Thursday, 17 June 2010

Stan Stennett As Sid Hooper...

Sid Hooper (Stan Stennett) arrived at the Crossroads Garage in early 1982, and created quite a stir. Adam Chance (Tony Adams) appointed him foreman, which greatly upset Joe MacDonald (Carl Andrews), who had been promised the position. Mac went to the race relations board and trouble brewed.

Adam had not meant to be racist - he simply believed that Sid was better qualified for the job, but the fact remained that Mac had been promised it long before.

Sid, meanwhile, was revealed as being the wandering husband of boarding house keeper Mavis Hooper (Charmian Eyre), and moved in with her. His weakness for gambling and women soon showed, and he departed from King's Oak after his new boss at the garage, Reg Lamont (Reginald Marsh) bought him off - giving him money to pay off his gambling debts on condition that he gave up his job at the garage, leaving the way open for Mac to take over.

Sid was absent from the village from some time, finally returning when Mavis was taken ill.

Re-employed by the garage, Sid became a much nicer guy - in fact, one of my favourite Crossroads characters of the 1980s - he remained in King's Oak until 1987.

Sid was simply quality. A character I could believe in, and one I would have enjoyed having a pint with in the pub. Mr Stennett played the part so naturally, and Sid seemed very real.

Stan Stennett first brought Sid to life in 1982, but had previously played a very different character twelve years before, Harry Silver, who held Mr Booth (David Lawton) and Tish Hope (Joy Andrews) at gunpoint.

The role of Harry Silver had been very brief, but Stan Stennett remembered it and suggested that Harry might return in 1981 - and shoot Meg Mortimer (Noele Gordon), who was being written out.

Crossroads producer Jack Barton thought this might make Stan the most unpopular man in the UK, but instead suggested a brand new and very different role - Sid Hooper.

And Sid soon became a Crossroads icon.

From the Daily Mirror, February 27, 1985:

HEDGING HIS BETS

Although he plays a Crossroads garage man who loves to gamble, Stan Stennett never bets in real life.

His passion is the challenge of running three theatres - two of which double as cinemas. He subsidises them with his Crossroads earnings.

It was there at his Roses Theatre in Tewksbury, Gloucs., that Stan put on a special celebrity show that raised more than £2,000 for the Mirror's Ethiopian appeal.

Stan thinks his Sid Hooper character is mellowing.

"He used to be much more prickly when I started off in Crossroads three years ago," he says. "But I've softened him up a bit. Now he's developing an eye for the ladies."

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