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Nigel Pargetter - share your memories

Keri Davies Keri Davies | 15:11 PM, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Jack Firth (Freddie), Graham Seed (Nigel) and Georgie Feller (Lily)

We're very aware of what the character of Nigel Pargetter meant to many listeners, and how much they will miss him.

Between 4pm and 8pm tomorrow (13 Jan), we'll be running an online event here on The Archers blog. This will coincide with the episode featuring Nigel's funeral. We'll be sharing moments from the character's history, and inviting listeners to contribute their own memories and tributes.

It will be a sort of online Book of Condolences, a permanent tribute to this much-loved character and to Graham Seed, the actor who played him.

It will take a similar form to the live online coverage of the 60th anniversary day, during which Radio 7 broadcast classic episodes, and interviews with current cast and production staff.

Do please join us as we say goodbye to Nigel.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I will indeed say bye to Nigel as clearly Mr Seed is permanently out on his ear. No way to treat a colleague of 30 years.

    Thanks for making this facility available Keri - but any chance of directly addressing the issues being raised across the ether? That's what rankles you know.

    p.s. the image above. Mr Seed looks none too happy, Freddy looks nonplussed and Lily just looks very resigned...did they know Nigel's fate already during the photoshoot?

  • Comment number 2.

    You Cannot be serious.

    Many ask questions, Answers are ther non.

    I agree with Root4me about the picture. Poor taste

  • Comment number 3.

    >the image above. Mr Seed looks none too happy, Freddy looks nonplussed and Lily just looks very resigned...did they know Nigel's fate already during the photoshoot?

    No, this was taken earlier in the year. But given the general mood, I didn't think a jolly jolly picture was appropriate.

  • Comment number 4.

    Are these the actors who play Lily and Freddie? Presumably for their own protection their names aren't given in who's who.
    Are they by any chance related to other cast or crew members? Especially Lily.

  • Comment number 5.

    I will say it again - celebrating with a death is a cheap shot. So much more could have been done.

    We have recently had a young friend confined to a chair for the rest of her life - the obstacles she is having to cope with - both physical and emotional would have been so much more interesting. (She is a farmer's daughter, out doorsy girl, not dissimilar).

    I am not impressed either with the story line or the producers' reaction to listeners' comments.

  • Comment number 6.

    How very tasteless....

    After the bizarre 'death for ratings' of the absurd 60th anniversary programme, you are now trying to mitigate Whitburn's crass decision with this sickly idea?

    The BBC made a serious error and has alienated thousands of loyal listeners. This proposed 'online event' is in very poor taste; why can you not simply admit the grevious error and resolve it properly? Starting with Whitburn's resignation.

    And yes, who would 'celebrate' the memory of a friend with such a glum photograph - can't you even get that right? It just shows how out of touch the BBC is with its audience....

  • Comment number 7.

    Will there be another entry afterwards, where we can pay tributes and say our farewells to a programme that has sadly departed?

  • Comment number 8.

    Oh for goodness sake. What we want is an apology for making such an appalling decision of killing off Nigel in the first place, an apology to Mr Seed for the way he has been treated, an acknowledgement that VW has made a mistake and to be aware that the majority of your listeners are not happy. Not all this ridiculous stuff about bereavement and condolence blogs.

  • Comment number 9.

    Actually, on the picture front, I've changed my mind. As the idea is to remember Nigel as he was, I'm going to upload a happier one.

    Thanks, root4me.

    These are the actors, Our_Freda. There's no child protection issue here, although there would be if we were to reveal home addresses and similar information. They're just not in the Who's Who yet because we've still got some work to do in that area. It's been very busy with 60th anniversary stuff, as you can imagine.

  • Comment number 10.

    I am completely speechless. I said yesterday that you had all gone mad. Now you have gone even madder. I am not listening to the funeral and I am certainly not coming anywhere near this page tomorrow afternoon/evening.. Keri - a man has been sacked by you - he is not dead - he is out of a job. What is all this about? Why are hiding behind this smokescreen and not answering the growing amount of complaints?

  • Comment number 11.

    Yet another questionable decision, compounding the error of the facile and asinine storylines that so signally failed to "celebrate" the 60th anniversary of what used to be such a wonderful programme.

    Keri, your script-writing skills - and those of some of your colleagues - are not being done any favours by the profoundly crass SLs to which you are being shackled. You have my deepest sympathy: lions indeed, led by a ...

    This blog, this front page, does not need a superfluous further "tribute page" to Nigel, let alone to GS.

