Friday, 5 September 2014

Our Top 50 Crossroads Characters - 27: Sharon Metcalfe

Sharon Metcalfe, 1983. She began as a secretary at the motel garage in the late 1970s, but went on to run the place in the early 1980s.

Sharon Metcalfe, played by Carolyn Jones, became the secretary at the motel garage in 1977 and quickly proved that nice girls DO.

A modern girl (as Sheena Easton was to sing in 1980), that was Sharon.

She was also a competent businesswoman and, as her role in Crossroads developed in the early-1980s, took on the running of the garage. How's that for Women's Lib?

Sharon was a multifaceted character. It says much for Carolyn Jones's performances that Sharon emerged as believable and as somebody we viewers could care about.

Let's take a look at Miss Metcalfe...

Firstly, Sharon was kind hearted. She was a great friend to have, and looked out for her friends. In 1982, when Sid Hooper used rent money from Mavis's boarding house to pay-off gambling debts he'd caused Benny to accrue and had had to pay back at Diane's insistence, Sharon came to Sid's rescue with an advance on his wages. In 1983, Sharon told Mr Paul where to get off in no uncertain terms when he was giving Diane grief.

We never knew anything about Sharon's background. No old friends or relatives came to visit her, and she never mentioned any. A rolling stone gathers no moss...

Sharon liked the opposite sex. She was looking for love, but her one night stand with the dreadful Jim Baines was clearly not part of that. She probably just felt sorry for him. Her romances were not particularly chaste by Crossroads standards on-screen. She loved and lost Victor Lee, manager of the garage, and, in 1980, took up with his bad boy brother, Eddie. I remember a scene with Eddie and Sharon in Di's flat that seemed rather sexy (again by Crossroads standards) and which my old Aunt Lou denounced as "disgusting!" She'd never said that about ex-tart Vera Downend.

Having taken a break from the garage, Sharon returned in late 1981 and promptly put Adam Chance in his place by smacking his face.

In 1982, Sharon rejected the advances of nice villain Reg Lamont. He installed her as manageress of the garage, which he bought, and Sharon set out to prove that she could do the job and make it successful for him.

And she did.

Meanwhile, Sharon had started dating Reg's son, police officer Ashley Lamont, but she dropped him in disgust when he snared his father and brought him to account for his villainy.

Sharon reckoned that Reg had never actually hurt anybody, and was horrified by Ashley's cold and heartless attitude.

In 1983, Sharon fell for Kevin Banks's father, Oliver. He was rather older than her and made all the running, but Sharon professed to love him.

This caused ructions - with Kath Brownlow and, briefly, her daughter Glenda, telling Sharon exactly what they thought of her. "Look at all the men she's had!" said Glenda, who later repented.

Sharon's relationship with Oliver broke up, causing her much hurt.

And then the character changed direction and gave us another surprise. In 1983, she became friendly with single parent Denise Paget and her Downs Syndrome daughter, Nina, and then launched herself into a brand new career in care work.

Perhaps, at last, rolling stone Sharon had found her niche in life... 

Sadly, the character's work was now away from the motel and its garage and, as she was no longer flat sharing with Diane Hunter, we no longer saw her in the show.

She was missed and is fondly remembered.

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