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Duchess of Cornwall to appear in The Archers

Wednesday 2 February 2011, 19:14

Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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Sara Coward (Caroline Pemberton) and the Duchess of Cornwall


As announced by Caroline in this evening's episode, the Duchess of Cornwall is to visit Grey Gables on 16 February. And we can confirm that the royal visitor will actually speak in the episode.

The brief appearance will be broadcast in two weeks time, on Wednesday 16 February.

Her Royal Highness will feature in the programme in her role as the president of the National Osteoporosis Society. She has supported the charity since 1994 and became president in 2001. Her appearance coincides with the charity's 25th anniversary.

In 'real life', the appearance will take place on the same day as a visit by Her Royal Highness to our studios at the Mailbox. She will meet cast, writers and production team before attending a reception, hosted by BBC chairman Sir Michael Lyons, to mark 60 years of The Archers.

The duchess, a keen Archers listener, first met Archers team members ten years ago. This was at an event at St James's Palace, hosted by Prince Charles, to mark the 50th anniversary of the programme.

As long-standing listeners may remember, this is not the first time a member of the British royal family has spoken in The Archers. In 1984 Princess Margaret made history when she appeared - also at Grey Gables, to Jack Woolley's overwhelming pride and pleasure - in an episode marking the centenary of the NSPCC.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.

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Comments

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 1.

    Another reason to switch off.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    Not normally a fan of celebrity appearances, but what a pity that the 60th celebrations weren't honoured with this treatment?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    Haven't read beyond the first para. Don't want to and don't need to.

    Another tawdry attempt to win listeners with silly sensational gimmicks, and another reason not to listen as far as I'm concerned.

    When will the team get it? We want quality drama (and we know you can do it, you have in the past) we do not want to be patronised, we do not want sensationalism and we do not want gimmicks.

    It just gets worse and worse....

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    This piece of annoying silliness was compounded by a blatant plug for Duchy Originals (ridiculously expensive) shortbread - what about BBC impartiality/no advertising?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 5.

    Is this a joke?

    I trust a good brief was givem to The Dutchess? To see what a cesspit she has been conned into.

    I do hope she can't make it. If it is in the can I hope VW is held responsible for the utter B**ls-up. Treason?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 6.

    Better keep her away from the roof garden

  • rate this
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    Comment number 7.

    You guys just can’t sink much lower. What planet do you live on?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 8.

    My comment was genuine, and not designed to start another opportunity for the same arguments to be rehearsed.

    Most celebrity appearances are squirmingly dire ... but who knows, the Duchess could make a decent go of it, we shall see. But it could have been the opportunity to make a celebration of the 60th ... the Ambridgites would undoubtedly have been scripted as being delighted, we'd have to put up with the divine Lynda being the butt of unnecessary 'humour' but it would have had a lightness and cheeriness that would fit in with an air of celebration. Maybe the date wasn't right for the anniversary of the Osteoporosis charity, but that wouldn't have been insurmountable.

    If the worst we could have said as a result was 'Ooh that Camilla can't really act, can she?' then how much better all round.

    Dx

  • rate this
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    Comment number 9.

    This is pathetic, people must have such short memories concerning the part this lady played in one of the unhappier royal incidents of recent years. I can't believe that the re-branding exercise has worked so well.

    Get a grip. Ms Whitburn, I gave you the benefit of the doubt after the ridiculous Nigel episode, but Camilla appearing in a 'Cameo role' - complete with another shortbread plug - will make sure I and the rest of the family give up on the Archers for good.

    I didn't think the show could get any worse, but you just managed it

  • rate this
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    Comment number 10.

    The usual spurious 'charitable' connection to validate what will be a round of cap-doffing and cringing discomfort for us listeners. On the plus side, it might up the ante on the acting, especially that displayed during the (literally earthbound) 60th anniversary episode. In the medium term, it might licence Mister Duchy to grant Ms. Whitburn her gong and let her shuffle off. Away from Ambridge.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 11.

    It's a weird thing, this. I've listened to the Archers for years but it all just seems wrong at the moment, and this storyline is just another wrong thing. The stories seem to have been wrenched away from the characters and put into a realm of convenience, for publicity or shock or whatever. This is not a good thing from the perspective of drama, and it's the reason why my enthusiasm for listening is fading.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 12.

    Yukkk! still not listening!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 13.

    Well, Mr K, the responses on here and over on the DTA board will show you just how far the TA team have now cut themsleves off from an articulate seciton of the audience. At one time, many of us might have smiled indulgently, and just not turned on. Now, as has been said before, once you encourage a soap audience into being critical, they start being so, and after the Jan 2nd debacle, this will provoke incredulous laughter, not applause.

    Manifestly planned - probably now recorded too - to as a pairing to erase the memory of the hilariously miscalculated Jan 2nd and jolly us all up nationally. Patronising and arrogant, but I fear that is getting to be typical TA clumsiness.

    As effective a way of cheering us all up, say, as the arrival of the TC baby SL as we were told? Yes, probably, and showing roughly the same level of miscalculation too too.

    As Dusty so wisely says upblog, if this had been the 60th celebration epi, just think how different things might have been now.

    The only good thing is that probably the cause the DoC is patron of will benefit.

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    Comment number 14.

    I agree with Dusty. It would have been much more in line with Archers tradition to celebrate the 60th by having Mrs Windsor appearing as herself. (And I write that as an anti-monarchist, he adds pompously.)

    VH

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    Comment number 15.

    Incredible!
    Just what we needed right now, a bit of cap doffing.
    If this is seen as some sort of 'coup', the team are more out of touch than I can believe is possible from a tweeting, blogging bunch of media savvy types. My 89 year old mother is a staunch royalist - apart from the disdain she feels for this woman - as do others.
    As for plugging Duchy products - I suggest a few questions to the BBC board are in order and I will be asking.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 16.

    I like the Duchess of Cornwall!

    My favourite Royal, in fact!

    She's the sort of competent person who may well perform very well in the programme, and do her chosen charity some serious good.

    I think 'The Archers' is going through a 'below par' phase, and I see no reason why a visit by the Duchess of Cornwall will do anything but good!

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    Comment number 17.

    Does the Duchess of Cornwall know how angry everybody is here ?

    I'm sure her appearance is being used to try and placate the listeners , well it won't work !

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    Comment number 18.

    I have nothing against the woman but this seems like a desperate attempt to get listeners back and improve the probable poor ratings. This is really tacky.
    I haven't listened now since the "event" and I really don't miss it all.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 19.

    #16, alphamnemonic wrote: I like the Duchess of Cornwall!

    Yes, so do I!
    Thank-you for being brave enough to say so, after all the posts dissing her.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 20.

    If the Duchess had been appearing at Lower Loxley, there would have been much doffing of caps, Nigel would have bowled her over with his charm, Bert would have recited an especially written verse (where is Bert?) and Helen would not have been invited! So unfortunately the Duchess has to make do with second best - Grey Gables. I love Caroline and Oliver and I'm sure everything will be all right on the night.

    In the meantime Ms Whitburn, get rid of the Shake Ambridge to its Core storyline. It's driving me insane!

 

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