The unforgettable Tommy “Bomber” Lancaster – a reminiscence about the role he played in “Crossroads”.
As a teenager in the late 1980's, I became very fond of that often unfairly and unkindly derided soap "Crossroads". Week after week, I would tune in only to find myself fascinated by Terence's portrayal of "bluff Birmingham Businessman" Tommy "Bomber" Lancaster. I found his portrayal believable and ultimately, very likeable.
I felt his best work in the series was in evidence in August 1987, when his on-screen wife Mary (played by Frances Cuka) passed away and his daughter Lisa (played by Archers stalwart Alison Dowling) came home for her funeral. His onscreen chemistry with his other onscreen daughter, Debbie (played by Kathryn Hurlbutt) was absolutely wonderful. Any scene that featured the two of them was a joy to watch. Their relationship was perhaps at it's best in December of that same year, with Tommy's alcoholism coming to the fore & Debbie having to confront him regarding it whilst she herself was struggling to decide how to tell him about her pregnancy.
A compilation of clips featuring all three actors and focusing, in the main on Rigby, Dowling & Hurlbutt, can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gh6zVt5Ilfc .I adored Terry for the depth and brilliance of his portrayal. "Bomber" remains my favourite character and an iconic and important figure in the series history. I'd have loved to have met Terry and bought him a pint. No doubt I'd have asked him a hundred and one questions about his time in the show, but sadly, that's not possible.
News of his death saddened me. A great loss, not just for Crossroads fans, but for fans of his other, more notable work and of course, the people closest to him. RIP Mr Rigby. To me, you will always be Tommy "Bomber" Lancaster – I think you were brilliant!
Steven Foster, Leeds, UK, 1st November 2010.
‘Jill Chance’, ‘Amy Turtle’ and ‘Tommy Lancaster’ in January 1987
‘Tommy’, ‘Debbie’ and ‘Mary Lancaster’
I'm a New Zealander who was living in London over 1979-82. Through my girlfriend (now wife) I met actor Philip Martin-Brown and one night Phil took me to a pub in Marylebone High St, where we met up with Terry. He was a fantastic guy; quite open and friendly, with lots of funny stories. He was also very humble. Terry had a depth of knowledge of the business that for me - as a visiting Kiwi - was totally fascinating. I lived in London for three years, and that night was the best...Just saw him again on TV here with Dogs of War, so I googled him, and was sad to hear of his passing. So thanks for that great night out in London, Terry, and respect from New Zealand for a great acting career. John Saunders August 2012