John   Scholes   is   a   name   -   if   you're   a   fan   of   British   and Australian    television    drama    of    a    certain    era    -    you'll recognise immediately. With   a   CV   that   almost   seems   never   ending,   John   can   safely say   he's   appeared   in   some   of   the   most   popular,   and   most loved,    productions    in    television    history.    We'd    like    to include Crossroads in that roll call of course! Here John talks about his time on the Midland soap, and how he was the pivotal part in making the series' biggest ever event happen. As the character of Don, how long did you appear in Crossroads? What were the main storylines you were involved in? Don   Westbury   appeared   in   only   about   half   a   dozen   episodes   of   Crossroads   but   was   an   important   character   in   so   far   as   he   was   the   catalyst   in   the   story line.   He,   it   was,   who   precipitated   the   "marriage   of   the   decade"   between   Meg   (Noele   Gordon)   and   Hugh   (John   Bentley)   by   confronting   Hugh   with   serious financial problems back in Australia. Don   was   an   Aussie   business   partner   and   insisted   that   Hugh   return   to   Oz   to   sort   things   out.   This   gave   Hugh   the   idea   of   proposing   to   Meg   and   to   marry   in Oz. How did you get the part in Crossroads? I   got   the   part   of   Don   after   my   agent   sent   me   to   Birmingham   to   meet   the   producer   Reg   Watson.   I   was   very   happy   working   on   Crossroads   -   especially   as   I was involved in the episode that was Reg Watson's final one before going to his native Australia. Though   there   was   sadness   among   the   regulars   there   was   a   festive   atmosphere   with   many   practical   jokes   being   played   on   set.   One   joke   involved   the cameras coming up on the hairdressing salon to find not Roger Tonge in the chair but one of the PG Tips chimpanzees looking very professional. How much input did the Scriptwriters give you to your character? I really can't recall that the scriptwriters were very involved in rehearsal with my character. What was it like working "As Live" and did much go wrong? Working   as   live   had   its   moments   of   high   anxiety.   To   my   own   chagrin   I   recall   that   I   fluffed   my   very   first   line.   Instead   of   saying   to   John   Bentley   "G'day, Hugh", I said "G'day, Don" - which was my name. I got it right on take two. What was it like working with such an icon as Noele Gordon? Working with Noele Gordon was fun but had an element of strangeness - even farce - about it. To   explain.   In   the   first   week   of   rehearsal   neither   I   nor   anyone   else   saw   Noele   as   she   had   an   extremely   bad   cold   and   confined   to   her   bed.   I   rehearsed   our scenes with her over the telephone. Finally meeting her on filming day I was pleased to find her a great professional and a very friendly lady. Who was your favourite character? My favourite character would have to be Amy Turtle - wasn't she everybody's? Who was your favourite actor to work with or watch work? My   favourite   actor   on   set   was   probably   John   Bentley   as   he   had   a   great   sense   of   humour   with   an   infectious   and   loud   laugh.   He   had   a   penchant   for   coming out with "The balloon's going up" every five minutes or so and laughing like a drain. I never knew what it referred to but it certainly amused me. [see John Bentley’s Interview here  for the explaination!] How did you come to leave the show? I left the show as my contract was up and Don had done his job ie, getting Hugh and Meg to the alter. You   have   appeared   in   many   great   shows   over   the   years,   what   was   it   like   working   on   The   Young   Doctors   in   Australia   compared   to   Crossroads   in Birmingham? I   was   fortunate   enough   to   work   on   other   series   of   Reg   Watson   in Australia   including   The   Restless   Years.   The   scenes   I   was   in   for   that   series   (and   for   Young Doctors and Lovejoy etc) were all on location without the usual studio. Did you ever watch Crossroads after you left? I was rarely able to watch Crossroads as I was invariably "on the road" doing theatre work and then in Oz where the show isn't shown. What have you been up to since leaving Crossroads? Since   working   on   Crossroads   all   those   many   years   ago   I   have   appeared   in   a   great   many   UK   television   series   including   Lovejoy,   Van   der   Valk,   Special Branch,   Z-Cars   etc.   As   well   as   Australian   shows   such   as   Water   Rats,   Homicide,Contrabandists   etc.   Mostly   I   have   done   theatre   in   UK,   Australia,   Germany, Slovakia etc. Back   in   the   early   nineties   I   worked   with   Shona   Lindsay   in   a   stage   musical   called   Bernard   Tropp   and   the   Unfinished   Musical.   Shona   had   been   a   regular   in Crossroads. She is about to surface in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers soon in the West End.
 © Crossroads Fan Club 2018.