The everyday lives of working-class inhabitants of Albert Square, a traditional Victorian square of terrace houses surrounding a park in the East End of London's Walford borough. The square includes the Queen Vic pub and a street market.
Pam St. Clement
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To sum up Crossroads is a task which is practically impossible. The wobbly set legend is a strange one, we know when the show started it was filmed in a old cinema, so the sets were of a stage-production quality, but when Crossroads moved into ATV Centre (1970) those wobbles became no worse than any other TV show. (In fact I noticed a wobble in one of the sets on Coronation St a few months ago)
Was the 'so bad, its good' true? Well no, the cast and crew put in 110% into the programme, ATV were not exactly generous with cash, so maybe it did look cheap, however unless other soaps they were doing Crossroads five times a week on less cash than the rest so the fact they made anything at least half decent should be praised not knocked.
The show was a ground-breaker, but people prefer to knock it and insult its 17 million fans in the process. Crossroads made television history time and time again, yet how many people know of any of these feats?
Maybe the legend of the wobbles and the poor standards have actually stood the show well as even nearly 20 years after it disappeared everyone still knows of Crossroads.
Today compared with the poor Carlton version, the original Crossroads now stands out as a classic. The show boasted a host of stars, David Jason, Bob Monkhouse, Max Wall, Elaine Paige, Ken Dodd, Sue Nicholls and Johnny Briggs all stayed within the motel to name only a few.
The story lines at the time were said to be sometimes far fetched, but nothing compared to some that appeared later in Brookside or Coronation Street. Crossroads set the trend for real-life issue based plots, it also aimed to entertain. It was a family soap, something that is rare on television today. It wasn't afraid to be different, and it never gave in to the TV Critics, as Lord Lew Grade said, he made the show for the fans, not for the ATV cash generator or critics. Something ITV could learn from today. It might have been cheap but it was popular, and thats something many expensive shows have failed to be!
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