Focus on the Midlands

Soap Opera


BBC-2 spread to the Midlands in December and has a potential audience of 1,500,000 more by the autumn. How big the actual audience is no one  yet knowns, but in the affluent belt around Birmingham dealers are working overtime putting up the new aerials. Two on the roof are now as much a status symbol as two cars in the garage. Some people are thought to watch the programmes.

While The Archers slips – a nightly three million listening against the one-time 10 million – and ATV, locally made, soap opera flourishes – the motel-based goings-on called Crossroads.

Reactions to it range from nausea to frantic addiction, but without doubt its a lesson in productivity.

The idea of a five-night-a-week serial was put up to ATV boss Lew Grade by indefatigable producer Reg Watson, who’d seen in Australia [it was actually America] that it could be done.

Eighteen months later Lew Grade took it up, the story is by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling, the Compact couple who also occasionally do a script.

When the Alpha Television ITV factory isn’t sweating this out its busy, Sundays, recording ABC’s top pop programme Thank Your Lucky Stars.

The Guardian, 1965

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *