Crossroads Fans: Obsessed by Crossroads

 

Everybody is obsessed with something at some point in their lives. Whether it's the “Fab Four” in the 1960s, or “Take That” in the 1990's. Even if you happen to like Hammond Organ Music you can rest assured that you're not the only one…

 

In 2002 a series entitled "How Weird Are You?" was transmitted on BBC Three. Its brief was to find people who do weird things. One episode saw the lady who deliberately left books in public places so people would take them with the idea of them being registered at a later date on a website. Meanwhile someone else made music with his allotment…

 

Episode 9 of the series featured a man who was billed as being "Obsessed by Crossroads". His name was Anthony. His day job was a sales advisor and he lived in Nottingham… which was the right place for an obsessed fan to be - considering that's where Crossroads 2001 was made!

 

Anthony told the programme that:

 

  • He watched the lunchtime and teatime airings of the show "always"
  • Adrenaline flowed in the commercials leading up to the start of the show
  • The phone, should it ring, is left unanswered when Crossroads is on
  • He has three sets of tapes in his flat (all of which are labeled in the Mark II corporate logo style), another set at his mother's house where it’s also recorded and Anthony also has a friend in New Zealand who records the transmission of the show from TVNZ!

 

Anthony went to the Crossroads set at Carlton Studios in Nottingham as part of the programme. It was evident from his reaction that it was a dream come true for him and we see him picking up the phone and reciting that famous line…

 

"Crossroads Hotel - How can I help you?"

 

 

Anthony is obsessed by Crossroads…

Apparently!

 

Anthony’s Crossroads “vault”…

 

 

 

Later we learn that Anthony’s first ambition was to be a newsreader… until Crossroads came along. He started watching the original series at the age of three but hints of obsession didn't start until he turned a teenager. Anthony revealed that he found out where the rehearsal room was (at the Central studios in Broad Street in Birmingham) and waited there for autographs!

 

(Incidentally – this wasn’t Anthony’s first taste of TV fame, having appeared on Channel 4’s “Open The Box” programme… as a Crossroads fan in the 1980’s.)

 

Anthony's ultimate dream would have been to actually be on Crossroads itself as opposed to wandering around the set. He even went on a television course to improve his chances. He admitted that working on a Hollywood film would not be the same as being on Crossroads.

 

Anthony was very clearly a huge fan of Crossroads and he demonstrates that fandom is a very strange beast. It's a very fine line between being a dedicated fan and an obsessed fan. You cross it at your own risk.

 

Many Crossroads fans have recorded and kept episodes when they were shown on the TV. Some even resort to buying episodes on ebay. Whether they label their tapes in the same way as Anthony is another matter…

 

But just what is it about Crossroads that makes people like Anthony react in this (or the totally opposite) way? During the programme he stated that "exciting things happen in Crossroads ... I think it has a bit of the Dynasty glamour and drama with glamour.”

 

Of course – for every obsessed fan there are others that disagree. Daniel Landsberger of the Crossroads fan club was a hardcore believer that Crossroads 2001 was not “Crossroads” as it should have been and went so far at one point as to suggest that anybody who enjoyed the 2001 remake was not a true Crossroads fan!

 

As the existence of the many Crossroads websites proves – and possibly the fact that you’re reading this article at all…Anthony is no more obsessed than a lot of other fans, despite having three copies of each episode taped off the TV and another one “Down Under.”

 

Even if you have a huge episode collection - this is nothing to worry about. You can tell people you're just dedicated… But if you put a large poster of Jane Asher on your walls, paint your ceilings purple, order and use a custom made bed duvet with the Crossroads logo on it - then maybe you should seek professional help…

 

… containing the precious videos!

 

A lifetime ambition… A visit to the set!

 

 

Anthony first appeared on TV as a

Crossroads Fan in 1985’s “Open The Box”

 

Waiting for autographs outside the

Rehearsal rooms.

 

 

 

Terror at the Crossroads

 

Anthony’s story does not end here – and some months later he was the subject of media attention again with an ambitious project to raise Crossroads from the grave in a new amateur film “TERROR AT THE CROSSROADS”… or at least  that was what it was going to be called – until Carlton’s lawyers objected – hence “TERROR AT THE FERNTREE T-JUNCTION” was born.

 

The Planet Crossroads website published a reproduction of an article published in the tabloid version of thisisnottingham…

 

His passion for the ill-fated TV soap Crossroads has prompted the programme's "biggest fan", Anthony Owen, to produce his own television movie as a personal tribute to the woman he adored, Noele Gordon, and other cast members. Backed by his devoted mother Kath Garton, Anthony, 37, of Town Street, Bramcote, has sunk part of his life savings into a project that he knows could fall flat on its face. "Dallas meets Crossroads" is how Anthony, a sales advisor for Marks & Spencer, and a carer for his mother, describes his TV move which he has entitled "Terror at the Ferntree T-Junction".