    A number of threads on the messageboard have already achieved this "tribute" status - and having originated from those most dedicated of listeners, those who are prepared to post: those threads are, surely, the real tribute.

  • Comment number 12.

    Wot, no picture in the gorilla suit, or debagged by Tim Beauchamp outside the Mr Snowy van? It's what he would have wanted!

  • Comment number 13.

    Unfortunately my happy memories of Nigel (in particular when Caroline's dog was opening doors and escaping at Grey Gables 'gosh how clever!') are now forever linked with his blood curdling scream during his execution, as someone on the other blog referred to it.

    A pleasant, amusing, kindly character who deserved much better.

  • Comment number 14.

    Thanks Keri. A swift and direct response is genuinely appreciated. More of the same please?

  • Comment number 15.

    I'd love to know why this page has been set up. You got it so wrong with the sixtieth anniversary edition and the death of the wonderful Nigel so is this to try to mitigate the damage you have done? I noticed that even the letters page of the Radio Times has three letters from disgruntled listeners and I have yet to find anyone who was happy with losing Nigel.

  • Comment number 16.



    We are now witnessing the debacle of Whitburn's bad judgment and complete insensitivity to the nature of THe Archers. She has ruined it by turning it into a soap and now we have this ridiculous sop with Keri continuing to ignore the avalanche of criticism and just pick up peripheral points. I agree with this commnet"

    "The BBC made a serious error and has alienated thousands of loyal listeners. This proposed 'online event' is in very poor taste; why can you not simply admit the grevious error and resolve it properly? "

  • Comment number 17.

    Couldn't you have used a photograph which included Nigel's beloved Lizzie?

  • Comment number 18.

    Will there be a Listen Again and/or Podcast option for this?

    I live in Belgium and am an hour ahead of you in the UK, and the timing couldn't be worse for me from a family pov (dinner, extra-mural activities etc.)

    I'm especially interested in the "interviews with current cast" part.

    Thank you.

    Yours, a huge fan of David Archer, who feels very strongly that his character has been/is being comprehensively trashed just so that it can fit in with this implausible storyline.

    Katy

  • Comment number 19.

    It's hilariously tacky--when you are in a hole stop digging---unless it's Nigel's grave obviously.

  • Comment number 20.

    P.S. I mean, of course, that I feel this way, not Tim Bentinck....

  • Comment number 21.

    er... the murderer arranges a memorial event. Bit grisly, no?

    Dear SWs, producers et al... I'm guessing from last blog and this one that you have been advised, or you're assuming, that we're all grieving for Nigel. If so, I think you might be wrong.

    I for one am very very sorry to have lost him. But if there's grief, it's for the loss of the delicious pleasures of the subtlety of small and big events which = The Archers to me. Like the superb writing and acting of Phil's death, for example.

    You'd placate a lot of people by acknowledging that you misjudged the anniversary episode, rather than glossing over it, and getting back to brilliant small stuff like Susan and Vicky's gossipy scene, which was vintage.

  • Comment number 22.

    Amazing. Still no answers from the ivory tower and then this.

    Keri - you write :
    It's been very busy with 60th anniversary stuff, as you can imagine.

    Yet you can find time to answer selective posts and ignore the flood of deeply felt criticism.

    I suggest that the editorial team gets together, reviews their unacceptable performance in the last two weeks (in the view of your listeners), and addresses the complaints of your customers.

  • Comment number 23.

    And so it looks as though the Headmistresses ticking off gets buried even deeper into the bowels of Ambridge.

    I would however like to thank Keri for putting this blog up and giving me the opportunity to personally thank Graham Seed for the years of pleasure he has given to both of the ex-listeners in our home.

    I was hugely impressed by Graham’s professionalism in the interviews and newspaper articles in which he appeared after the broadcast of the 60th ‘Calibration’. Given that he was left to stew with the news of his termination all over the Christmas period while being contractually unable to tell anyone what was on his mind I think he has come out of this shining, while the editorial team seem to be wallowing in something nasty in Ruth and David’s yard.

    Bless you Graham and all the very best for the future. I feel sure something good will be coming your way very soon.

  • Comment number 24.

    [A pleasant, amusing, kindly character who deserved much better.]

    I don't see how a character can "deserve" anything - good or bad. Just as well readers didn't all throw their copy of Little Women on the fire when the sweet, good-natured and much loved character Beth died. Fiction would be a bit predictable if only the dastardly characters were killed off.

