Saturday, 25 October 2014

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 23: Carlos Rafael

Carlos often landed in the soup in the 1960s...

Carlos Rafael, played by Anthony Morton, arrived at the Crossroads Motel as chef soon after the series began, prompting Vi  Blundell, acting cook, to walk out in a huff. Meg Richardson had ordered an English chef from an agency, but there was some mix-up, and in walked fiery, Spanish Carlos.

He was the very first of the temperamental Crossroads chefs, and started a trend.

Carlos was basically a kind hearted man, but his temper could be explosive - and he could be very impulsive and not terribly clever at times. But, as the saying goes, every pan has its lid, and Carlos was soon followed to England by his lovely, gentle wife, Josefina, who also worked in the kitchen, and as a waitress. She served as a calming influence - to some extent, anyway!

Carlos was fiery, no doubt about that, and threw a terrific strop at the drop of a hat (remember Sandy Richardson embedding a biro in the wedding cake Carlos was preparing?!), but his boss, Meg Richardson, could quell him at times, and on one memorable occasion chased him from reception into the kitchen!

Carlos was noted for his comic story-lines, being chased by a bull was one of them, and so it came as a shock when he returned to Spain - I can't remember why but seem to recall him becoming a bit spiritual after a story about a haunted tree in the motel grounds. He was killed trying to rescue some children from a fire whilst in his homeland.

His was a sad loss - what a character! 

The death of Carlos also marked the beginning of a regrettable trend which peppered Crossroads' history in the 1970s and 1980s: the writing out of popular long-term characters when the actors who played them did not actually want to leave. Think Zeph Gladstone. Think John Bentley. Think Edward Clayton. Think Sue Lloyd. Think Ronald Allen. 

Noele Gordon in her autobiography, My Life At Crossroads, stated that staff in a motel were always changing and viewers would get bored always seeing the same faces on-screen.

She did not adopt this view in 1981, however, when Meg Mortimer sailed away on the QE2...

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