Crossroads Crossroads: 1964-1988, 2001-2003

Angela Channing

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It looks like her Xrds debut wasn't until 1982, and (apart from the Venice episodes) the discs finish at the end of 1981, so it looks like I'll miss her altogether.
That's a shame because she has some fantastic storylines.

Valerie and J. Henry had a tempestuous relationship: he's quite controlling and she a free spirit. J. Henry buys a share in the motel and installs Valerie there and insists she works there to look after his interests but it's really just to keep her out of trouble and where he can control her. To fight back she becomes as disruptive as possible and instead of working with the hotel management, she because a raucous member of the hotel bar staff. When Jill and Adam get engaged, Valerie engineers a one-night stand with Adam just to annoy her husband but Jill finds out and breaks off their engagement. J. Henry makes Paul Ross the restaurant manager and Valerie later accuses "Mr Paul" of sexual assault and insist he gets sacked but her plan is eventually exposed and he keeps his job. Miranda gets the hots for Mr Paul and Valerie becomes intent on preventing any romance between them resulting in deploying various schemes to closedown any potential relationship between them. Valerie was a mix of being quite bitchy and quite hilarious.

Interesting. I know of a few storylines here and there, and it's certainly enough to intrigue me.
Once Meg left, Jill became even more prominent and had some great storylines, as did Diane and the Brownlow family. The Crossroads Garage played a more significant part in the series and there were some fantastic stories involving the staff there. It would be great if they put those episodes on DVD (up until when William Smethurst became the producer and then the series went into sharp decline) because I think you would really enjoy watching them. The success of previous Crossroads DVD releases shows there is still considerable interest in the show,

I found it rather touching and sad, and probably shot just a few months before she passed away in 85
I've never seen these photos before and you're right they are quite sad. She looks quite frail in some of the pics but putting a brave smile on for the camera.
 
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Mel O'Drama

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That's a shame because she has some fantastic storylines.

Of course I couldn't resist taking a peek at the teasers, and I do feel I'd like to see some of those episodes. On paper Valerie seems like Rosemary Hunter's spiritual successor, which is no bad thing.



The Crossroads Garage played a more significant part in the series and there were some fantastic stories involving the staff there.

It's impressive that the garage was so well used and for so many years. It looks very much like a setting that has limited possibilities but we keep coming back to it and even that tiny, grotty little office with characters all facing in different directions just works.




It would be great if they put those episodes on DVD (up until when William Smethurst became the producer and then the series went into sharp decline) because I think you would really enjoy watching them. The success of previous Crossroads DVD releases shows there is still considerable interest in the show

I wholeheartedly agree with that. It would be great to see some more. I'm bowled over by how delightful Xrds is to watch. I must confess I thought I'd be gritting my teeth to get through it, but already the end of the ATV era is on the horizon for me and I'm going to miss it.
 

Barbara Fan

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Heather Chasen had a 10 year relationship with Amanda Barrie aka Alma from Corrie

I wonder if they argued over who was in the best soap?
 

Mel O'Drama

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Heather Chasen had a 10 year relationship with Amanda Barrie aka Alma from Corrie

I wonder if they argued over who was in the best soap?

I love reading about these connections between soaps. Now I'm picturing a crossover. But I can't imagine glam Valerie would have had much time for Alma with her greasy spoon cafe.



another oldie from 1988 Supersoaps

Funnily enough, yesterday I dug out the other 1988 soap bible, Hilary Kingsley's Soap Box just to read the Crossroads chapter. It's great to read more about the background (and also to have a couple of little teasers of stories still to come).
 

Barbara Fan

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One that slipped by the censors?… In the last scene of #3338, after Alison tells him she’s pregnant, Chris - in extreme close up - appears to mutter under his breath “I don’t f*cking believe this”. I rewound perhaps half a dozen times and each time I became more sure that’s what he’d said.
Funnily enough this came up on Twitter
I also think its what he said - Id run to the hills if i were Chris, Alison is now very annoying and Ive not got there yet! Right now Meg is away on her world tour and Im rather missing her

 

Mel O'Drama

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Funnily enough this came up on Twitter
I also think its what he said

I love that this tiny detail from Xrds is getting so much discussion in 2023!!

