Features: Interview with Joanne Farrell
(Sarah-Jane Harvey / Louise Dixon)
In June 2004 Joanne Farrell kindly agreed to answer some questions about her time on Crossroads. We are grateful to her for sharing her time with us.
How did you get the role of Sarah-Jane?
I auditioned at Carlton, Portman Square, London on 27th September 2000 and was offered the role on 13th October. My agent called to tell me whilst I was on my way to the Royal Albert Hall to sing in a concert. I was so excited I could barely sing!
With such a strong musical background why did you decide to go into a soap?
I'd always wanted to be in a soap and fancied the challenge of a long running character on television. The idea of a 'New Crossroads' sounded like fun.
Did you audition for other roles?
Not in Crossroads, no.
Had you worked with any of the cast previously (or since)?
No, but I see Colin Wells occasionally as we are with the same agent.
Do you have any memories of the original series of Crossroads?
Only the theme tune!
The original press release claims your character was a "Meg Richardson" in the making and that Sarah saw the hotel as her "birthright" so did you originally play Sarah as the genuine daughter of Jill?
How long were you in the series before you found out that you were playing Louise Dixon?
I found out at the end of May but had to keep it a secret.
Who did Louise really want - Jake or Mark?
Jake at first. Then Mark
Many fans wanted to see Louise Dixon return to Crossroads. Would you have returned if asked?
Probably, yes. I loved it.
Tony Adams says that he enjoyed working with you. What was it like working with soap legends?
Fantastic! It was quite unnerving at first but Tony and Jane are so cool and we had a great time.
What was your favourite storyline or scene?
Definitely the fight between Sarah-Jane and Adam Chance when he chased her all round the hotel.
Did you spend any time talking with Holly Newman when she took on the role of Sarah?
Once in the make-up room!
Can you give us some idea of a typical filming schedule?
For me, it was make-up at 7am, on set at 8am, somewhere between 30-50 pages of dialogue, then finish at 7pm.
Do you have any amusing stories about Crossroads?
On my first day I had a scene with Jane Rossington where Sarah Jane visits Jill at her hospital bedside. I was quite nervous with it being my first scene. I started speaking and waited for Jill's reply...and waited...and waited...and Jane had fallen asleep. I was hysterical with laughter, as was the director and the crew!
How would you sum up your time on the series?
Hard work and incredibly good fun.
The show did recieve some criticism from the press and some fans. In your opinion - did this have an effect on the actors/production staff?
Yes. The whole team was really proud of our show, so I guess we all became even closer and even more supportive of each other.
Can you tell us something about your work since Crossroads?
I've just finished filming a new series for ITV about the fire service. It's set in Middlesborough and I play a firefighter called Nicola Higgins. The working title is "Steel River Blues" and it's due out later this year, Prior to that I played "Sandy" in "Grease" in the West End and was in Sky One's "Dream Team" before that.
Finally, on your site you say you enjoy bingo....Have you had any good wins lately?
Not at Bingo, but I did win at Ascot last week!
Jo Farrell as Sarah Jane Harvey, with on-screen mum, Jill Harvey and nemesis, Adam Chance (Jane Rossington and Tony Adams)
A proposal for Sarah Jane from Mark Russell (Max Brown). Unfortunately…
She was also seeing his brother, Jake, played by Colin Wells.
Jake’s wife Tracey was less than impressed, but managed to get her own back!
The two men in Sarah-Jane’s life… or should that be Louise Dixon’s life…?
Our heart-felt thanks go to Joanne Farrell for giving us this interview and Andy at Jo’s official site.
The text here is © Crossroads 2001 and Joanne Farrell
Images are used with permission (See below)
Visit Jo’s website