Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 12: Adam Chance

Jill adored Adam - except when he called her "Jilly". Adam gave his view on Jill in 1988 - he'd never met such a daffy woman...

Adam Chance, played brilliantly by Tony Adams, was King's Oak's Mr Fox - a very foxy customer indeed! Of great charm, and capable of great kindness, nonetheless he could be a bit of a sly one.

In fact, more than a bit.

Accountant Adam first breezed into King's Oak in 1978. At first, he was a great support to Meg, who was reeling after the death of her husband Hugh, and the revelation that Hugh's finances were not at all healthy. In early 1979, Adam bought a few shares in the motel to help Meg as she was forced into selling some, and she ceased to be the majority shareholder. In 1981, Adam sold 5% of his shares to David Hunter, giving David a 55% controlling interest in the motel.

Meg told Adam she could never forgive him. Adam replied that he was a businessman - and needed the money for the Crossroads Garage.

At first Adam was around only intermittently, but he settled down in 1983 to marry Jill Harvey and remained in the village until 1988.

But it was not an easy courtship.

Or marriage.

Adam's biggest hoorah in his early years was bringing millonaire's daughter Miranda Pollard to the motel in 1980. And her father, J Henry, soon turned up as well.

Adam acquired a boat and romanced several lucky ladies there before becoming engaged to Jill Harvey in 1982.

But he was tempted by newly arrived rich bitch Valerie Pollard, who was out to score points against her loving husband, the aforementioned J Henry. Adam spent the night with her on his boat. And Valerie cleverly dropped this little gem of information into a nice "drinkies" session with her dear hubby, Adam, Jill and the Hunters in the motel bar.

J Henry was furious, Jill was distraught and gave Adam his ring back, and Adam left England.

And that seemed to be that.

But, in 1983, Adam returned to King's Oak. He wrangled a job as motel manager for a period of five years in exchange for his remaining shares in the business, and Jill, who had voted for him to be awarded the job, began to tremble.

And soon the engagement was back on again.

David Hunter suspected that Adam was up to no good, simply out to marry Jill for personal gain, but what he really wanted was hard to know.

That's what made Adam such fun as a character.

After the wedding, Adam unveiled one of his flashes of genuine kindness. He'd secretly arranged for Jill to be reunited with her mother Meg on their honeymoon in Venice. Meg's rift with Adam over his selling of the motel shares had healed.

Adam's relationship with David Hunter could be fraught, but he showed another flash of kindness when he spoke to Sarah Alexander on David's behalf during her pregnancy. Adam wasn't keen to go and talk to her, but he did. It didn't do any good, but all the same...

In 1985, foolish Adam made a pass at new motel boss Nicola Freeman and, when Jill twigged what had happened, it snapped their marriage in two.

Adam remained at the motel, and managed the new leisure centre - often clashing with yuppie lad Daniel Freeman, step-son of Nicola. He had a fling with employee Tara Shaw and, when the  motel was sold to Bomber Lancaster, tried to drop Nicola in the cart by revealing a confidential file to the new boss man which criticised her management of Crossroads. But Bomber wasn't daft.

Finally, Adam and Jill were reconciled. Jill had her doubts, but Adam convinced her that they could regain control of the motel - or rather the King's Oak Country Hotel - as Bomber Lancaster had decided to sell up.

Jill dithered and dallied, finally decided that her future lay with Bomber's PR man John Maddingham, and Adam faced defeat. The hotel was sold to the Three Crowns company, with none other than Adam's old enemy Daniel Freeman as its representative!

It was a bitter pill to swallow.

Adam left.

The King's Oak Country Hotel receptionist did not even acknowledge his farewell.

Adam was resurrected for the Crossroads revival series in the early 21st century.

But that all turned out to be a dream.

Thank heavens.

One of the show's greatest characters, Crossroads's Mr Fox will never be forgotten...

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 13: Miss Tatum

Dear Miss Tatum was a first class postmistress.

 Miss Edith Tatum, played by Elisabeth Croft, ran the village post office in King's Oak for years. She had been a dutiful daughter, giving up her freedom to look after her ailing mother as a young woman, but she wasn't bitter. The post office was something of a village hub and Miss Tatum was a great friend to many - including postman Vince Parker.

In her early episodes, Miss Tatum owned a dog called Jupiter, who landed her in court for sheep worrying. The court ruled that Jupiter must be removed from the countryside, and Miss Tatum hit upon the happy solution of moving to her house in Portsmouth - and inviting young Sandy Richardson to stay with her as he was moving there too. 

When she returned, Miss Tatum became the linchpin of the village post office.

Always very polite and with old fashioned English manners, Miss Tatum coped well with the village's rascally poacher Archie Gibbs. Archie was always one to ruffle feathers, but Miss T would admonish him with a stern: "MR GIBBS!"

During the 1970s, Miss Tatum gradually faded from the show. She was often more involved as village background or in other character's storylines rather than having prominent stories of her own, but, nonetheless, remained a highly popular character.

Miss Tatum attended Jill and Adam Chance's wedding in 1983, and that was her final appearance in the show, although she remained in the village off-screen. Doris Luke stayed with her for a while a year or two later. 

Miss Tatum was a tremendous favourite of ours. A clean living, kindly woman, of the sort that don't seem to exist in soaps these days.

She had no secret children scuttling out of the woodwork, or other unseemly secrets in her past.

And, whilst all alone in the world as far as family was concerned, she was a very positive character.

"Now, can I have three seven pence stamps and a stiff-backed envelope please, Miss Tatum? And have you heard about the latest goings-on at the motel? I was just talking to Mrs Turtle and she says..."