Stephen Hoye seems to ad lib a great deal. He's always throwing in quirky bits of business. It wouldn't surprise me to find out he said this to see how much he could get away with under the eyes of The Powers That Be.



Right now Meg is away on her world tour and Im rather missing her

And she's recently departed again in my current episodes (off to Scotland if I'm keeping up). This would be around the time of Roger Tonge's death... perhaps shortly afterwards. I can't help feeling it's connected to this.
 

Barbara Fan

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I love that this tiny detail from Xrds is getting so much discussion in 2023!!

Stephen Hoye seems to ad lib a great deal. He's always throwing in quirky bits of business. It wouldn't surprise me to find out he said this to see how much he could get away with under the eyes of The Powers That Be.

And she's recently departed again in my current episodes (off to Scotland if I'm keeping up). This would be around the time of Roger Tonge's death... perhaps shortly afterwards. I can't help feeling it's connected to this.
I think I read she was in Australia when Sandy/Roger died and missed his funeral

I like Stephen Hoye, I did at the time and still do now, thought he was easy on the eye!!
 

Mel O'Drama

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I think I read she was in Australia when Sandy/Roger died and missed his funeral

Ah, thanks. That's where she would have been off to, then.



I like Stephen Hoye, I did at the time and still do now, thought he was easy on the eye!!

Yes, he is. He's also very charismatic which I think adds to the allure. I usually find Chris Hunter's brash overconfidence quite unattractive, but not when he's played by an actor of this standard.

I'm still intrigued by his accent, and none the wiser as to its origins. I noticed one of the comments under the Tweet you posted said they thought it was a Newcastle accent, and I can understand why they'd say that. To me, I still hear either a South Wales or Indian twang (the two have some similarities).
 

Mel O'Drama

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12 February - 30 April 1981
3418 - 3451




Meg’s departure may have been one of the bigger blows to the series, but I can’t help feeling that Roger Tonge’s death, some nine or ten months earlier, might have been the beginning of the end. The family unit of Meg, Sandy and Jill have been the series’ tent pegs. They may come and go, and the series’ scope has broadened and developed, but there’s always been one or another of them around to serve as a reminder of the series’ roots. With Sandy gone, there’s nobody left bearing the Richardson name, which feels a little odd.

Of course, this being Xrds, Sandy isn’t exactly gone. He seems to have joined Shughie McFee as one of the great unseen. It was mentioned that he was in hospital for respite, which would seem the logical way to begin the character’s retirement. But a few episodes later he’s apparently back at the motel and involved in business. In many ways it’s nice that the character is being kept alive, but there’s also an element of frustration that it’s lacking closure. But then, it is early days and I’m sure all involved were still processing the reality and also wanted to be respectful towards Roger’s family.

Outside of this, it’s been business as usual. Jill’s been busy kicking her addition to sedatives and dealing with her stalker. Badly, of course. All she needed to do was tell him to sod off, but Jill’s never been one for doing things the easy way. Adam’s offered to move into Chimneys which she has interpreted as a proposal rather than a proposition. When he tried to extricate himself from such a commitment, Jill huffily tut-tutted that what he had in mind was “a rental with an option to buy”.

There was an enjoyable-but-brief courtroom drama with Iris vs. Arthur which ended when Iris broke down and confessed her lie. And still everyone just fell over themselves to make her feel better. But the main thing is she’s gone for now.

Kevin’s proposed to Glenda and she’s accepted, despite his dodgy track record in the fidelity stakes. What’s more, they insist on getting married right away for… reasons. With Iris gone their big problem has been Kevin’s parents who don’t feel Glenda is good enough for their son. In the words of Kevin’s mum (Marion’s sister), the Bankses aren’t “P. L. U.” (“People Like Us”). This is perhaps borne out on their first meeting when nervous Kath’s observed with awe under her breath to Arthur that Lady Banks has fur coat. “So’s the dog next door”, quipped Arthur, wholly unimpressed.

