Tuesday, 15 June 2010

1983: Controversy Over Glenda's Test Tube Baby...

Glenda Banks (Lynette McMorrough) is thrilled to hear from the hospital that the time has come for her to try for a test tube baby. Her mother, Kath (Pamela Vezey), after initial doubts, shares Glenda's joy.

Oh, how Glenda wanted a baby!

But she couldn't have one.

Until the notion of having a test tube baby entered her head...

And then, despite Kath's doubts about the method ("interfering with nature!"), Kevin's doubts about having a child at all, and her mother-in-law Sally Banks' horror at the social implications (Whatever would her friend Bunty say?!), Glenda became a woman with a mission.

She was obsessed with the idea of having a test tube baby.

It wasn't easy to raise the brass.

But finally Glenda found herself in hospital, all systems go. And she was lucky - her very first attempt at conceiving via in vitro fertilisation was successful.

And then the real world objected...

Daily Mirror, October 24, 1983:

Crossroads was attacked last night for giving TV viewers the idea that it is easy to have a test-tube baby.

Waitress Glenda Banks, played by actress Lynette McMorrough, is due to have a test-tube baby in January.

But a group representing couples who are desperate to have children claims the soap opera storyline is far from the truth.

Peter Houghton, director of the National association of Childless Couples, said: "It is totally unrealistic because it makes the whole question of test-tube babies seem easy."

Brenda Holliday, the association's administrator, has sent a letter of protest to the producers.

She said: "Our members are disgusted because they have been through the terrible heartache of waiting for a baby and then they see a show like Crossroads which makes it seem so easy.

"If the Crossroads team knew what many couples suffer through spending years on waiting lists and going through the anguish of not conceiving they might realise why so many people have been infuriated by Glenda's test-tube baby."

A spokesman for Central TV, which makes Crossroads, said: "Our scriptwriters carried out a great deal of research. They are making this part of the plot as authentic as possible."

Hmm... well, Glenda was only on the waiting list for a short time...

But in defence of Crossroads, upon her arrival at the hospital, Glenda met a woman called Rachel who had had several unsuccessful attempts at conceiving via in vitro fertilisation, and experienced another failure whilst Glenda was there.

There was at least some attempt to balance Glenda's good fortune.

And it was nice to see the Brownlow/Banks family enjoying a happy storyline for once.

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