Thursday, 7 April 2016

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 19: Iris Scott

Oooh, Iris!

Played by Angela Webb, Iris was nice Kath Brownlow's 'orrible niece, who landed herself on the Brownlow family in 1980.

And then the trouble began...

Iris, to put it simply, was bad news.

In November 1980, she bedded cousin Glenda's boyfriend, Kevin, in his Auntie Marian's house.

The hussy!

She also came across some audio casettes belonging to American psychiatrist Lloyd Munroe. To be fair, Iris initially thought they were music cassettes, but when she discovered they were actually taped therapy sessions of Lloyd with Rosemary Hunter... well! And the revelation that Chris Hunter wasn't David's biological son...  that information was too good for a girl not to use, wasn't it?

Iris didn't get on very well with her grumpy uncle-in-law, Arthur Brownlow, and so decided to accuse him of... er... molesting her. The case went to court, but Iris ended up in prison for lying.

When she came out, she found Arthur's son, her cousin Ron, waiting for her. And the couple fell in love. This was brave fare for an early evening soap because, while first cousins can and do marry, such things were not really subject matter for soap drama back then.

Iris had a phantom pregnancy. Ron went off to work on an oil rig.

Iris formed a close friendship with her landlady, Mavis Hooper when she moved into her boarding house in 1981. Iris's genuine concern for "Mave" showed a different side to her nature and some of us began to warm to her. By Crossroads standards, Iris was rather a complex character - and actually a bit of a groundbreaker in an era when soap characters tended to be simply good or bad. Previously, a "nice" character might be capable of weakness, stupidity, bad behaviour through some kind of illness or a flash of temper, but the show had never invited us to care about a character who had behaved as badly as Iris.

Just before Christmas 1981, we met the cause of a lot of Iris's behavioural problems - her tarty mother Rose, who breezed into King's Oak wanting to mend fences, believing that Iris was expecting Ron's baby.

It was all very difficult. At first, Iris didn't want to know, but gradually she thawed, particularly after her mother moved into Mave's boarding house too, and decided not to go dashing off with daft dreamer Sid Hooper, Mavis's husband, who had taken a great shine to her.

Iris finally set off with her mother to London, but soon returned, stating that her mother's new feller had been making overtures to her. On this occasion, her primary reason for visiting was to aid Kevin and Glenda in their reconciliation after Glenda had walked out when Kevin had refused to "go in for" a test tube baby.

So, once again, Iris wasn't all bad.

She was also a great pal to Benny Hawkins.

That was the thing with our Iris. When she was good she was very, very good. But when she was bad...

Iris still had feelings for her cousin Ron, and when a pal of his visited King's Oak, Iris saw a chance to press her case, although Ron was now romantically involved elsewhere. This caused more aggro when Iris engineered it so that Ron's pal was caught in a delicate situation with another man's wife.

Iris became attracted to Gary Corbett, a young man who had attempted to burgle Jill and Adam Chance's house, Chimneys. She blackmailed Jill and Adam into taking him on as an odd-job man, threatening to reveal to David Hunter that he actually wasn't Chris's biological father. "You really are a bitch, Iris!" said the usually mild mannered Jill.

Iris's scheme was derailed when Adam called "Time" on the situation. David revealed that he already knew about Chris, and Iris departed.

Soon, Iris found an unlikely ally in J Henry Pollard, millionaire businessman, who was suffering ill health. He wanted to antagonise his fellow directors at the motel by having her around, but developed sympathy for her when she became his personal assistant and he got to know her. He later secured her a job in the motel bar.

Iris's on-off tenure in the King's Oak saga came to an end in 1985 when she became involved with a young drug addict called Pete Maguire. The lad died, and Iris soon left the area - this time never to return.

But she was genuinely a groundbreaking character - one never to be forgotten.

"I ain't done nuffink, Auntie Kaff!"

Come off it, Iris!

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