Arthur has some competition in Gilbert, the new lodger he thrust upon Kath who was initially furious but who quickly melted. Now Gilbert and Kath are each other’s biggest fans, and Arthur is more than a little put out.

Becky’s been a bit of a curious one. The first time round - when her role was smaller, I thought she was a terrific character. This time round she’s felt like a substitute for Sharon: replacing her in the garage; living in Diane’s flat and involved with Eddie Lee. Compounding this, it feels as though Maxine Gordon is attempting to channel Carolyn Jones in her style, expression and manner. There are an awful lot of Sharon-isms, but most notably the face touching, playing with props and that licky finger thing she does when dealing with papers. I found myself wondering if the story was originally written for Sharon but they couldn’t get her.

Meg’s had some time away doing some kind of favour for the elder Pollard. She’s just returned in the latter couple of episodes, and she’s not alone. Diane is back from her visit to see Nicky in the States. And Benny has just returned from six months away with his traveller friends.

Meanwhile, the Cotterills are the latest characters to be unceremoniously dispensed with offscreen, with Reg sending Meg a letter saying he’s sold up the farm to join Alison who is now apparently training to be a nurse.

In VTR board news, episodes #3443 and #3444 have the director’s name as “Mr Toothpaste”. Looking at the end credits, the director was Mike Holgate… (or “My Colgate”). I wonder what other nicknames they had for cast and crew.
 

Barbara Fan

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And she's recently departed again in my current episodes (off to Scotland if I'm keeping up). This would be around the time of Roger Tonge's death... perhaps shortly afterwards. I can't help feeling it's connected to this.
From a Crossroads web site - Knew I read it somewhere

"Real-life tragedy yesterday shattered the stars of Crossroads the hit TV soap opera. Actor Roger Tonge, who played Sandy Richardson lost his long battle against cancer.
Last night the news of his death was broken to actress Noele Gordon - Sandy's TV mum Meg Richardson - at her holiday hideaway in Australia. She said: "I'm shattered. He has been the sort of son I would have liked to have had in real life. He was an underrated actor and a fine young man. I don't know what we are going to do without him."

The 35 year old bachelor died in the Royal Marsden hospital in Sutton, Surrey, from Hodkins Disease. In 1975 he had an operation to remove his spleen - but it failed to halt the deadly illness"
 

Barbara Fan

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oh dear I remember her at the time and didnt like her , she was a wee stirrer as they say N of the border
I dont know if you have come across Carol Sands yet played by Joanne Good (I think)

Dug out my Letts schoolgirl diary from 1982 When i was a teenager and staying at my Nans in Kent - my mum and i used to go into London for the day on the train - she was once on the same train coming home and sitting opposite us on the aisle - think she got off near Gillingham or Faversham if i recall and I did write it in the diary so it must have impressed me"! (although i dont think I liked her much, but better than stirrer Iris)

Im still on the 2nd box set - but knowing that the end will be coming in the next few months - I might go back and watch it all again!

I find myself digging out Coventry scenes again and again

Also found out that Ronald Allen was suspended at one point for alcohol excess after his partner died in real life (Brian Hankins who also appeared in Crossroads)
 

Mel O'Drama

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I dont know if you have come across Carol Sands yet played by Joanne Good

Oh no... I don't think I have yet.



Dug out my Letts schoolgirl diary from 1982 When i was a teenager and staying at my Nans in Kent - my mum and i used to go into London for the day on the train - she was once on the same train coming home and sitting opposite us on the aisle - think she got off near Gillingham or Faversham if i recall and I did write it in the diary so it must have impressed me"!

Ha ha. I think it would have made my day as well (not that I'd have known who she was at the time).




Im still on the 2nd box set - but knowing that the end will be coming in the next few months - I might go back and watch it all again!