    I must admit I'm a little impatient to get the funeral over and done with Keri, then the real fall-out can begin. I'm looking forward to that but will tune in tomorrow as well, to see if Jill gets her way and the poor twins get the chance to say goodbye to their father. It must be a tough set of scripts for such young actors.

  • Comment number 25.

    Oh please.

  • Comment number 26.

    BB if you want characters with a certain degree of credibility and continuity, and if you wish to respect the integrity of the drama, then you don't do this to a character just to cause a sensation. The character and the audience both deserved better.

  • Comment number 27.

    Goodbye Nigel - you were a decent chap but that is why you had to go. VW is ratings chasing and you are her sacrificial lamb.

  • Comment number 28.

    "It will be a sort of online Book of Condolences, a permanent tribute to this much-loved character and to Graham Seed, the actor who played him."

    My reaction to this is that it is very peculiar ... almost sick. You are broadcasting the funeral of a fictitious character and are asking us to produce a Book of Condolences.

    I think someone has lost the plot!!

  • Comment number 29.

    Nigel may (re Borsetshire Blue's post above) not deserve better treatment since he is a fictonal character, but in that case nor does he need a wake.

    However I believe Graham Seed, who created a believable and lovable character who obviously brought enjoyment to many listeners' lives, DID deserve better than to have his character killed off not because of an organic plot development but for a weirdly inappropriate 'celebration'.

    Thank you Graham for your characterisation of Nigel, it was a fine feat of acting. Like the poster above, I also hope and believe that the future holds great things for you.

  • Comment number 30.

    Keri - I get where you're going with this, I really do ....(sorry, can't help it - but the continual failure to address the real issues raised makes me wonder if we're even speaking the same language any more. You know, the old 'same words, just not necessarily in the same order' ....)

    .... Anyway, I think you'll find that this page has been pre-empted by the earlier blog post 'Graham seed on playing, and leaving, Nigel Pargetter' which is full of how listeners felt and still feel about him / them.

    I'll echo the point above though - again. Yes, we're sad that Nigel's dead - and very sad that Graham Seed has been dispensed with too - but still no-one seems to understand that the major questions to answer are: -

    Why on earth a celebration of such a fanTAStic milestone led the Editor to feel '... that the event had to be deeply traumatic' (VW). WHY?

    Which dictionary translates 'Celebrate' as 'Traumatic'?

    Another death means yet more sadness, more hurt, more inter-Archer-family rows. Repetition. When are you going to get tired of this theme? and Why is repetition good listening? Why should I make myself start listening again to hear weeping, recrimination and a story line that (in the real world) would affect everyone in such a small community for weeks and months to come? Why?

    Are you really SO short of imagination and/or bored with the what TA is about that you're all prepared to let it go?

  • Comment number 31.

    Sorry, Keri, but I find this quasi 'Book of Condolences'/'funeral feast for Nigel' sop to the angry audience a cheap, distasteful and inadequate exercise.

    I am not simply mourning 'Nigel's' expendability on the altar of ratings-chasing sensationalism running counter to his and David Archer's characters; I am mourning what has been happening to the programme particularly over the last year/18 months (especially with the Helen SL, first with Annette and then with the AI Baybee) as 'Eastenderism'. Somebody must be steering that from on high.

    Above all, I am IRL still mighty riled, in professional terms, about the treatment of Graham Seed as 'Nigel's' actor.

    7.02-7.15 pm was once a sacred time in my household. In the last 10 days I could hardly be bothered to turn the radio on, or if it was on, my attention quickly wandered back to whatever I was doing before.

    I never, ever thought I would sign myself off as an ex-listener to TA, but that is what I must do now, to be truthful. Not a flounce, not a tantrum, just a realization that the programme is being steered in ways that no longer remotely interest me. Nor is this a pathological avoidance of bad things happening in soap drama; thinking of Joe and the ferret-killings in Meadow Rise still makes me well up.

    Marie

  • Comment number 32.

    We have a wound and rather than dress it, you rub salt in it.

    Are you under instruction not to engage with any comments here relating to why you, as a writing team, broke the bond of trust with your audience?

    If you do not want to join the conversation then don't wite blog posts like these.

    And where is Vanessa Whiburn when all this is going on? She's only too happy to use the media to announce SATTC but goes missing when the audience slaps her in the face.

    Message to Vanessa WE'RE OVER HERE!!! CAN'T YOU HEAR US???!!!

    We are not amused.

  • Comment number 33.

