With only a couple of weeks' filming behind him when Julian talked to us, he had already formed his own opinions on the
show. "Obviously I haven't been around the show long enough to give a really authoritative opinion, but I do think that
when you have a show with such a fantastic audience as this one, there's a wonderful chance to make valid social comments.
Given the rather low standards of education among all too many people in the country, it would be excellent if one could use
the show to put across important points. Moral, educational, ethical ... whatever you like. I know that the storyline
is full of attitudes and events that do reflect on everyday life, all the relationships and the ideas that surround them,
but I still would like to see a greater use of social messages."
One thing that Julian would like to feel his role of Jeff Gilbert providing is someone who smiled a bit more than he
feels most Crossroads regulars do. "I realised that the show has an awful lot of people with problems, so I
decided that if I had the opportunity I'd smile a bit. Of course, Jeff could turn out to be just one more loser, couldn't
he? It could all end in tears."
One thing Julian doesn't know is what will happen to his alter ego. "I think it will transpire that Jeff isn't
quite what he seems. So far all I know is the mistaken identity problem with Jane Smith (Sally Adcock). I hope
I'll be around for a while yet, but what will happen to Jeff, I just don't know. One thing, though, he certainly seems
to have an eye for the ladies."
Come what may, one thing is certain. Crossroads viewers won't forget the new barman in a hurry.
Julian Barnes has obviously had a pretty dramatic career to date and there's no denying his optimism and ambition. Perhaps
it's best summed up in the story he tells of his reaction to getting the part of Jeff Gilbert. "When I found out that
I was getting the part, I bought a few bottles of champagne and called up a few close friends to help me celebrate.
So they said "What will you be doing with the part?" and I could only reply that if I could put even the tiniest amount, just
the smallest fraction of Jack Nicholson in 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' into Jeff Gilbert in Crossroads, then