Yes, I had a similar feeling. I'm now on disc 78(!!!!) so it won't be long at all for me until I reach the end of the (Cross)road.

I do hope to watch it all again sometime, but it probably won't be for a while as there's so much to watch and so little time. I'd like to rewatch early Brookside before it vanishes from the STV player, and now I've reached the early Eighties it might be logical to move on to that next... if I'm not all soaped out.

I'm also looking forward to watching all the special features on The Noele Gordon Collection.




I find myself digging out Coventry scenes again and again

They are beautiful episodes, and it was this run of episodes where the series really clicked with me and I became invested.



Also found out that Ronald Allen was suspended at one point for alcohol excess after his partner died in real life (Brian Hankins who also appeared in Crossroads)

It must have been tough for him to deal with the death while trying to carry on as normal and probably most people being unaware of what he was going through. I don't recall noticing anything amiss onscreen during Ronnie's 1978 episodes, but then I was also oblivious to the situation as I watched them.


It looks like Brian's character, Derek Maynard, appeared in a lot of episodes over many years. Bizarrely I don't recall him at all. And when I was looking up his name, I notice he and Ronnie also appeared together in an episode of The Avengers in 1963. I wonder if that's where they met.




This was on Twitter the other day - From may 20th

THIS IS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is very, very cool.

Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I can't for the life of me work out the logical connection between Blur appearing in Colchester and Xrds. Am I missing something, or is it just a bit of randomness?
 

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From FB - Think Damon Albarn was a fan and has previuosly discuused the show on R2 when standing in for Dermott O Dreary in 2013 and played Tony Hatch theme tune
Also the chords used have been used in many other tracks

Thats from Mike - who used to post here a very long time ago!
 

Mel O'Drama

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Think Damon Albarn was a fan and has previuosly discuused the show on R2 when standing in for Dermott O Dreary in 2013 and played Tony Hatch theme tune
Also the chords used have been used in many other tracks

Gosh. My mind is boggled a bit at Damon Albarn not only being a fan but openly admitting to being a fan. I wonder if any of his comments about it have been recorded anywhere. That would make interesting reading.
 

Carrie Fairchild

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Got quite a few Network shows on the shelf and really appreciate what they did re Noele Gordon Collection
They really did Trojan work in putting the Nolly collection together. It’s a shame to see them go. I know that there’s still a lot of physical DVD collectors around but I’d imagine the growing availability of classic series on streaming services like ITVX and UKTV Play put a dent in their sales.
 

James from London

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Think Damon Albarn was a fan and has previuosly discuused the show on R2 when standing in for Dermott O Dreary in 2013 and played Tony Hatch theme tune
I remember that. I think it was the theme he said he liked rather than the programme. He described Crossroads as a sitcom -- I don't think he was having a dig; he just got the soap and sitcom genres mixed up.
 

Mel O'Drama

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This is a shame and so glad I jumped quickly to get the NG Collection



I just visited their site and got the "Account Suspended" message we get here on the 17th.

Not being on social media I wasn't aware of any rumours so this is the first I've heard of it. It's quite shocking. Looking at their Facebook page they were posting as normal as recently as this morning!




Got quite a few Network shows on the shelf

Same here. I've probably bought more DVDs from Network than any other studio.


It’s a shame to see them go. I know that there’s still a lot of physical DVD collectors around but I’d imagine the growing availability of classic series on streaming services like ITVX and UKTV Play put a dent in their sales.

Yes - I think they've tried to keep up by offering some kind of streaming service, but I'm not sure what the uptake was like. I'm sure much of their clientele has been a bit old school (I certainly fall into that category).

They've released so many wonderful old shows I never thought would see the light of day, and most of my rewatching threads are probably thanks to them. Thankfully I have lots of their stuff lined up, but I'm already grieving all those titles I had my eye on for their next sale!




I think it was the theme he said he liked rather than the programme.

Gosh. Well, I suppose Tony Hatch did as much for Britpop in his era as Blur did in theirs.
 
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