    Mg 6

    Absolutely spot on.

    You guys on the TA team! You really bo just take the bicuit. This blog subject and the 'Book of Condolence' notion is about as tasteless and cynically exploitative a follow-up as you could perpetrate: I mean, who the heck thinks up these appalling wheezes, because frankly they deserve sacking.

    In a hole, mate, stop digging, eh?! Don't get out the pneumatic drill and /really/ give it a go!

  • Comment number 34.

    For heaven's sake Keri just take a deep breath and have the guts to post a notice saying "Sorry ........we got it wrong."

  • Comment number 35.

    Re n° 28

    "You are broadcasting the funeral of a fictitious character and are asking us to produce a Book of Condolences. "

    Wanna send a wreath!

    And the pair of boottees I've been knitting for Henry Archer.

    Katy

  • Comment number 36.

    You must have lost the plot again!! What a ridiculous idea. Why don't you in Archers Inc realise what is going on here with your listeners.

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm not happy

  • Comment number 38.

    Well, we won't be short of mourners at the wake, will we? Where do we send the wreaths?
    I do hope the online wake ends up with two uncles having a fight, an elderly aunt discovering the joys of swearing and a couple of the younger mourners siphoning off a bottle of port. What larks!

  • Comment number 39.

    @37

    Nelson, how good to hear from you. I thought you were dead. I am so sorry to hear that you, like so many of us, are not happy though. Perhaps Keri’s next attempt to bury Vanessa’s blog could be Advise on depression and how to cope with it.

  • Comment number 40.

    Speechless!

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    In case anyone would like to post a comment to Graham Seed there is a thread with over 500 posts here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbarchers/NF2693940?thread=7970083&skip=0

  • Comment number 43.

    "It will be a sort of online Book of Condolences, a permanent tribute to this much-loved character and to Graham Seed, the actor who played him."

    This idea is inappropriate and in very bad taste. Were you not aware that Graham Seed is alive and well Keri!

    If you think an online 'Book of Condolence' for a fictional but much loved character solves the problem of a bad decision delivered in an inappropriate manner to a loyal member of the TA cast - then you're as out of touch with the average TA listener as the odious Ms Vanessa Whitburn.

    Until the demise of Nigel Pargetter I was a frequent if irregular listener to TA and had been for 60 years - I'm no longer a TA listener!

    Coincidently I am attending the funeral tomorrow of someone I've known for 48 years, someone who actually existed! Think about it!

  • Comment number 44.

    I cannot believe I have been moderated again! I was moderated for posting the spam letter and yet others posted it too and it was permitted. I was moderated for referring to a very funny message on another board. I was moderated for accidentally pressing the post message button before writing anything and now I am moderated for trying to be light hearted and make a joke.

    Sorry! I will return to being miserable, depressed and downhearted,

  • Comment number 45.

    Oh my goodness! Our intelligence really is being insulted now.

  • Comment number 46.

    Hello - This just gets worse and worse.

    As other listeners have noted, it's not all about Nigel demise. To reiterate, we're angry because:
    - the storyline was obvious and predictable
    - David and Nigel were out of character;
    - you killed off the one true ray of sunshine in Ambridge
    - you sacked someone who had huge long term potential and, in real time, brought joy and lightness to TA
    - you chased ratings/impact, at the expense of the programme and it's listeners
    - you keep talking about scripts, we listen to characters and stories
    and,
    to add insult to injury,
    - if you're not ignoring us, you're dismissing us as brainless idiots.

    That's why I and many others have stopped listening.

  • Comment number 47.

    For your online event, please can you feature some Nigel scenes from his debut decade, the 1980s? I would love to hear his very first Ambridge scene in 1983, something of his love affair with "Shulie", and some of the Mr Snowy story-line of 1985 or 1986 (sorry, the exact year escapes me!). This has not changed my mind about tuning back into TA, Keri - I haven't listened since Nigel's death was declared - but I've been listening to BBC Vintage Archers cassettes and I'd love to hear some pivotal '80s Nigel moments.

  • Comment number 48.

    Is anyone on the production team going to have the guts to reply to all the questions on this blog. To paraphrase "What are you? Men or mice?" (incidentally not something that David would have said in my opinion.

  • Comment number 49.

    Many people are mourning the loss of a popular character and are sad at the actor's manner of leaving. However, as has already been said elsethread, many listeners/ex-listeners are disappointed by the clumsy way this storyline was handled, the amount of hype, the poor quality of the actual episode, and the direction that the programme appears to be taking. The lack of acknowledgement and outright dismissal of these views has added frustration and anger. I don't think a "condolence book" will help.

