Crossroads was a Britishtelevisionsoap opera set in a motel near Birmingham, England. It was first broadcast on ITV between 1964 and 1988. The programme was made by ATV until the company lost its broadcast franchise at the end of 1981, and thereafter by ATV's successor Central. Very few archive recordings exist because ATV wiped and re-used most of the videotapes. It was subsequently revived as a Carlton Television production (Carlton having bought Central and acquired the rights to all ATV programmes) in 2001. The relaunched series was broadcast at 5PM on weekdays on ITV1, but did not receive the expected ratings and was finally cancelled in May2003.
The main character in the original series was Meg Richardson, the motel's owner, played by Noele Gordon. Other major characters included charlady Amy Turtle (later satirised by Victoria Wood as "Mrs Overall"), chef Carlos, postman Vince Parker and his wife, waitress Diane. Mrs Richardson's children were Sandy, played by Roger Tonge and Jill, played by Jane Rossington.
The serial first aired five days a week, until the IBA decreed that the show would go to four airings a week in 1967. In 1979, under suspicions that the IBA was going to penalize the show for its sub-par actors, Crossroads was only allowed to air three times a week.
During the Falklands War in 1982, British troops serving in the Islands referred to locals as 'Bennies', referring to Benny, the unfashionably dressed character on Crossroads. When ordered not to do this by their commanding officers, the troops took to referring to the Islanders as 'Stills', on the grounds that they were 'Still Bennies'.
After Noele Gordon was sacked from the programme, it carried on with many of the same characters (and under the same name) until about 1985, when the show was remodeled slightly and given the new name Crossroads Motel. In 1987, in a final bid to reach defecting viewers, the stories of the villagers surrounding the motel were told, and the show was given yet another name change, as it became known as Crossroads: King's Oak. The show was finally canceled in 1988, with Jill riding off into the sunset with lover John Maddingham. As she left her motel behind for a new life in the West, she was asked what she would name the new motel she would be running. She remarked, "I always thought Crossroads was an awfully good name."
The show returned in 2001 as a Carlton Television production. On its return, the only familiar characters to reappear were Jill Richardson and her ex-husband Adam Chance (Tony Adams).