The Truth About Crossroads ... continued

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"By the time I came back off holiday ATV had decided that Meg ought to stay with Crossroads after all.  I was given an increase in salary and my appearances were cut to a maximum of three programmes a week, so this gave me my day off.  I went home to mother, hugged her, and we celebrated with a glass of champagne."
One of the luxuries which the new contract helped her to afford was a Silver Shadow Rolls Royce with the number plate NG10.  She says:  "Whenever Meg has to be at the wheel of a car  they always use the car I have in real life.  It needed no explanation when I had a Ford or a Triumph, but when it was the Rolls the scriptwriters had to think of an explanation like a legacy.  As far as I'm concerned it's no status symbol.  I always wanted to own the best car in the world and now I've got it.
"There is a special Crossroads code which lays down what can and connot be said in the programme.  According to ATV research 5.5 per cent of the Crossroads audience would be upset by the terms 'to welsh' - the Welsh viewers in fact.  And saying that someone got into a paddy would annoy the 4.6 per cent Irish viewers.
Because of this you will never hear us using the expression 'basket' meaning bastard.  The research department tells us that this will offend eight per cent of our TV audience.  We also never use phrases like 'coloured gentleman', 'a black' or a 'Jew.'  Instead we settle for Negro, Coloured man and Jewish.  These terms are acceptable to Negro and Jewish viewers, the others aren't.
"The essence of Crossroads is realism.  We are not offering a TV epic.  There is no attempt to compete with big scale productions such as you get from Edward VII, or the Forsyte Saga.  Instead our stories are much closer to the lives that you and I lead in our own homes.  We present events and happenings related to day to day occurences with which our enormous viewing audience is at once familar."
Jan Todd, 23, made her first TV appearance in Crossroads playing Lucy, whose mother was secretary to motel boss David Hunter (Ronald Allen).  She was in the show for six months, but has no definite plans to go back.  She says:  "There were many kind people in it who helped me a lot.  But there was a funny atmosphere.  You have to be there to know what I mean.  You have to spend a day in the Green Room, where everyone connected with the programme meets.
"Everyone has his place.  The regulars seem to have their set chairs, even their own mugs and teabags.  We casuals just had to sit round the edge of a sofa.  I think it's the same with all soap operas.  If you plan to stay in a show, you pick a comfy chair and stay for 14 years.  It's amazing.
"How did I get on with Noele Gordon?  We had differences of opinion.  I was one of the few who dared to disagree with her.  She is a very, very powerful lady.  The whole thing was a bit strange.  I'd rather not talk about it.  We really didn't hit it off.  I prefer to forget.  There was nothing grand and sensational about it.  You just get bad vibes from people.  You just have to play it cool and I was very cool and it was ok.  Noele and I did only one scene together in the six months I was there, so it didn't affect me too much.
"Other people like Frances White, who played my mother, and Ted Clayton (Meg Richardson's son-in-law) made up for it.  And I think Seph Gladstone (who announced last week that she is quitting the role of Vera) is very brave to come out of it.  It's the money, you see.  The temptation to stay because the pay cheques are coming every week."

The Truth About Crossroads continued