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Tuesday, 6 March, 2001, 14:21 GMT
'Slick' Crossroads a hit with critics
The cast of Crossroads
Two million people tuned in to catch the first episode
TV critics have been pleasantly surprised by the revamped soap Crossroads after tuning in on Monday for the first show in 13 years.

Although Carlton Television has invested millions in resurrecting the daytime soap, TV pundits were hoping the walls still wobbled and the phone rang after it was picked up.

But the first showing of Crossroads at 1330 GMT reached an audience 2.2 million, while 2.7 million watched the popular Australian soap Neighbours on BBC One at 1345 GMT.

On the evidence of the first 30 minutes, this is a confident, pacey, funny, sexy little soap

The Mirror's Charlie Catchpole

However the later Crossroads showing attracted 2.6m viewers at 1705 GMT, with 3.8 million tuning into Neighbours at 1735 GMT.

Critics tuned in to ITV on Monday to see how a 13-year absence had changed the old motel.

Ben Walters of The Express said: "What a disappointment.

"Thanks to its double-edged heritage as the epitome of pap, the refurbished motel soap was only going to be any good if it was really bad.

"But yesterday's show turned out to be distressingly solid."

Kathy Staff
Kathy Staff returns to the hotel
Agreeing, Charlie Catchpole in The Mirror said: "What have they done to Crossroads?

"It's a total travesty. An utter disgrace.

"They've completely ruined one of TV's legendary landmark programmes.

"They've made it good.

"Not in a jokey 'so bad it's good' sort of way. But in a good as in, well... good.

"On the evidence of the first 30 minutes, this is a confident, pacey, funny, sexy little soap which could wash the BBC's tired old Neighbours down the plughole."

The new Crossroads has got success written all over it

The Sun's Garry Bushell
Nancy Banks-Smith of The Guardian has long been a proud Crossroads fan and was delighted with its return.

She said: "As daytime soaps go, it is pretty polished, promising and prettily packaged. And not a syllable of that sounds like Crossroads."

Joe Joseph of The Times thinks it may have been a mistake to make it look too professional.

He writes: "The new Crossroads is altogether slicker. Maybe too slick.

'Dear old Doris'

"The producers are clearly taking a gamble, since viewers' affection and nostalgia for the show largely rests on its amateurishness."

And Garry Bushell in The Sun raved about the resurrection: "The new Crossroads has got success written all over it.

"We haven't seen much of dear old Doris Luke but just hearing the new version of that famous Tony Hatch theme tune will have made millions smile.

"We can but hope the soap-crazed BBC don't try to hit back by resurrecting Albion Market."

See also:

05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Bad service at new Crossroads
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Crossroads makes comeback
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
A brief history of Crossroads
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Crossroads - then and now
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