   everything   had   to centre   on   the   matriarch.   During   the   1970s   producers   had   expanded   the   series   to   cover   more   of   life   in   Kings   Oak,   with   several   new   village   locations introduced,   however,   whenever   Noele   as   Meg   didn't   appear   on-screen   ATV   was   always   inundated   with   callers   asking   why.   From   1969   to   1978   she   also won   yearly   awards   in   several   television   gong   shows,   most   of   all   with   the   TV   Times   where   at   one   point   she   was   walking   away   with   up   to   three   in   a single year. In   1981   after   several   run-ins   with   production   management   on   the   direction   of   the   programme   Noele   Gordon   was   fired.   The   opportunity   to   rid Crossroads   of   its   leading   lady   arose   when ATV,   which   she   had   been   on   contract   with   since   its   inception,   was   axed   by   the   television   regulator   as   the   IBA Midlands broadcaster. With   the   arrival   of   Central   Television,   which   she   had   no   say,   and   no   power   -   even   pal   Lew   Grade   had   lost   his   control   in   the   new   company   (which ATV's parent   company   still   for   a   time   had   an   interest   in)   -   Noele   was   easy   to   finally   be   removed.   While   it   was   management,   at   production   level,   who   took the decision to axe the character of Meg, it was up to Head of Programmes Charles Denton to inform the actress. She didn't take it well. Charles,   while   not   particularly   keen   on   the   show,   understood   its   financial   value   to   the   regional   network,   it   pulled   in   between   16   and   15   million viewers   per   episode   and   made   millions   in   advertising   revenue.   So   much   so   Charles   in   1979   had   wanted   to   restore   Crossroads   back   from   four   to   five episodes. The   IBA   decided   to   carry   out   research   into   the   programme   and   found   that   Crossroads   indeed   was   hugely   popular   with   viewers.   Those   who   took   part   in the   regulator's   investigation   noted   they   would   like   to   see   the   fifth   episode   return.   Research   carried   out   by   The   Daily   Mirror   at   the   time   also   echoed those views. Instead,   the   IBA   drew   up   a   ‘dubious   quality'   list   of   programmes   which   it   felt   were   vulgar   and   uncouth.   On   the   list   it   included   Crossroads,   Coronation Street,   Stars   on   Sunday   and   This   Is   Your   Life.   The   broadcasting   authority   ignored   the   viewer   research   with   Stars   on   Sunday   ordered   to   cut   back   on   the number of episode offerings while Crossroads was also to be cut down to three episodes a week, taking effect from April 1980. In   the   later   days   of ATV   a   new   Head   of   Drama,   Margaret   Matheson,   arrived.   Some   blamed   her   for   the   downfall   of   Crossroads   and   attempting   to   make   it more   of   a   continuous   drama   serial   like   Coronation   Street,   however,   she   told   us   "the   axing   of   Noele   Gordon   had   nothing   to   do   with   Charles   Denton   or myself. We were happy for Noele to remain with the programme." Charles added that "I carried out the dismissal of Noele, but it wasn't a decision I had made." Noele   left   just   over   a   month   before   Central   launched   in   January   1982,   the   press   and   critics   assumed   it   had   been   the   head   of   programmes   or   head   of drama   who   had   'done   Meg   in'   in   order   for   ratings   to   fall.   In   fact,   Meg   had   left   in   order   for   the   Crossroads   team   to   change   the   show   from   a   soap   opera into a more serious serial. While   the   scripts   were   given   more   time   and   improved,   the   series   lost   its   sense   of   fun,   its   unique   format   and   became   a   dreary   'serial'.   The   ratings indeed fell; although never far enough to take the show out of the ITV Top Ten, it still performed reasonably to a 12-14 million audience. In   1984   Charles   Denton   left   Central   to   work   at   an   independent   and   the   cards   were   marked   for   Crossroads.   Incoming Andy Allen   was   more   interested   in drama,   and   lavish   ones   at   that.   He   brought   in   Ted   Childs   as   Head   of   Drama   and   together   they   would   make   Central   a   powerhouse   of   lavish dramatisations, ranging from Morse to Boon and so on. "We   became   irrelevant,   really,   serial   had   become   a   dirty   word"   Jane   Rossington   recalled.   Producer   Jack   Barton,   who   had   taken   over   from   Reg   Watson in   1974,   returned   from   a   holiday   to   discover   he'd   been   sacked. Ted   Childs   drafted   in   Phillip   Bowman   to   bring   Crossroads   from   the   1960s   into   the   1980s. Phillip noted on his appointment "He asked me to change the programme, not improve it, just change it."
And   change   it   Phillip   Bowman   certainly   did.   Many   viewers   enjoyed   the   new   look,   updated   series.   The   programme   was   in   1984   still   being   recorded   as live,   and   due   to   that   was   becoming   an   even   easier   target   for   critics   and   comedians.   While   production   standards   and   values   had   moved   on,   Crossroads was   still   stuck   in   the   same   production   routine   as   it   had   been   in   1964.   It   should   be   noted   however   it   wasn't   alone   -   and   even   long   after   Crossroads   had changed   another   twice   weekly   serial   on   the   network   had   not   modernised   as   much   as   the   Midland-based   show.   Critics   seemed   blind   however   viewers noticed   a   backstreet   setting   was   still   prone   to   the   odd   'as   live'   recorded   episode   as   late   as   1986,   complete   with   occasional   missing   parts   of   sets,   the slight wobbly wall, booms and cameras in shot and outdoor locations still within the studio. Back   in   the   Midlands   the   modern   motel   however   didn't   sit   well   with   everyone.   Jack   Barton   had   been   offered   a   job   with   Bowman   as   Series   Advisor, however   declined   the   role   when   he   discovered   the   changes   that   were   planned.   The   1985   changes   to   Crossroads   were   to   be   the   second   biggest   soap opera revamp in UK history, following on from a disastrous re-launch of Emergency Ward 10 in 1966. The   all-new   Crossroads   Motel   launched   on   March   the   6th   1985   with   a   stylish,   classy   new   image.   With   new   cast   and   a   new   feel   the   show   was   soon   back at   the   forefront   of   drama,   and   an   increase   in   ratings.   The   saga   also   included   much   more   of   the   village   life,   shot   on   location,   and   Kings   Oak   once   more played   a   bigger   role.   The   prodcution   went   from   the   most   out-of-date   looking   on   British   TV   to   the   most   modern.   It   also   ditched   the   serious   serial format and returned to the more popular stateside soap style. "This   relaunch   seemed   to   bring   in   new   younger   viewers,   who   network   bosses   at   that   time   were   trying   to   attract.   Most   people   saw   the   new opening   titles   and   music   as   long   overdue;   it   was   the   changes   to   the   cast   and   more   saucy   storylines   that   some   older   die-hard   fans   disapproved   of. But   the   ratings   were   still   good   for   the   6:30pm   slot,   and   slowly   increased.   The   change   was   a   success."      -   Crossroads   Fan   Club   spokesman   Doug Lambert. Just   as   things   seemed   to   be   going   rather   well,   Phillip   Bowman   was   moved   onto   other   projects   in   the   summer   of   1986   due   personal   problems.   Poached from   the   BBC,   producer   William   Smethurst   was   quickly   drafted   in   to   continue   developing   Crossroads   as   an   up-market   drama   series.   He   was   first offered   the   job   in   1984,   but   turned   it   down   initially.   Following   the   changes   Phillip   had   made   however   he   decided   to   take   on   the   more   up-to-date Crossroads. William   had   been   promised   a   long   future   for   the   serial,   however   he   was   also   told   he   could   make   any   changes   he   thought   would   improve   the   show,   one being   a   name   change   to   Kings   Oak   and   to   give   the   show   a   total   overhaul.   In   1987   market   research   showed   Crossroads   was   meeting   all   its   targets   set   by Central,   Independent   Television   executives   also   pencilled   in   a   proposed   Sunday   omnibus   for   the   series   and   from   1988   it   would   finally   become networked rather than sold by Central on a region to region basis to every other IBA region. Two   weeks   after   Central   had   hosted   a   party   for   the   new-found   success   of   the   series   -   and   while   Crossroads   was   on   a   production   break   -   head   of programmes   Andy   Allen   terminated   the   Crossroads   contract   with   the   network   while   the   crew   were   away.   It's   also   reported   the   Central   management and   directors   (who   were   happy   with   the   series)   and   finance   department   (who   were   happy   with   how   much   revenue   the   show   generated)   were   not consulted. "The   MD   of   Central   came   up   to   me   and   said   how   sorry   he   was   Crossroads   had   been   axed.   He   said   he'd   only   been   in   the   job   three   weeks   when Andy   Allen   through   the   press   office   pulled   the   plug.   He   said   if   he'd   been   there   longer   he   would   have   put   his   foot   down   and   reversed   the decision." - Jane Rossington. The   crew   were   not   put   off   by   the   announcement   of   the   show's   end   and   forged   ahead   with   another   revamp.   Crossroads   was   to   become   Kings   Oak. However   with   the   axing   announcement   the   Crossroads   name   partly   remained,   'Crossroads   Kings   Oak'   would   be   the   name   of   the   new   look   show. A   new theme tune and opening titles had already been made before the axing was announced, and so they were used from the 7th of September 1987. In   the   final   months   of   Crossroads   Kings   Oak,   the   show   fell   out   of   the   ITV   Top   Ten   ratings   list   for   the   first   time   since   its   early   days,   it   also   began   to   slip out   of   the   top   twenty.   