Characters Josie and Benny in 1977 - on the Crossroads fanclub siteMy Gran used to watch Crossroads. We weren’t allowed to watch ITV at home because of the adverts. But when we went to my Gran’s house, there would be Crossroads on the telly as well as other things that my mum disapproved of.

I remember the bingly-bongly theme music as the credits criss-crossed in a feat of modern technology and the ATV logo like an eye at the end. I also remember the Brummie accents which were so rarely heard on the telly back then. My favourite character was Benny – according to Wikipedia most people’s favourite character. And I didn’t like Eddie Large of Little and Large for his impressions of Benny. The character was, as we used to put it, ‘simple’, yet when you saw the actor in real life he showed no sign of intellectual impairment (nor was he wearing the Benny hat).

Staff at the motel in 1973 - on the Crossroads fanclub siteCrossroads plots were criticised for being simple and the acting poor, yet the soap did tackle some issues that other dramas skirted around. They had disabled characters for example, Benny for one, and also a character in a wheelchair. Many of the fans were Midlanders and would say that the reason the programme came under fire and was derided so often was due to the low opinion the rest of the UK have of Brummies.

When compared to other country’s soap offerings such as Sons and Daughters or All My Children, Crossroads is my preference. The show proved to be an embarrassment to TV bosses who were sensitive to the ‘tacky’ criticism. Eventually it was axed, regardless of the legions of fans and viewing figures in the millions. Very sad. However clips can still be seen on YouTube and there is a thriving online fan club.

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room


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