Tish Hope - A Friend Indeed!

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She's been Meg's closest friend for years!  In the thirties she was one of C.B. Cochran's famous "young ladies", a beautiful "belle of the boards" whose life revolved around London's glittering theatreland.  Like so many of her contemporaries, she quit the theatre when a dashing young colonel swept her off her feet.
In time there was a son, who later would become the fresh-faced vicar of a small village called King's Oak.  When her husband died, she followed her son ... and came to Crossroads.  There she met Meg Richardson and, when Meg's sister tragically died, she slipped quietly into the role of a firm friend.
Who is she?  She's a character who has come alive for millions of fans ranging from young boys to middle-aged women ... Tish Hope.
Tish Hope, in real life, is Joy Andrews, an actress who is as quietly charming as the character she plays.  How does she regard "Meg's best friend"?
"I see Tish as rather a gay character," confided Joy between rehearsals.  "When she first arrived at Crossroads she was a good character to have in the village because she had a sort of fecklessness in her.  Now she's rather changed.
"She remarried and she's been through a little more trouble.  Her son and daughter-in-law have gone to Africa, where he's a missionary, and she's missing them.  Then her husband went off for a bit and she was most unhappy about that.  Now they're together again and she hopes it will be alright.
"I see Tish now as a foil for Meg.  She's Meg's friend and they can talk their girl's talk.  Women like that ... our fans take it very seriously.  She filled in after Meg's sister died and gave her someone to talk to intimately.  It is much easier for Meg to talk to her than to, say, David Hunter, who after all is not a woman."
Joy Andrew's early life was not, perhaps, so far removed from Tish's.  All her working life she has spent in the theatre, doing rep., touring and - before Crossroads - on several children's television shows.  She loves working on Crossroads because she says that, unlike other companies, the cast really reflect the on-camera situation and are like "a happy family".
I think it shows up in the programme," she says.  "We get a village atmosphere, for instance, because we know each other so well.  I suppose it's an awful thing to say for a professional actress, but Crossroads is terribly cosy!"
Joy is happy playing Tish and, although her role means she has little leisure time "except to clean my flat", hopes that Tish will continue to be a regular face at the Motel.  All of which would have surprised Joy had she known her future when she first joined the Crossroads cast.  It seems Miss Andrews was none too keen at all on her new part. 
"I was told that the role was the vicar's mother and that to play it I would have to age up a bit.  Well, I looked at the cast list, and saw that Arnold Ridley (of Dad's Army fame) was playing the vicar!  It wasn't until later that I found out a new young vicar was joining the cast.  I can tell you I was greatly relieved!"   

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