The Truth About Crossroads

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Anne George has the saddest story to tell of the tribulations behind Crossroads, the TV serial watched by 15 million people four times a week.  She played Amy Turtle, the lovable Brummie who was one of the show's most popular characters when she was written out after 11 years.

She says:  "Once I had left the programme it was as though the curtains had come down.  Nobody contacted me.  Nobody wanted to know.  I shall never forgive them as long as I live."

Her husband, Gordon Buckingham, says:  "I'm convinced it was because she was getting too popular.  I saw the fan mail Ann got and there was no question of how much viewers loved her."

Ann, 63, says that since she left she feels she has been shunned by Crossroads star Noele Gordon and ATV.  Yet she and her husband still live right next door to the studios in Birmingham.  They are permanent residents at the Holiday Inn.

On the walls of their 16 a day, fifth-floor room are pictures of Ann meeting her fans - sad reminders of happier days.  She says:  "Three years ago I was handed a letter saying: 'Your present run ends on February 5.  We will inform you when we have a storyline for you.'  It was as though they hadn't got the courage of their convictions.  They couldn't tell me I was finished forever.  If they had said I was being written out I would have been prepared.  I would have known what to do.

"But it gradually dawns on you, when a wardrobe girl tells you to remove all your personal belongings.  My part had already been drastically cut.  I was doing only one episode a week instead of three."

"One day when I was in the rehearsal room kitchen making coffee for some of the actors who had arrived from London, Noele came in and I heard them ask her how the weekend had gone.  'Oh the usual thing,' she said: 'Hundreds of people and the first thing they said was why didn't you bring Amy?'

"She and I were supposed to be friends.  I even used to go to her house in Ross-on-Wye and stay with her and her mother at weekends.

But as my popularity grew, things changed.  When I met Gordon and told ATV that we were going to get married, they asked me to pospone it until after the make-believe Crossroads wedding of Meg Richardson.  I agreed to do so reluctantly.  I didn't want to wait too long.

At the show wedding, I had to stand at the back of the church, because I had been written out of those particular episodes.  A week later there was a spread at the country club where they filmed the reception.  All the crew, make up and wardrobe girls were there.  But I wasn't invited to the cast party they had afterwards.

Only a few months later, in February 1976, I was written out of the show."


The Truth About Crossroads continued