 

Anthony began writing the script in March last year and has assembled a cast of friends who are all giving their time free. Among them are "legends" Jane Rossington and Tony Adams who played Jill Harvey and Adam Chance in the original series of Crossroads and Howard Jacks who made his mark as Nobby from the garage in more recent episodes.

 

Anthony said: "I admit I am a fanatic when it comes to Crossroads and could say that I have let it take over my life. My biggest disappointment is that I have not been given an opportunity to appear in an episode of the programme, in a walk on part, or as an extra but despite years of trying, fate has been against me.."

 

He was no more than a toddler when he began watching Crossroads and has been obsessed with it ever since. As a teenager, Anthony, educated at Henry Mellish Grammar School, often visited the studios in Birmingham, where the programme was originally made, and made friends with many of the stars. Between 1982 and 1985, he spent most of his spare time travelling to watch rehearsals.

 

"My happy memories of those days was a filming session with Paul Henry who played Benny, and being photographed with Sue Lloyd and Ronald Allen who played Barbara Brady and David Hunter," said Anthony. Over the years I have accumulated a treasure trove of memorabilia and the autographs, annuals, scrapbooks and scores of video tapes, recording every single episode of Crossroads, are extra special to me."

 

It was while attending an Acting to Camera Course at the Nottingham Arts Theatre last year that Anthony first met three fellow thespians, Maggie Burrows, Mike Savage and Loraine Higgins, who he hopes will star in Terror at the Ferntree T-Junction.

 

"When I approached Maggie, Mike and Loraine about taking part in my film, I was delighted when they agreed to be involved in the project. Maggie, 43, a schoolteacher who lives in Woodthorpe is a member of the Royal Company and I am banking on her to become my new Noele Gordon," said Anthony.

 

"I'm hoping that Mike, 51, who lives in Stapleford and is the proprietor of PRess Gang Ironing Services, will use his acting talents to the full. He has recently appeared in the new series of Fat Friends and in my TV movie he will be playing the part of twins, one Barney Lectur, a farm hand and the other, scheming US Senator Barnaby Lectus.

 

"Loraine, 34, a qualified nurse, who lives in Stapleford and is a member of the Beeston Players Drama Group, has been cast as Louise Hewitt in the movie which involves around 20 local performers as well as the three former Crossroads stars."

 

Originally Anthony gave his movie the title "Terror at the Crossroads" but as Carlton officials in London objected to him using the name Crossroads, as they felt it breached copyright laws, he changed the wording.

 

Set in Ferntree, a village in the West Midlands, Terror at the Ferntree T-Junction brings together a host of colourful characters whose interests are centred on property development, oil, double dealing and stormy relationships.

 

Filming has begun on Anthony's TV movie which is costing him "a few thousand" to make, and among the locations which will figure prominently are a farm shop in Bramcote, a private house in Beeston Fields Drive, Beeston and the Woodthorpe home of work colleague Antoinette Bailey.

 

"Antoinette and her husband Peter have been brilliant allowing full use of their home, Southlands, which will be transformed into a stately home as well as the Ferntree Hotel."

 

Anthony has cast himself as hotel assistant Simon Thornley and he will appear as Harry, an Australian barman and surfer. [But he's] not been put off by the lack of interest from a commercial broadcaster for his efforts.

 

"Many people will say that this is a fool-hardy project that I have taken on. But to me it is an opportunity to show that through life's trials and tribulations there comes a time when fortune smiles on the brave."

 

*

 

And there you have it – the story of one fan’s continuing obsession with Crossroads – and you know what –  I’d like to say “Anthony Owen – I salute you”. I can’t say that I’ve seen “Terror at the Ferntree T-Junction” – other than the clip that you sent to the Planet Crossroads site – but what it shows (if nothing else) is dedication, passion and enthusiasm – the true hallmarks of being a fan – oh – and I like the “non speaking extras” too – very Crossroads!

With Sue Hanson “Miss Diane”

 

Anthony’s Scrapbook of photographs

 

 

Anthony discusses the script with his

fellow actors.

 

 

Anthony with his collection of Crossroads

Goodies.

 

Terror at the Ferntree T-Junction

 

Written by…

 

And Produced by…

 

 

 

Contains material originally published on the Planet Crossroads site.

Our heartfelt thanks go to Neil at Planet Crossroads for allowing us to adapt and republish the material

 

Some of the text here is © Planet Crossroads and is used with permission.

Slight changes have been made to some of the material.

 

Screenshots BBC (2002) and Channel 4 (1985) and Anthony Owen

Black and White images from thisisnottingham