Crossroads is an often derided UK soap that ran from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Telling stories of the staff and customers of a Birmingham Motel, the Crossroads of the title. Main stay of the show for most of its run was motel owner Meg Richardson. Because the show was filmed as live with minimal rehearsal time and with some of the sets being on the flimsy side the show often had the mickey taken out of it, most memorably by Victoria Wood in her Acorn Antiques sketch in her As Seen On TV series.
Long running characters included the wooly hatted handyman Benny, Meg’s daughter Jill and her son Sandy (later confined to a wheelchair), smoothie David Hunter and the equally smooth Adam Chance, cleaner, the highly forgetful Amy Turtle (“lines, what lines”, Scottish chef Shughie McFee, receptionist Diane Lawton and waitress Marilyn Gates (Sue Nicholls who played Marilyn would later go on to become a mainstay of Coronation Street). Even though mocked by the critics the show was very popular with the viewers and Paul McCartney even recorded his own version of the tune (used on the show for special dramatic or sad endings).
Crossroads never really recovered from losing Meg (even though the producers had written her out) and having the motel burn down in 1981. The new motel was renamed Crossroads, King’s Oak.
The show was to have originally to have been called The Midland Road. Initial producer of the show Reg Watson later went on to help create the Australian soap Neighbours. The first words on the show were spoken by Jill (she said “Crossroads Motel. May I help you?” The show was shown weeknights but in most ITV regions appeared at different times of the early evening.
The ITV Network mounted a revival between 2001 and 2003 and even brought back some original characters but it’s time had already been and gone.
UK / ITV – ATV – Central / 4510×30 minute episode / Broadcast 2 November 1964 – 4 April 1988
Creators: Hazel Adair and Peter Ling / Theme Music was by Tony Hatch.
key cast members included
NOELE GORDON as Meg Richardson
JANE ROSSINGTON as Jill Richardson
ROGER TONGUE as Sandy Richardson
ANN GEORGE as Amy Turtle
RONALD ADAM as David Hunter
PAUL HENRY as Benny Hawkins
SANDOR ELES as Paul Ross
KATHY STAFF as Doris Luke
TONY ADAMS as Adam Chance
SUE LLOYD as Barbara Brady
STAN STENNETT as Sid Hooper
DIANE GRAYSON as Penny Richardson
SUSAN HANSON as Diane Parker
PETER BROOKES as Vince Parker
DIANE KEEN as Sandra Gould
JOHNNY BRIGGS as Clifford Leyton
SUE NICHOLS as Marilyn Gates
JOHN BENTLEY as Hugh Mortimer
ANGUS LENNIE as Shughie McFee
GABRIELLE DRAKE as Nichola Freeman
TERENCE RIGBY as Tommy ‘Bomber’ Lancaster
JOHN FORGEHAM as Jim Baines