Tennis and television star Annabel Croft was in Kelso in May of 1989 filming for ITV’s new action adventure series Interceptor. At the time Annabel was also presenting the popular Treasure Hunt programme which she’d taken over from Anika Rice after appearing as the show’s sky-runner.
Annabel played professional tennis and was a member of the Great Britain team in the Fed Cup and Wightman Cup in 1985 and 1986. She clinched a fantastic victory in the WTA Virginia Slims of Diago tournament in 1985, defeating Wendy Turnbull in straight sets.
The rising star surprised the tennis world by quitting the professional game at the age of just 21, saying she was tired of travelling and wanted to start a family.
Each episode of Interceptor was based in an area of the UK and pitted a man and a woman against each other.
Each was given a locked backpack – one containing £1,000 and the other weights. Both packs were fitted with infrared receptors and the contestants were blindfolded and taken to various locations in the area by helicopter and told to find the key for their opponent’s backpack following instruction given by a radio. But obstacles were in the way – including the Interceptor, played actor Sean O’Kane.
Only a single series of eight episodes was made, but there was public outcry when it became known the programme was being axed. It was costly and Thames TV – the commissioners of the programme – needed to save money.
Pressure by fans eventually saw it being repeated with other popular gameshows on digital channels.
Compiled by Bob Burgess