Saturday, September 23, 2006

Soapobit: Peter Ling

Peter Ling, one of the co-creators of Crossroads, has died at the age of 80. Ling had a couple of connections to the music industry, not least his role in the development of Marlene, the Singing Hairdresser. Played by Sue Nicholls - now better known as Audrey Roberts in Corrie - Marlene's single, Where Will You Be was released for real in 1968 and made the Top 20. This was one of the first times a soap-opera single broke the fourth wall and got a real-world existence, a move which would pave the way for Letitia Dean and Paul Medford and Malandara Burrows' presence in the charts.

Ling had a more direct influence on the chart before Crossroads; he'd been a jobbing songwriter at the end of the 50s. He'd done so without much in the way of success, but one of his efforts did score a hit for Matt Munro in 1961.

He also created Radio 2's 1970s soap Waggoners' Walk, which punctuated the Jimmy Young show to the delight of millions. Surely when BBC7 runs out of Westways, it's time for a revival?

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