The classic ITV soap opera starring the late Noele Gordon as ‘Ivy Richards’, the matriarchal millionaire railway magnate and her motley crew of disaffected brummie staff.
Set in the fictitious ‘Borisworld’ (somewhere between London and Birmingham), Ivy’s ‘Crossrails’ business delivers a number of low-frequency, highly-packed trains into a network of brand new stations, many of whom are only metres away from existing ones.
The whole scenario being based on linking ‘Maidenhead Junction’ (where?) to ‘Abbey Wood Central’ (never heard of it).
The ever-twisting plots and cliffhangers ‘spinning’ around ‘Ivy’, her wheelchair-bound son ‘Ginger’, and some tall, mysterious-looking, lanky geezer called ‘Hunter’. A character who has all the verbal drawl and acting ability of a third-rate cowboy.
Each one of them plays their part in controlling the extremely high blood pressure and incorrect travel direction of over two million angry and delayed commuters as they propel themselves along a 21 kilometre stretch of new Coalition railway line.
Hence the title, ‘CROSSrails’ – Because most of its customers – ARE!
The most fondly remembered scenes from this series, ‘Crossrails’ are as follows:
The arrival of frequent pots of tea and biscuits to Ivy’s sofa. These were often delivered by a elderly woman with swollen ankles and a visual impairment who presented Ivy with as many biscuit-laden tea trays as the lines she forgot to deliver with them.
A woollen bobble-hat wearing simpleton called ‘Ernie’ who has irresponsibly been given the job of checking the mechanical safety of every ‘point’ between here and the ‘Heathrow Express’. The viewers being constantly reminded of this by the spanner he always carried with him in every scene.
And the appearance in Episode 368 of two brand new railway stations for ‘Bond Street’ and the ‘Tottenham Court Road’.
Their arrival mysteriously and loudly heralded by the mayor without anyone asking why. Especially when there is a perfectly adequate underground railway system just a few yards away that’s been successfully operating for nigh-on a hundred years.
Executive Millionaire Producers for ‘Planet Osborne’: Bunty Boris and Nicky Cleggers.