Rossington would Return to Crossroads

Despite an ill-fated cash-in on the brand a decade ago Jane Rossington would still return to the fictional motel if a proper revival came about.

Jane Rossington, 2010 at Birmingham Cathedral

The actress played Jill Richardson in the original Crossroads between 1964 and 1988 and has had other soap roles in Brookside, The Archers and Emergency Ward 10.

Speaking in Express Magazine she said,

“Would I do another Crossroads? I did get murdered [in 2001] but then it turned out that the series had been a dream, so maybe I’m alive! Yes I’d do another show, its part of my life.”

Crossroads was cancelled in 1987 by the late Central TV boss Andy Allan who wanted to clear the studio time the ‘soap opera’ took up in order to make more lavish – and seemingly more lucrative – dramas. At the time ITV had planned to give the saga a weekend omnibus and move it to 7pm.

However Rossington feels Central were out of touch with the viewers, especially as ‘soap opera’ became big business in the 1990s.

“Some people were a bit snooty about Crossroads,” she told the magazine, adding, “But our success paid for a lot of other programmes that were being made. Companies were spending lots of money to get an advertising slot during Crossroads. We were pulling in 15 million viewers every week night!”

After 12-years off air Carlton Television decided to cash-in on the brand and created their own modern version of the Birmingham based saga to fill the void on ITV left by the departure to Channel 5 of Home and Away.

“It wasn’t the same, though” Jane notes, “They tried to jazz it up. They wanted dramatic storylines and I kept telling them, ‘this isn’t what Crossroads is about.’ In those first 24-years I think we had one murder! People watched the show because it was about ordinary everyday lives.”

Crossroads, recording 'as live' in 1974

Fans were equally unimpressed saying the Carlton production merely used the name Crossroads with little in the way of accurate or strong links to the series which became ITV’s best rating daytime series. The show did launch some well known faces however with actor Neil Grainger going on to various dramas, and most recently sitcom Hebburn, while Freema Agyeman became a high profile actress in Doctor Who.

Crossroads may have been a daytime saga with prime time ratings back in the sixties and seventies, the fact it was recorded to tape as if going out live lead on occasion to fluffed lines and stilted acting – and famously the sets may have wobbled now and again.

“People made jokes about the sets and mistakes” Jane says in Express Magazine, continuing, “but that nonstop schedule was quite a challenge.”

The new Crossroads ended in 2003 however an official fan club founded in 1987 continues to run. The Crossroads Appreciation Society has over the years released, with Central Television, a number of ‘best of’ VHS compilations as well as a stage show in 1989.

Angus Lennie and Noele Gordon

Pictured Top: Jane Rossington at Birmingham Cathedral, an ATV Today photograph. Pictured Middle: A Crossroads episode is recorded in the 1970s and Pictured Bottom: Angus Lennie as chef Shughie McFee alongside motel owner Meg Mortimer, played by the late Noele Gordon.

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6 Replies to “Rossington would Return to Crossroads”

  1. CROSSROADS was and is an ATV legend i think JANE ROSSINGTON should return to the show if it returns again as where she was murdered in the carlton version never happened then JILL can come back once and ADAM CHANCE is still out there he may show up somewhere but there is only one company that can make CROSSROADS and thats ATV MIDLANDS as central would destroy the show if they messed with it anymore as the CROSSROADS ATV FANS want the original show back i think one day the CROSSROADS MOTEL will reopen for business.

      1. CROSSROADS was created by ATV in 1964 it was a true legend that sad excuse to bring it back by CARLTON was terrible an insult to the ATV original i do think ATV should revive it taking it to another network as id say if CENTRAL played about with it anymore they would destroy it as they nearly killed CROSSROADS forever in the 1980s and now we want the original CROSSROADS MOTEL open for business once more as its fans demand it comes back made by ATV.

  2. Channel 5 should remake it as KINGS OAK! ITV don’t deserve it, a huge money making success that they ruined deliberately – not once, THREE times!

  3. Ah yes Crossroads makes me long for a time when telly drama wasn’t just about ‘events’ and spectacles and blockbuster plots and fancy stunts.

    Soap characters these days are like ticking time bombs with improbable traumas just around every corner. What happened to the days when we just watched ordinary people getting on with everyday life, with the odd happy/sad/ events.

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