Reactions to Jo's portrayal of Mrs Witton are just as vehement when she makes one of her many personal appearance around
the country. "We do these PAs (personal appearances) at fetes and so on and people often come up and tell me what they
think of Mrs Witton. On the whole they are very pleasant and keep telling me that I'm much nicer than the person I have
to play on TV. Sometimes, they can be quite rude, all the same. I've had people come up and really tell me off
because they take it all so seriously. "Why can't you keep your nose out of other people's affairs ..." all that
sort of thing. I think the truth is that people who see Jo Richardson are rather disappointed that she isn't just like
Which, naturally, she is not. She's married, to a MIdlands businessman, and has two children at boarding schools,
a son aged fourteen and a daughter of eleven. "It's very nice to have a good, secure man as a husband. He's quite
artistically inclined himself, he used to direct a lot of plays for amateur dramatic companies, and he's always been very
keen on my carrying on in the profession."
Her career started not in acting but in the ballet. "I was in the Ballet Rambert for four years and then I went
off to University. I qualified as a teacher - my parents thought that would be useful - but I only taught for a short
while. Very soon I went back to the theatre and since then I've done lots of live theatre, TV plays, and a couple of
films - 'Dracula AD 72' and 'Fiddler On The Roof''". Jo Richardson has also tried some writing, a career that has attracted
other Crossroads stars such as David Lawton who plays Chef Booth. But, so far, she hasn't actually had anything
published. "I'm writing to pluck up the courage to get down and really do something about it. But I have
finished one book and I'm really keen to get that in print."
And after her movie and TV work there came her arrival at Crossroads. Over the last eight years, Jo Ricahrdson
has hardly been off the set. "In the last four years I was in virtually every week, the longest rest I had was a few
weeks at a time. And before that the longest lay-off was around three months. With so many actors and actresses
out of work, Crossroads is very regular work."
Which of the various acting media does she prefer? Says Jo, "I always find that difficult to answer, but in the
end I think it's the one in which I'm working at the time. I mean, I love doing TV work and then when I do live theatre
work I think how super it is to be on stage and getting live audience reaction and then when I get back to TV I love that
again. Radio perhaps is my least favourite because it has the least scope as far as the actor is concerned."