2018 News 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   latter   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   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   00’s   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   with   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) 2017 News 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   1980's,   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   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   series.   However   ITV   staff   located   the   insert   cans   from   the   Central   News   film library during it's 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      1960's,   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) 2016 News 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   ricketty   bridge.   This   lead   to   the   Crossroads   theme,   also   for   ATV, being   composed   in   1964.   Other   tunes   swiftly   followed   including   for   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 10pm. (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   magzine   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 a honorary member of the Crossroads Appreciation Society. As   Seen   On   TV   ran   for   two   series   and   a   one-off   special.   The   show   wona   number   of   BAFTA Awards   and,   in   1996,   it   was   awarded   all-time   Favourite   Comedy Series   by   the   BBC.   In   1988   the   regional   Channel   3   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 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) Earlier News Stories can be found here .
 © Crossroads Fan Club 2018.