The Truth About Crossroads ... continued

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"It's dangerous to upset the producers too.  Tony Morton, who played the Spanish chef, asked to be written out after three years.  They wanted him to stay.  They wrote him out after pleading with him.  They must have known that he might want to come back later on, but they killed him off completely.
But I do have happy memories.  My happiest days were when Reg Watson, the original producer, was there.  He was great.  It was his baby.  They said a daily series couldn't be done.  But he did it.
I remember my first birthday on the programme.  Reg told me he wanted me down in a studio at a certain time.  Later a call came on the tannoy: 'Will Anne George please go to Studio One.'  When I got there it was in darkness.  I was feeling my way around when suddenly a voice said: 'Lights'.  And there were all the cast standing in a ring singing happy birthday.
Later that same day everyone had to go to Noele's dressing room.  She came in with a gorgeous cake and we drank champagne.
Another time, a well-known catering firm sent me a birthday cake in the shape of the motel, with a crossroads, and an old turtle walking up the drive.
I used to give parties and on my birthday I've bought 60 bottles of champagne to celebrate with thew cast.
Every Christmas I bought 60 diaries for them.  They were my friends, almost my family.  But once I'd left the programme it was as though it had all been wiped out.  I may sound bitter.  But that's because when I look back on the happy days of Crossroads - and how things have turned out - I feel upset.  If I hadn't got Gor don I would have been on my own again."
Her husband Gordon says:  "What no one knows to this day is just how much it affected Ann.  To have your whole way of life change overnight has a terrible effect.  It buckled Ann.  She cried and cried and couldn't sleep.  She had to have pills from the doctor.  It went on for months. 
"What hurt most was to think that she was suddenly removed from people she had regarded as her friends.  They were gone without as much as a by your leave.  But it lifts her up when she gets letters from her old fans.  They still arrive each week. 
"Fortunately Ann is versatile and can sing, so she has been in a summer season and has done cabaret round the clubs.  She also appeared in pantomime in Ashton-under-Lyme.  And you know, everyone still wants to know when she will be back in the show.
"Producer Jack Barton said to Ann when she left that any time he could help, just let him know.  So I thought I would test them.  At Ann's first attempt at pantomime I wrote to him and asked if the Crossroads cast would send her some good luck cards or telegrams.  Only Roger Tonge sent a card.  Roger always was a nice, sincere fellow and Ann and I did appreciate it.  But after all those years it wouldn't have hurt the others to do the same."

The Truth About Crossroads continued