Features: ITV 50

 

 

With ITV rightly celebrating the first fifty years of commercial television in the United Kingdom it was only proper that the long running serial (and television institution) “Crossroads” was mentioned as part of the proceedings.

 

Networked programmes featured very few mentions of Crossroads which is odd when you consider that it ran for 24 years and was once one of ITV’s highest rating shows. Fortunately viewers in the CENTRAL TELEVISION area were treated to some classic Crossroads as part of the regional celebrations.

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Understandably the focus of the celebrations was the original series that ran from 1964-1988, but for fans of the 2001 series there were one or two snippets worthy of a mention.

 

Central News at Six previewed their ITV @ 50 programme by showing edited highlights in the form of themed inserts to the nightly news. One such insert was based completely on Crossroads – with the 2001 series mentioned fleetingly at the end…

 

“Central closed the doors on Crossroads in 1987, but it did make a comeback just a few years ago, based at the studios in Nottingham, but somehow it just wasn’t the same and was fairly short lived.”

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Somehow it just wasn’t the same

 

 

All in all, not the most positive way to be remembered but at least the series was acknowledged as being part of the Crossroads legend – and not missed completely.

 

On Sunday 18th September, ITV Central broadcast their hour long retrospective of ITV in the midlands. Again the focus was the “Classic” series – yet strangely the 2001 version of the theme music was used to illustrate the programme rather than the Tony Hatch original.

 

As well as a great image of the newly opened Central Studios in Nottingham (see below) the 2001 series featured more air-time in this programme, as Jane Rossington gave her opinion of the show.

 

(Brace yourselves….)

 

Presenter: (Bob Warman)

As a footnote, Crossroads reopened in 2001 as a 4 star hotel. Carlton Television reinvented the series for a new millennium. This time it was made in the Nottingham studios and Jane was lured back to help it get off the ground…

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Jane Rossington:

I was absolutely amazed when they said they were going to bring it back but it soon became apparent that it wasn’t quite the show that I remembered…and I certainly don’t think it was the show that the audience remembered – it was a very different show. And I think they were just – they wanted to make a hotel soap – they saw that gave them all sorts of possibilities and they thought “Why not use the name Crossroads? – Pick up the audience that is still talking about it”…But of course it was nothing like the original.

 

Presenter:

Despite lavish production and four of the original cast – the glammed up Crossroads failed to charm the viewers like its rickety predecessor and in 2003 the dream was over.

 

And there you have it – perhaps not the rose-tinted view of the series we like to present here on Crossroads 2001, but still a mention – And as one of the last network programmes to be made by the Central region for the ITV network, worthy of its place in Midlands broadcasting history.