John's been with the Crossroads team on and off for over a year now. He first appeared as the friend of
Vera's first boyfriend, Doug. "He first appeared as Doug's mate, bringing Vera a message," says John. "Then it
finally worked out that Doug wasn't coming back, and ever since then he's been trying his hand with Vera! At the moment
Gus is 'on leave' and he's putting in one of his regular attempts to win Vera's affections. His offer to back the problem
ridden hairdressing salon with his own savings, may well help his efforts."
When he's not playing Gus at the Motel, John Ronane's acting career, which as he proudly points out is just twenty-five
years old this month, keeps him busy. He's been involved in the 'Expert' series, in which he plays a policeman.
"It's a very nice part, and I've never played a policeman before. I've always been cast as the villain. It was very
interesting for me. I played him just as if he could equally easily have been the villain! A bit biased, a bit
prejudiced ... it was a very good part and the BBC have offered me another one like it."
The 'Expert' is scheduled for September, and John Ronane fans will doubtless be watching out for his new role on the
side of law and order. But his 'villainous' career has led him to such top TV series as 'The Avengers', 'Jason King',
'The Persuaders' and 'Department S', all regular favourites, as well as such major films as 'Spiral Staircase', 'King Rat',
'A Kind of Loving' and many others.
It's a career that many actors, whether they fancy villainy or not, might envy, but in common with so many of the artistes
who are chosen for work at the Motel, John Ronane has found that his role in Crossroads has brought him the
sort of public recognition that he had never had before. "I think I've become more familiar to people than I ever was
with the movies or the other TV shows. After all, four nights a week is a lot of time to come into somebody's house.
It's like being an extra guest in the house without actually giving any of the inconvenience that you would if you were really
there in the flesh."
And with his role as Gus, John Ronane has entered the happy state of becoming very much a public figure. "I mean
people are always stopping me in the street, or coming over on the bus or whatever and saying hello, how are you, how d'you
like it back in Birmingham? Of course there's one thing you have to remember. They're really talking to Gus, not
to me. But I get used to it."
His fame, not surprisingly, has spread to the village in which he lives with his second wife and their four children.
"I think the people down in the country are rather proud to have us," he grinned. "Nobody bothers us too much, it's
all very pleasant, but I do get asked to do things like open fetes or charity bazaars sometimes. You know, I turn up,
they announce me as 'John Ronane of Crossroads' and I say a few words. I did this May Fair for the local W.I.
It was just like that. It makes you very popular and nobody's about to knock that, are they?"
With his new role as a policeman yet to be expanded, and a number of other promising parts in the pipeline, John Ronane's
future looks like being just as busy as his past. And, inevitably, he'll be more than happy to carry on playing Gus,
just so long as the plot lets him. Which will surely please everyone who enjoys Crossroads and looks forward,
whenever possible, to welcoming John Ronane as a guest in their house. Inconvenient or not.