Sunday, 12 October 2014

Our Top 50 Crossroads Characters - 24: Sid Hooper

I didn't much care for Sid Hooper when he first arrived in 1982. But he soon became an all-time favourite character.

Good old Sid Hooper, played by Stan Stennett, started off in 1982 as possibly bad old Sid Hooper. He arrived in King's Oak, landed on estranged wife Mavis's doorstep, and also landed himself a job at the Crossroads Garage as foreman. Sid was a funny mechanic - obviously a bit on the vain side, he used barrier cream to protect his hands. It quickly became evident that he was not a terribly nice geezer - he had a weakness for gambling on the gee gees, and for other women - including Rose Scott, Iris's tarty mother.

Rose, for once, put her daughter's interests first and did not succumb, and Sid was soon dispatched. His arrival as garage foreman had enraged Joe MacDonald, who had been promised the job. It was all a misunderstanding, but Joe threatened to bring in the Race Relations Board. It took some fancy footwork from new garage owner Reg Lamont to remove Sid and give Joe his rightful job. He bought off some of Sid's gambling debts on condition that Sid left the garage. Sid did - and skipped the district for a while.

He returned when Mavis went into hospital, got a job as a mechanic back at the garage, stopped using barrier cream on his hands, and promptly led Benny Hawkins into bad ways, introducing him to the evils of gambling. Diane, of course, quickly moved in to ensure that Sid paid Benny back the money he had lost on the nags.

But Sid had meant no harm - and was becoming likeable. He had a genuine soft spot for Benny, and we viewers really began to warm to Sid.

Sid was basically a bit of a dreamer, but his dreams of romance, sun-kissed beaches and untold wealth never came to anything. Sad, really. Taking up jogging in 1984 did not give him a more youthful and appealing physique. And when he sold used cars at the garage in 1985, the police soon came calling.

In 1984, Sid faced the prospect of losing Mavis to that bounder Cecil Beecher-Blount. Mavis was sick of Sid and, on reaching sixty, decided to divorce him. Then Cecil sunk his hooks into her. Sid helped to save Mave from a fate worse than himself and Mavis stayed with him, telling him on her deathbed in 1985 that she had always loved him.

Sid was devastated by her loss. 

In 1986, the dreadful Ivy Meacher sunk her hooks into Sid. They married and left King's Oak.

Poor Sid!

It was a sad end for yet another of those Crossroads characters who had the tang of utter believability, and who would have made a good boozing company down at the Running Stag.

But definitely not for providing hot tips on the gee gees...

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