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Graham Seed on playing, and leaving, Nigel Pargetter

Monday 3 January 2011, 19:14

Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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Graham Seed (Nigel Pargetter)


Dear Archers listeners,

I'd like to share with you all my official statement that has been released today:

'It is with huge sadness that I leave The Archers after 27 years. Nigel Pargetter was a joy and a privilege to play, from 'Mr Snowy' to proud father. His enthusiasm, charm and love of life helped make Ambridge a happier place.

'On a personal note, I will sorely miss working with so many old friends and colleagues, especially Alison Dowling who plays Nigel's Lizzie.

'May I take this opportunity to thank all those listeners who endlessly communicated their loyalty, appreciation and affection towards Nigel and me. I'll miss him!'

It would be wrong of me to pretend that I was other than shocked when Vanessa [Whitburn, Archers editor] phoned with the news on a damp November 5th. Fireworks night - rather apt I thought! The hardest thing has been to keep it under wraps, not just from friends and family, but colleagues too. Now at least all is out in the open...

It's too soon to highlight memories. They go back to heady days in the 80s. William Smethurst created a wonderfully affectionate, vulnerable over-privileged young man causing havoc to the Archer household in scenes that were such fun to play.

Scenes of course with Jack May (Nelson) and Mary Wimbush (Julia), laterly with Richard Atlee (Kenton). But always Ali...

There was something of the Peter Pan in Nigel. He never really grew up.

To play my death scene? Very odd, but much harder for everyone else, I think. I've never noticed those behind the scenes so emotionally charged before. I just concentrated on what I had to do and did it to the best of my ability, as I have always done.

But I am a working actor and life must go on.

Except for a short break when the part was played by Nigel Carrington, Graham Seed played Nigel Pargetter from the arrival of the character in 1983 to his death on 2 January 2011.

  • Picture shows Graham Seed (Nigel Pargetter)
  • Graham and Alison Dowling will be interviewed on BBC Breakfast tomorrow morning (Tuesday 4 Jan)
  • Graham appears in Accolade, at The Finborough Theatre, London, 1 to 26 February


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    Comment number 1.

    You are already being hugely missed!!

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    Comment number 2.

    Goodbye to Nigel and Graham. I have enjoyed the years I've spent with you on the Archers. You will be sorely missed.

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    Comment number 3.

    I worked with Graham on Crossroads when William Smethurst came over to ITV, he was a complete joy to work with and I'm truly sorry that I won't hear him again on The Archers. A strange story line I'm thinking, do the Archers really need this?

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    Comment number 4.

    What a waste! As a disabled person, to whatever degree, Nigel could have been a way to show the struggle for recovery, rehabilitation and everyday difficulties experienced by disabled people and/or wheelchair users.

    Oh well, perhaps Jill can move into Lower Loxley and help out with the running of the place, and the children.

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    Comment number 5.

    I have loved every moment that you were in the Archies. You were such a mischievious character - never unkind, rude or nasty. A rare thing on radio or television. I cannot believe that they 'killed' you character as you were one of the best on the Archers. Goodbye and thank you so much for so many happy memories.

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    Comment number 6.

    I'm a little aghast to learn that it wasn't (apparently) Graham's choice to leave The Archers, as I'd been assuming! Still, it was a brilliantly written and performed exit!And But many thanks to Graham (and Nigel) for all the fun they've provided over the years.

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    Comment number 7.

    I am really going to miss Nigel, he was one of my favourite characters,always genuine and kind hearted. I had my fingers crossed that he might have survived the fall.What will Lower Loxley be like without him? Wishing Graham much success in the future.

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    Comment number 8.

    Ever since I met Graham at the Birmingham Rep a few years ago, commenting on his role in 'I, Claudius', I realised that Graham Seed is just as gentlemanly and gorgeous as his voice conveys in his role as Nigel. He is one of the main reasons that I listen to the Sunday omnibus. His voice is comforting, caring and his mischief is totally engaging. I just know that I would have joined in if I lived in Ambridge. I thank him for entertaining us and look forward to seeing and hearing him in many new roles in the future. If I was in the business, I would be making a bee-line for his door to sign him up before anyone recovers from this shock.

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    Comment number 9.

    Oh Nigel you were the one that kept the Archers from being so miserable! Gonna miss you xx

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    Comment number 10.

    Graham: All I could think of last night was how hard it must have been for you to leave after making such a mark in this iconic radio show. Good luck with all that you do and thank you for bringing some extraordinary adventures and personality to the Archers. Your performance has ranged from the downright silly to the poignant and moving. Hope you go into new and exciting ventures.

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    Comment number 11.

    Why does 'dramatic event' have to be synonymous with tragedy on the BBC? Isn't enough that everyone living in Walford must hate Christmas? Nigel was one of my favourite characters and so kind to everyone, The Archers won't be the same without him, there will be a big hole and a lot less fun and laughter.

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    Comment number 12.

    Totally gutted, why 'kill' off such a wonderful character. I assumed it was the actors 'choice'.. but above tells me no. So why do it, have we not had enough 'death and loss' this year in the series without yet another to 'celebrate' 60 years? Thank you Nigel (Graham) for bringing some positive spirit and cheer to the Archers... you will be much much missed.

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    Comment number 13.

    I feel that killing a lovely character like Nigel was totally unnecessary.Don't think I can ever feel the same about the Archers again!Hope Graham reads this as I send my thanks for the pleasure his character has brought to listeners, and the way he played Nigel was really great. Good luck for the future Graham!!

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    Comment number 14.

    Dear Graham/Nigel,
    Will miss you but hope future parts flood in and The Accolade sells out

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    Comment number 15.

    Well that's the end of one of the dearest and most lovable characters on the show - and poor David's life is ruined in addition to Lizzie's and the childrens. Horrible, nasty script writing, just awful. And that wretched whinging martyr Helen is still going to annoy me endlessly ... unless I decide to stop listening after so many years, which I may well do. I gave up TV soaps years ago because they pinned me down at a time in the evening when I have lots to do. I have enjoyed the Archers and other radio shows as I can get on with my life while listening. Phil and Sid have gone, and I was fond of them too. Why pick now, when we are all still missing them, to kill off one more of the 'good' men? Writers playing God I suppose. HUH! Bye Nigel, I'll miss you very much.

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    Comment number 16.

    Darling Nigel
    A heap of cyber garage carnations and teddybears are forming as I write. RIP and good luck in everything for the future, Graham

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    Comment number 17.

    Dear Graham, It is with huge sadness that we have heard you have been written out of The Archers! Nigel will be hugely missed, especially now we know this was not your choice.

    Best wishes for the future.

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    Comment number 18.

    There's a special thread from listeners on The Archers message board thanking Graham for the delight he and Nigel have given us over the years: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbarchers/NF2693940?thread=7970083

    Tayler

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    Comment number 19.

    Goodbye, Nigel and Graham. I will miss your irrepressible enthusiasm always, Nigel. Your absence will leave a big void in Ambridge. Best of luck with your future career, Graham.

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    Comment number 20.

    As I've just said on the discussion board, I've been listening for 30-odd years, & he's always been one of the only actors / characters who's sounded like the possessor of a genuinely good heart & kindness of spirit. The interim-non-Graham-Seed years always felt wrong, & I remember the joy when he reappeared.

    Unfortunately I think this time it genuinely is goodbye, rather than au revoir.

    RIP Nigel, all the best Graham.

 

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