Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 25: Beverley Grice

Moaning Beverley Grice featured in the Crossroads saga from 1987-1988. She hated King's Oak, hated her new school, hated her school uniform, but liked the winter - "When everything's dead!"

In its final stages, Crossroads, or Crossroads, Kings Oak, as it became, altered a great deal.

Loved it?

Hated it?

Well, I liked it, and one of my favourite ingredients in the new village brew was the addition of younger characters like Jason and Beverley Grice. Life at kids/teens level was suddenly seen in the saga, and I think it worked extremely well.

Beverley Grice, played by Karen Murden, was a typical working class teenage girl of the late 1980s. She was stroppy. She had terrible hair. She wished she had a more glamorous name. She hated school. She liked spending ages on the phone to her friends.

The Grice family were not terribly happy anyway. Mother Margaret was hardworking and strove for a better future for the family with the village shop. Lazy Dad Ray pulled Margaret back and swilled beer and scoffed Pot Noodles and lounged on the settee as much as possible. Bev's brother, Jason, was heavily into annoying his sister, listening to his personal stereo and playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Beverley hated moving to King's Oak and worried about fitting in at her new school. When she met slightly posher Sara Briggs, she lied to her, telling her that her name was "Chloe". 

Beverley was furious when Jason said that Chloe was the name of a smelly old dog belonging to a previous neighbour of the family and denied it, saying the dog was called called "Woofer".

No, said Jason, their grandmother had called the dog "Woofer", but its real name was Chloe.

After this was verified by Margaret, Beverley stormed out of the room.

Oh, those days of teenage tantrums!

Romantically, Beverley was very immature. She originally dated grocer's son Ranjit, then posh Jamie Maddingham, but dropped Jamie like a hot brick when Ranjit offered her a nice engagement ring.

It's unlikely the engagement would have lasted had the serial continued. And pity poor Ranjit if it had!

The character of Beverley was brilliantly acted and observed. She was, for me, one of the best characters of the William Smethurst innovations, which included other personal favourites such as Mrs Tardebigge, Tommy "Bomber" Lancaster and Charlie Mycroft.

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