Monday, 12 February 2018

Our Top 50 Favourite Crossroads Characters - 10: Paul Ross - "Mr Paul"

Of British/Swiss parentage, Paul Ross, known to his subordinates as Mr Paul, played by Sandor Elès arrived at the Crossroads Motel in 1982 to take on the role of restaurant manager. He aimed to rule with 'subdued charisma', but was not quite what he seemed.

The 'un-spot changing leopard' (as Kate Hamilton once called him) Mr Paul (I always felt subordinate to him) soon turned out to be trouble. He was secretly in the employ of wealthy businessman J Henry Pollard, and worked as his spy at the motel, undercover of the restaurant manager role.

He acted abominably at first - breaking down Diane Hunter's defences by taking her away for the weekend and then treating her like dirt after she'd fallen under his spell. But Mr Paul was to mellow. A year or two later, he was instrumental in securing Diane a job back at the motel after she'd gone off on some daft training scheme devised by J Henry Pollard, and comforted her when she bemoaned the fact that she'd lost her cold trolley job and come back as a lowly waitress. A lowly waitress?! Being a waitress was no such thing!

Mr Paul's love life was a disaster. He was pursued by that young high flier Miranda Pollard, which led him into trouble with Daddy and Mummy Pollard. Then he fell for the lovely young Georgina Moran, but suave Richard Lord soon saw him off.

Mr Paul had a past - a long-lost daughter called Lisa Walters. She didn't know he was her father, and after he secured her a job as a receptionist at Crossroads, she became attracted to him. Mr Paul had to acquaint her with the facts. He was later distressed when that nasty smoothy Douglas Brady hurt Lisa dreadfully. This was an interesting story, two of its components being that Douglas intended to emigrate to South Africa, and that Lisa was of mixed race parentage.

Lisa left and Mr Paul soon fell for Polish dissident Anna Radek. But she fell in love with Douglas Brady too - and poor Mr Paul married her so that she could stay in England because he was so devoted to her.

When the authorities got hold of the facts, Mr Paul and Anna were both in the soup. Anna was deported, but Mr Paul extracted revenge on the female immigration officer by spurning her when she revealed she had feelings for him.

One of the joys of Mr Paul was the way he spanned breathless high drama to the mundane, teasing Jill Chance with the notion he might sack Shughie McFee, upbraiding the waitresses because their hair was straggling, moaning about the presentation of the restaurant table cloths - surely they could find a better laundry service? - and so on.

In 1985, Mr Paul moved in to a cottage with his old love Miranda Pollard. Purely platonically. The motel staff were sceptical. And, sure enough, very soon the flame between them was rekindled.

Poor Mr Paul. His perfectionist zeal was his undoing in the end. Having decided that the restaurant flowers were not up to par one day, he went into the village for more, and came upon some robbers, intent on stealing the motel staff's wages, on his way back. He got whacked over the head, went into a coma and emerged with an impaired memory.

It was all very sad because in the meantime Miranda had decided she definitely loved him.

But the post-coma Paul had other fish to fry, and soon left King's Oak to work elsewhere.

I missed him and the era of wondering whatever Mr Paul would do next remains one of the shining highpoints of my Crossroads viewing years.

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