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The very first producer of this Brummie based soap opera was a gentleman called Reg Watson . This name may not be recognisable but it will ring a bell at the back of your mind and when I say he moved to Australia and created a show called PRISONER CELL BLOCK H you'll know who he is now . And like PRISONER this soap based at a Midlands motel was total turd , but often highly entertaining . In fact both myself and many of my peer group would discuss the previous night's episode at school
Every episode starts on a cliff hanger opening : " What you mean you're having my husbands baby " . The actors freeze , but it not a freeze frame camera shot as you can clearly see the actors tremble in fright at their dialogue . The caption CROSSROADS flashes up and Tony Hatch's guitar theme tune blasts in - Ding Ding Ding - Ding Ding Ding Ding . Then the actors get back to what they were doing before . Very bizarre and there's another idiosyncratic revealing mistake in almost every scene and that's the actors waiting for their cue . When the action cuts from one location to another you can clearly see for a brief moment the actor standing still like a statue then they go on to pour a cup of tea or make a phone call etc
But it was the script and characters that made the show entertaining garbage . Shugie McPhee was a master chef and head of the kitchen and in one subplot tried to bring down the motel by contaminating guests food . In one memorable scene a big plastic spider finds itself becoming dessert . And there was Adam Chance who was Ken Barlow's only rival in British Soapland's least convincing hetrosexual character
For me and many others the real star was Benny the retarded oddjob man at the motel . If Channel 4 did a programme called 100 GREATEST RETARDED CHARACTERS IN TELEVISION Benny would win by a mile and unsurprisingly the more ridiculous plots revolved around him . Benny is maimed trying to stop a couple of joy riders , Benny is left 25,000 pound in a relatives will , and Benny is framed for murder . Don't worry he was innocent , it turned out the manager of the garage killed his lover , heard someone walk in and hid as Benny found the body then gasped " My god Benny what have you done ? " . Benny was something of a national institution and no amateur talent contest of the late 1970s was complete without an impressionist trying - And failing - to capture Benny's mannerism
I stopped watching it in the early 1980s and I heard that the producers at the time tried to make it a serious drama which caused the viewing figures to drop and led to its ultimate cancellation .
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