  • Comment number 50.

  • Comment number 51.

    oops, sorry, hit 'post' by accident.
    Wanted to say:
    #48 snowpenguin - thanks for the laugh!
    It has become a curious zone, these blogs and their comments, and the black humour from Archers listeners has been a great source of entertainment...

  • Comment number 52.

    You hoped this would be a good idea - but it's disaster.

    Almost unanimously, we all think Graham Seed's character provided some light and optimism amongst a lot of gloom.

    Wouldn't it be a brave, strong decision for the editors to resign and for a Dallas still plot-device allow the plot to be wound back 2 weeks. It would be barely less plausible than what happened to Nigel.

    There would be hugh loss of face - but well deserved.

  • Comment number 53.

    katie wait for it you will be moderated for breaking the house rules. naughty girl for pressing the button too soon

  • Comment number 54.

    Not listening then? Still trailing this blog on R4!

  • Comment number 55.

    :)

  • Comment number 56.

    sadly yes. 7pm used to be sacrosanct... I dip in now but there's been no pleasure, except for Susan and Vicky. It's been most diverting to discover I'm not alone in my shock at clunky script and out of character behaviour. Here's hoping normal service can return after the funeral...if the team don't have us all written off as a bunch of over-identified loonies...

  • Comment number 57.

    Was gutted about Nigel story line. It should have been the terribly irritating Helen free falling to her death.
    It's not too late though; can I suggest to the script writers that Nigel is brought back after 6 months. Nigel's death could have been a really bad nightmare for Lizzie with Nigel emerging from the shower as Lizzie awakens? Just a thought!!

  • Comment number 58.

    I am truly mystified by how all this is being managed. Condolences for a character in a radio serial words fail me. As someone said upblog it really is time to stop digging this hole. Time to move on (at speed) with some decent SLs and I would be grateful if grieving on air could be kept to a minimum we have had an awful lot of misery in the past year.

    Bebop

  • Comment number 59.

    This really is SICK! Have the producers completely lost it. After the tawdry story line we get this as a final kick in the *****! When I think what could have been done with a 60th anniversary. Please don’t use the defence that things like this happen in real life. If you think that then you have completely missed the whole reason for the massive fan base that has accumulated over the years. “He who apes corrie apes trash!!”
    SHAME ON YOU!

  • Comment number 60.

    interesting how I don't think one person has "shared a memory" or "signed the book of condolence" but expressed further amazement at the increasingly batty blogs which keep appearing.

    The BBC is blinkering itself to the underlying festering anger by using one diversionary tactic after another. If anyone there were seriously reading all the messages they would realise that the IQ of your average Archers listener is high enough not to be fooled by all this.

  • Comment number 61.

    @ Katiecatherine - thank you kindly. And isn't it a wonderful reflection on Archers' listeners that we do have black humour and, which goes without saying, intelligence?

  • Comment number 62.

    Splutter! Missing Nigel is so much NOT the point, and a book of condolences is inappropriate for a fictional character, let alone insulting to those bereaved in the real world. I can't begin to imagine what you will do next. All these other posts have said it already, but really, you're compounding the error in a way that comes over as thoroughly patronising towards your audience.
    (On another tack - from other threads - my sympathies to Mary Cutler for having got lumbered with this one. I've admired her writing before, so I deduce that this is not her fault but the straw she drew....)

  • Comment number 63.

    Why when your celebrating 60yrs of the Archers would you want to dwell on anything sad, it is bad enough that we had the death of Phil when Norman Painting died & the death of Sid when the actor wanted to leave. To have these two deaths follow so quickly was unfortunate & lazy.
    Then to have such a milestone & decide to get rid of any character was just awful, what should have happened was a party at the bull, village hall or Lower Loxley where every ambridgian could enjoy themselves & remember the villagers that have passed on, Grace, dan & Doris, the Gabrials, uncle Tom & aunt Pru, George Barford, Majorie Antrobus to name just a few of the celebrated villagers of the last few years.
    I do not think I can forgive the producers or the writers for taking away such a chracter that brought so much joy to the village.
    Vanessa Whitburn is reportedly to have said that she killed Nigel because he was a popular character so Ms Whitburn are you only looking for ways to increase your market share? I wasn't aware that the BBC was a commercial company couldn't we have had just one episode which was just full of happiness.
    Graham Seed is a good actor wether he is in radio drama or crossroads he brings humour & jollity to your ears.
    Good luck Graham & Nigel you are sadly missed

  • Comment number 64.

