And then came Sarah Jane!
A fact that some Crossroads fans may not know is that Sarah Jane in real life is none other than Jane Rossington's baby
daughter Sorrell. And the months that Jill appeared on the screen as an expectant young mother were also factual - Jane
Rossington's pregnancy parallelled that of Jill's.
Sarah Jane's welcome arrival really sealed the Harvey's marriage. Jill, who in the past had suffered a bigamist,
a miscarriage and an attempted suicide, settled down and became a solid, reliable, mature young woman. "I've stopped
being the young, headstrong girl," says Jane Rossington about her 'other half'. "Now Stan and I are very happy, except
that I'm determined to move out of our flat into a house. That has been vaguely my story line over the past year
and I know Stan wants me to shut up about it. But it's the underlying thing all the time. Now I'm doing all the
young marrieds' problems ... mortgages, money, economies and so on."
Although Jane's life is, she says, vastly different to that of Jill's ("I'm a career woman whereas in my stage life I'm
married to an electrician, living in a flat and my husband insists that his wife stays at home"), she feels that both she
and Jill treat their babies the same way.
"Jill is a character," says Jane, "whereas Sarah Jane isn't. She's my real daughter and I can't treat her any other
way. She is my baby, so I talk to her as I would talk to my baby, excluding the word 'Sorrell'. I couldn't possibly
treat her in a different way ... it would be impossible. You react to animals in the same way as you react to children,
like an inborn instinct, and you can't change that really. Not when it's your own child anyway. If you had to
play a part where you were being evil to a child, you may be able to do it to somebody else's, but not to your own."
Sarah Jane - or Sorrell - is now 19 months aold and is already talking ... "learning a new word every five minutes!"
says Jane. She's made numerous appearances on the programme and it looks as if her small face will be popping up even
more frequently in the future. Her acting career depends a lot - at the moment at least - on keeping her attention from
wandering while she is on camera. To keep her quiet, Jane has the Crossroads prop department leave a few hats
lying around the floor. It seems that if there's anything this little girl likes most in the world it's hats!
One other strange taste she has - and a taste which landed Meg Mortimer on the receiving end of a few hostile letters
- is cheese! Sorrell just adores cheese, so when she and Meg had a big scene together, Noele broke off a lump of best
English cheddar and gave it to her tiny co-star. The trouble was that instead of taking a nibble, Sorrell crammed
the whole lot into her mouth at once! "I stood there horrified, waiting for her to turn blue," recalls Noele.
But these minor disasters aside, it seems that the Harvey family have crossed a fair share of bumps on the road to happiness
and seem set for a long and lasting marriage. A society girl marrying an electrician? Who says it couldn't work?