Despite its early evening time slot and cosy reputation, the show never shied from controversy and often covered important social issues, such as physical disability and "test tube babies", as they were then known.
Compared to other long running soaps, such as Coronation Street and EastEnders, middle class characters made up a large part of the cast of Crossroads and you were as likely to hear a plummy RADA voice as a Midlands accent on the show. This mix of classes gave the programme a depth that it could be argued is missing from modern day soaps.
From the mundane to the melodramatic Crossroads kept viewers gripped for over two decades, before producers committed the cardinal sin of sacking Noele Gordon (Meg). Many say the programme never recovered from her shock departure, although a revamp by Aussie Philip Bowman was deemed succesful and viewers came to love replacement redhead Nicola Freeman (Gabrielle Drake). But further changes at the top, a cast cull and a change of theme music and even programme title led to the show's demise. Although still with healthy ratings Crossroads had become unrecognisable to loyal viewers and still wasn't trendy enough for the desirable youth demographic. TV pundits have it that the show was willed to failure by telly execs who had always viewed the show and its viewers with contempt.
The show was relaunched in 2001 but despite finding favour with fans, the ratings didn't satisfy the top brass. It was yanked from the schedule and returned in 2003 in a camp Dynasty-style format. Probably the kindest thing that can be said about this third, short-lived version is that thankfully it all turned out to be a dream.
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