Its been ‘nicknamed’ The Samsons as old soap Crossroads undergoes not quite a revamp, but a recamp, as bosses aim the saga towards a ‘gay’ audience. New names to the cast include Jane Asher and Daniella Westbrook.The former EastEnders actress Westbrook is to return to acting after reportedly being dropped from the BBC soap because of a cocaine addiction. Westbrook hit the headlines when the septum in her nose was eroded due to prolonged drug abuse.

She will play a money-grabbing, blonde bombshell in the ITV motel-based soap which is being given a glossy revamp to boost ratings.

“We are thrilled to have her,” a spokeswoman for the show said. Elsewhere cake baker and actress Jane Asher is lined up as the ‘new Noele Gordon’ taking on the lead role. Both stars are famed for their red locks.

Asher is being drafted in as Angel, the “gutsy, unpredictable” businesswoman who takes over the show’s motel. 

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Jane into Crossroads,” executive producer Yvon Grace said, adding, “When the show returns in the New Year, it’s going to be fun, escapist and sexy.”

“I wanted a powerful woman at the centre of the action and I think viewers will see a very different side to Jane as superbitch Angel.”

A number of cast members from the 2001-2002 run have been axed to make way for the new arrivals. These include Neil Grainger who was nominated for a Soap Award last year and in the storylines his character of Phil Berry is in prison awaiting a murder trial.

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