'Crossroads', home of wooden acting and flimsy sets, rises from the ashes

The television soap Crossroads, based on a Midlands motel, which became infamous for its dodgy scripts and even dodgier sets, could soon reopen for business.

Detailed proposals to make an updated version of the classic daytime serial that ran for 24 years have been drawn up by Lord Alli, the director of productions for Carlton Television. Lord Alli said he "very badly" wanted to remake Crossroads to fill ITV's late-afternoon slot, which will be left vacant when the Australian soap Home and Away moves to Channel 5 next year.

Carlton will formally submit the idea to ITV on 24 April, but the proposal was greeted with mixed feelings by its former cast and the critics.

First launched in 1965, Crossroads drew audiences of 14 million at its peak, developing characters such as Benny Hawkins, the simple-minded handyman, and Meg Hunter, the hotel's first owner, who became national heroes.

The series could be the latest in a string of remakes from the Sixties and Seventies, including The Avengers, The Saint and Mission: Impossible. Carlton also unveiled its television remake of the classic film The Railway Children yesterday, which will star Jenny Agutter, the original child lead, as the children's mother.

Lord Alli, the former head of Planet 24, said he hoped to retain the Crossroads title and original theme music, written by Tony Hatch and later rerecorded by Paul McCartney's group Wings. Questions such as Benny's future have yet to be decided, he said.

The series would be made in Carlton's Nottingham studios, written with a younger audience in mind. Lord Alli dismissed suggestions that its poor production standards should be retained. "I just don't buy into that. The reason why Crossroads works was because there were great storylines and the characters were great and believable," he said.

Paul Henry, 54, who played Benny, remembered that viewers hung banners outside their homes stating "Benny is innocent" when his character was accused of a murder. "He was a great character to play because you could take every emotion to the extreme, he could lose his temper or get upset," he said.

Rival soap magazines had opposing views. Paul Smith, of Soaplife, said his magazine was right to giveCrossroads its Golden Turkey Award in January. "I think it's old ground," he said. "I think it would be sacrilege to bring it back." However, Wendy Granditer, of Inside Soap, said it was "a great idea". She said: "I would be very, very upset if it came back as a very slick programme. I think people quite liked the daytime hammyness of it. That would be part of its appeal."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Database Executive - Leading Events Marketing Company - London

£23000 - £25000 per annum + 25 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Databas...

Recruitment Genius: Publishing Assistant

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Digital Account Exec ...

Guru Careers: Print Project Manager

Competitive (DOE): Guru Careers: A Print Project Manager is needed to join one...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk