Saturday, 21 June 2014

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 35: Mr Lovejoy

 Mr Lovejoy: "Really, Mr Booth! This consommé has all the flavour of dish water..."

Just slightly in front of Mr Booth in our popularity stakes is his fellow chef Mr Lovejoy, played by William Avenell. Mr L was known as Gerald by hardly anybody. He was a very correct man, very formal, and it was a surprise to learn after his arrival at Crossroads in the late 1960s that he had a somewhat turbulent and colourful past, which had resulted in a change of surname - from Brandon to Lovejoy. He also had a daughter, Tessa,  who married motel manager Nick Van Doren. The couple bought a hotel together, and asked Mr Lovejoy to invest in it and work with them there as chef. But Mr Lovejoy, who had been a shareholder in the Crossroads Motel since the late '60s, felt that his first loyalty was to Meg Richardson. He advanced Nick and Tessa the money they needed, but remained at the motel.

His relationship with fellow Crossroads chef Bernard Booth was all that it should be, both were highly professional, but there were some very long-winded exchanges between the two, along the lines of: 

Mr Booth: "Mr Lovejoy! I can assure you I know perfectly well how to prepare a Spanish omelette!"

Mr Lovejoy: "Then why not do so, Mr Booth? Your current method will lead to a finished omelette that has the consistency of shoe leather, and very little flavour..."

Mr Booth: "Mr Lovejoy, I really must protest..."

And so on. And on. And on. You get the picture!

Sadly, none of these exchanges seem to have survived the mass wiping of Crossroads episodes, but I remember them fondly.

I'm not sure how Mr Lovejoy finally left the motel. Did he have a closing storyline? If anybody remembers, I'd be interested to know. William Avenell died in 1976.

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