The   overhaul   and   new   look   was   failing   miserably.   Emmerdale   Farm,   which   had   always   been   behind   Crossroads,   bar   occasional episodes, took over its position as the third most watched serial, with Coronation Street and EastEnders in the top spots. Figures   fell   as   low   as   six   million   for   the   Kings   Oak   era.   Viewers   placed   the   blame   on   awful   new   characters,   the   weekly   loss   of   old   familiar   faces   and bland   storylines.   The   soap   opera   style   once   more   made   way   for   a   more   drama   serial   format,   just   another   reason   viewers   turned   off. A   huge   campaign to   save   Crossroads   was   launched,   including   support   from   newspapers   The   Sun   and   The   Mirror,   and   Central   made   sure   everyone   knew   the   show   was bowing out in style. Adverts   were   placed   on   billboards,   in   magazines   and   trailers   appeared   regularly   on   the   various   regional   stations   of   the   IBA.   The   "Who   will   she   choose" plot   was   publicised   highly   with   Kings   Oak   cast   appearing   on   all   the   major   talk   shows.   The   TV   Times   for   the   final   week   of   Crossroads   Kings   Oak   in   1988 featured Jane Rossington, Tony Adams and Jeremy Nicholas on the front cover with a 12-page pullout special on the series inside. The   Crossroads   Appreciation   Society   was   also   featured   in   the   TV   Times,   announcing   it   was   to   launch   on   April   4th   1988,   the   very   day   the   last   episode would   air.   The   aim   was   for   fans   to   join   together   and   remember   the   series,   to   keep   the   legend   alive   and   to   fight   to   get   Crossroads   back   on   a   television network.   The   official   Central   fan   club   for   the   soap,   headed   by   John   Kavyo,   made   numerous   television   appearances   over   those   final   months   the   soap was on air.
The   final   75   minute   special   aired,   ending   23-years   and   7-months   of   Crossroads   and   a   show   that   had   become   a   television   institution.   In   fact,   not   just   a television institution, but also a British one, and something most of the Midlands were proud of. If   Andy   Allen   thought   Crossroads   would   be   confined   to   the   vaults   and   television   history   after   the   last   episode:   then   he   was very    wrong.    Numerous    television    documentaries    and    specials    appeared    on    Channel    4,    the    BBC    networks    and    even Independent Television on numerous occasions during the 1990s. In   1991   Central   Independent Television   were   said   to   be   involved   with   a   Crossroads   revival,   which   would   comprise   of   a   feature length   movie.   It   was   later   revealed   that   the   movie   would   have   been   funded   by   over   4000   people;   from   Crossroads Appreciation   Society   members   to   a   large   number   of   former   viewers   who   had   stepped   forward   after   an   advert   was   placed   in the   business   section   of   The   Sun   newspaper.   A   report   in   The   Stage   noted   Ronald   Allen,   Jane   Rossington,   Gabrielle   Drake   and Sue Lloyd were all keen to reprise their roles. The   whole   plan   was   overseen   by   producers   Chris   Klaiseweiz   and   Marcia   Forsyth-Grant.   However   Ronald   died   before   the   film   went   into   production   and the plans were never reprised. In   1996   with   the   announcement   that   Channel   5   was   to   launch,   rumours   that   the   station   was   to   commission   Crossroads   as   a   ratings   winner   (or   publicity stunt)   were   circulating.   Central,   however   refused   to   lease/sell   their   stake   in   the   rights,   which   is   also   co-owned   by   Peter   Ling   and   Hazel   Adair. Channel 5 launched a new midlands bases series instead, Family Affairs. In   2000,   Open   House   with   Gloria   Hunniford   on   Channel   5,   welcomed   Jane   Rossington   and   the   Crossroads   Appreciation   Society's   Peter   Kingsman   onto her   sofa   to   chat   about   the   series   and   the   possibility   of   its   return. Then   Central TV's   owners   at   the   time,   Carlton Television,   confirmed   the   speculation was   true.   Crossroads   was   to   return   to   help   fill   the   afternoon   gap   left   by   Home And Away   after   it   moved   to   Channel   5.   It   was   part   of   plans   to   replace the Australian import with two home grown productions. Night And Day, set in London, would soon follow Crossroads onto ITV screens. After years of campaigning, Crossroads was coming back - or was it? Continued…
Page credits: written in parts by John Drury, Mike Garrett, Douglas Lambert and Tom Dearnley Davidson. Quotes   courtesy   of   Charles   Denton   to   CAS,   Margaret   Matheson   to   CAS,   Scott   Curtis,   Jane   Rossington   to   CAS,   Neil   Grainger   to   CAS,   Graham   McGrath   to   CAS, Phillip   Bowman   in   The   Sun   and   Noele   Gordon   from   her   autobiography,   My   Life   At   Crossroads   by   Star   Books.   Photographs   courtesy   of   Reg   Watson,   Central Press   Office,   Carlton Archive, Alex   Fryer,   Greg Taylor   and   Carlton Television   Press.   Press   cuttings   courtesy   of   Reg   Watson,   Mike   Garrett   and The   Weekly   News Archives, Manchester. Text: Copyright Crossroads Fan Club 2018.
Related Pages: Crossroads History - Part Two Decades