Saturday, 21 June 2014
Our Top 50 Favourite Characters - 37: Stan Harvey
Stan Harvey and Jill Richardson discuss their future in 1971.
Working class Stan Harvey, played by Edward Clayton, the son of pigeon loving Wilf and elocutionist/hairdresser Sheila back in the 1970s, was a surprising suitor for posh young Jill Richardson, but the two fell deeply in love and married. Jill was keen for Stan to get on in life, and an interest in the motel garage proved lucrative.
The Harveys' daughter, Sarah-Jane, further cemented the couple's happiness, as did a move into a large, comfortable house called Chimneys. Those were good days.
In 1977, Stan spent some time on business in Germany and it was during his absence that Jill had an affair with her step-brother, Anthony Mortimer. She became pregnant, and the situation pushed her marriage onto the rocks and eventually destroyed it. Stan ended up with custody of Sarah-Jane, and married a German woman.
At this time, Stan was made out to be a bit of an insensitive git in the Crossroads scripts. It was suggested that Jill had only drifted into Anthony's arms because of Stan's dedication to getting on in business and that she'd been neglected by him. But in at least one existing episode from the early-to-mid 1970s, Jill is seen pushing a resisting Stan on to succeed in business, so the later story-line seems simply an attempt to vilify the character as he was being written out, and the production team obviously wanted the viewers to sympathise with Jill.
Jill was still in love with Stan deep down. She tearfully confessed this to him on the phone at Christmas 1980. Stan hung up. There was no going back.
A couple of years later, Stan, his wife, and Sarah-Jane left England to live in Germany. He returned briefly to the motel in 1985, a happy man, seemingly with no regrets.
Stan was another of those Crossroads characters, like Vince Parker, who would probably have been good company for a pint down the local. He had that all important aura of believability - a nice, everyday bloke. He grounded Jill - who could be more than a little topsy-turvy when left to her own devices - and the couple seemed to work well together.
I was sorry when the character was written out. But if he hadn't been then Jill's marriage to Adam Chance in the 1980s would not have happened, so every cloud...