Noele Gordon, Jane Rossington and Roger Tonge
It all began on
November 2 1964, with the first episode opening line "Crossroads
Motel, can I help you?" spoken by Jill Richardson
(Jane Rossington). Jill is the daughter of the widowed owner of
the Crossroads Motel, Meg Richardson (Noele Gordon). Roger
Tonge plays Meg's son Sandy.
Crossroads is set in the
fictional village of Kings Oak on the outskirts of Birmingham, England. The serial centres around
the lives of the staff at the Crossroads Motel and the local
residents of King's Oak. The Crossroads Motel opened
for business on April 17 1963 in the grounds of the Richardson
Some of the earliest characters
at the motel include the Head Cook, Vi Blundell (Peggy
Aitchison) who is not best pleased when Carlos Raphael (Anthony
Morton) is employed as the new head chef. Also, there is waitress Marilyn
Gates (Sue Nicholls); Sue would later go on to star as Audrey
Roberts in Granada Television's Coronation Street. One of
the cleaners at the motel is Amy Turtle played by Ann
George and Miss Tatum, the village postmistress in Kings Oak
is played by Elizabeth Croft.
In 1975, Benny
Hawkins was introduced into the serial as the motel handyman. Benny,
who would go on to become a hugely popular character is played by Paul
Henry and remained at Crossroads for 12 years. Benny had worked
on Ed Lawton's (Thomas Heathcote) farm before getting the job
at the motel.
Lawton's niece is Diane Lawton (Susan
Hanson) who works as a waitress at the motel. Diane, or *Miss
Diane as Benny refers to her, is rather protective of
Benny and the pair become close friends and remain so, until tragedy
strikes and Diane dies of a brain haemorrhage in 1987. Benny
named a donkey Miss Diane in memory of his most beloved friend.
Crossroads had a run of twenty-four years and 4510 episodes. The
original Crossroads serial saw many new characters introduced,
which meant that a great diversity of storylines was possible.
*The 'Miss' in Miss Diane was not in the original
script and was the name that Paul Henry invented and used when in his
character as Benny and it
stuck and Benny always
referred to Diane as Miss Diane.
ATV - 1964 - 1982 / Central Television - 1982 - 1988
Thanks to Mike
Garrett of the Crossroads Appreciation Society