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Real People Magazine Article

Published in Real People Magazine 26th June 2008

Story by Alan Breeze.  Pictures by Richard Wainwright (Jersey Evening Post).


After 35 years, Jeannine's teenage obsession came in handy ...
Bolting down my dinner, I glanced at the kitchen clock.  Half past six!  I had five minutes to get ready.  "Can I be excused?" I pleaded, mouth full.  My mum, dad and brother, Alan, 21, were still eating.
Smiling, Mum nodded.  So I raced upstairs, grabbed a notepad, ran to the living room and switched on the telly, just in time to catch the theme of Crossroads, my favourite show.
I was 13 and addicted.  It was 1974 - the IRA was blowing up pubs and Lord Lucan had just gone missing.  My friends were gossiping about Monty Python and the new Doctor Who, Tom Baker.
But all that passed me by.  For me, the year's most important events were happening in a Birmingham motel to Meg Richardson, Adam Chance and Benny...
Other girls swooned over Al Pacino and Donny Osmond.  But there was just one name on my pencil case...
"Who's Ronald Allen?" my friends would ask.
"He plays David Hunter, the manager of Crossroads motel," I sighed. 
David/Ronald was my idol.  Tall and suave, he was the ultimate heart throb.
I couldn't wait for 6.35pm each weeknight.  In bed later, I'd replay scenes in my head.  Crossroads was full of great true-life characters.  And it was filmed live.  If a wall moved, or a character got their words wrong, it was all part of the fun.
Obsessed, I soon began watching with a notepad, scribbling down what the characters said and did.
Mum and Dad would roll their eyes, but I didn't care.  As long as they kept quiet until it was all over...
Then I'd go upstairs and carefully transfer my notes to a diary.
David tells Adam Chance that Meg has taken Jill to see an estate agent, I'd write.  I've no idea what I thought I was doing...
In 1977, Dad announced we were off the Stratford on holiday.  We lived in Jersey and rarely visited the UK.
Stratford?  Wasn't that near Birmingham?  Heart racing, I rushed to check a map.  It was just a few miles up the motorway!
Dad agreed we could stop off briefly at ATV studios.  When we got there, though, there was no sign of Ronald Allen. 
Still, my crush refused to die.  The '70s became the '80s.  I got work in offices, a bank and as a teaching assistant.  But every day I'd still tune into Crossroads and make my notes.
Then in 1985, the papers announced Ronald Allen's character was being axed.  I was devastated.  After 11 years, six diaries and half a million words, my love affair was over.
I didn't watch after that.
Crossroads was axed in 1988, and although it returned briefly in 2001, I only watched one episode.  It just wasn't the same.
I never married and still lived with my mum, Joyce, 74, and dad, Felix, 85.  But I was happy.
Then, last year, I stumbled across the Crossroads Appreciation Society website.  By then I'd got so used to people making jokes about wobbly sets and naff acting, I rarely mentioned Crossroads.
Amazed to discover others shared my passion, I was soon corresponding with fellow fans.  And they were desperate to read what I'd written in my diaries.
So, I decided to set up my own website.  It didn't take long to find the diaries, but it took two months to transfer them to the internet.  Since then, I've had thousands of hits.  Now, at last, I can share my teenage crush with the world!