Sunday, 20 July 2014

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 33: Charlie Mycroft

1987: Charlie faces the joyful prospect of becoming Assistant General Manager at Crossroads - there's only one drawback: first he must go on the Red Ox training scheme...

Charlie Mycroft, played by Graham Seed, arrived at the Crossroads Motel in late 1986. Apparently one of Major International Hotels' star staff members, when the news broke that the motel was being sold to Tommy "Bomber" Lancaster, Charlie expected another placement to quickly arrive. But it didn't. "Bomber" liked Charlie and thought the ex-public schoolboy would add a touch of class to his establishment, so Charlie ended up staying on.

He was something of a buffoon, and the despair of his staff chalet mate - that up and coming yuppie-type Daniel Freeman. When Growler, Charlie's childhood companion toy dog, which guarded his pillow constantly, disappeared and was found in the swimming pool at the motel's new leisure centre, Charlie suspected Daniel and his girlfriend, Fiona, of doing the dastardly dunking. And he was right.

Daniel was not an easy chalet mate to have, and expected Charlie to absent himself whenever he wanted to entertain a lady there.

Despite his naivety and not-exactly-high intelligence levels, Charlie was a kind hearted soul and could be very charming, winning many friends amongst the motel staff. He and Benny Hawkins enjoyed reading their comics together in the staff room, and Charlie did his very best to find Benny's dog, Moses, when he went missing in 1987. He was an "absolute whizz" at organising activities for residents.

When last seen in 1988, romance for Charlie was blossoming with Crossroads secretary Anne-Marie Wade.

Charlie bore similarities to the character of Nigel Pargetter, who had first appeared in BBC Radio 4's The Archers serial in 1983. This was hardly surprising as Crossroads producer William Smethurst had created both characters and they were played by the same actor. Charlie's great kindness, trusting nature and not-exactly-high IQ make him an absolute must for a place in our Top 50 listing.

Charlie could quite easily have been a silly, unbelievable character, but Graham Seed played him with such integrity that I quickly found myself entering Charlie's world and liking him tremendously. Charlie was such a "people person" - so concerned for all those around him. He was even deeply moved when daft teenager Beverley Grice got engaged to her boyfriend Ranjit - although she only did it for the glamour of the situation, which included the thrill of wearing the ring!

I would have counted myself blessed to have had Charlie as a pal.

The spirit of true friendship was strong in late 1980s Crossroads. What a shame 21st Century soaps cannot make the same boast.

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