    Snowpenguin, I agree (some of the more personal attacks excluded).
    Thing is... anyone can make a mistake. The problem is not being able to say sorry. It's just astonishing how quickly that defuses people's complaints; but whether for political reasons or others, it seems to be impossible. Such a shame. Listeners do feel rather affected by all this - these characters have been in our homes, our kitchens, our bedrooms... and they have to be believable or we'll just laugh. I think the team may have become overexcited about the big anniversary and forgotten this...

  • Comment number 65.

    That's a cheerier picture. Nice to see the blog working properly again, too.

  • Comment number 66.

    Mr K, do check out the thread on the message board.
    It's instructive. You used to write there once, remember?

  • Comment number 67.

    Perhaps you should just make it an online book of condolences to 'The Widows' ooops I mean 'The Archers'. A permanent tribute to this much loved programme.

  • Comment number 68.

    I would like to share memories of Phil and sign a book of condolence for Norman Painting.

  • Comment number 69.

    uh .... this just seems really weird.

    I could see it for Phil Archer/Norman Painting, maybe. But for, as someone put it above, Nigel's murderers to capitalize on his death this way ...

  • Comment number 70.

    My post at 39 is obviously never going to see the light of day, so I will rephrase it.

    Nelson, how good to hear from you.I am so sorry to hear that you, like so many of us, are not happy though. Perhaps Keri’s next attempt to bury Vanessa’s blog could be Advise on depression and how to cope with it.

    The continual thinking up new blogs is in my opinion just a ploy by the editors to hide the Vanessa Whitburn blog and the overwhelming number of negative comments associated with it further and further down the list of blogs.

  • Comment number 71.

    How fabulous! I'm finding the unfolding everyday story of radio folk much more entertaining than The Archers.

    I wonder what the next hilarious blunder will be?

  • Comment number 72.

    What? This is just bizarre, insensitive and downright patronising...I thought after 'that' episode, it couldn't get any worse, but this is downright ludicrous and clearly demonstrates just by how much the production team has lost the plot(s). It appears that those of us who have voted with our ears have made the right choice if this is a sign of the twisted things to come....

  • Comment number 73.

    Will there be a book of condolences for believable, nuanced drama, which is now sadly missed from TA? That's what I'm mourning; not Nigel as a character.

    Please get rid of this ShATTC rubbish as soon as possible so I can start listening to TA again.
    'Ö'

  • Comment number 74.

    I well remember the advent of the fun character that was Nigel. Am only sorry that I had to listen to his demise. Hope the cast and Graham Seed will enjoy the comments tomorrow. After this event to celebrate the many story lines Nigel was central to I hope the listeners will have the chance to discuss the ramifications caused by the 60th anniversary episode. All the best, Graham!

  • Comment number 75.

    What would actually assuage the situation now, I wonder? Nothing as dramatic as VW’s fall (from power) - after all, she has presided through good stories too - but, I think, a) simply “We’re sorry. We got it wrong,” and b) a commitment to finding a new, perhaps less committee-type way of planning story lines in future.
    The obvious thing for the anniversary would surely have been to involve the listeners in some way, either by having a competition for ideas or by offering a shortlist and letting people vote. That would have brought publicity but in a more popular way. Perhaps you could allow us a say now to compensate? I don’t usually like that kind of reality–TV approach – I must be the only person in Britain who never watched Big Brother – but it could be the answer here.

  • Comment number 76.

    Given the mood of your audience did you honestly think that this blog would be used in the way you intended, Mr. Davies?

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Wrong on so many levels about so many things.

    The only thing a book of condolences is needed for is a once great programme - a national treasure.

  • Comment number 77.

    the blinkered response eh? am guessing you will record the number of posts and quote one or two to create the impression that your 60th episode was a success. Sad manipulation BBC - supposed to be be always impartial - even with fictional drama! don't distort the fact that this was a cheap way of achieving anniversary impact. Unbelievable - and even in that context - badly written.

  • Comment number 78.

    I share the unease and discontent expressed on this board. Other posters have expressed themselves better than me especially Villa Mariposa in comment 8.

  • Comment number 79.

    Nigel will be remembered as a fine member of the community, cruelly cut down in his prime, murdered in cold blood.

  • Comment number 80.

    This is so sick an idea it is unbelievable. Others have said it all.....

    You really are not listening..... we actually hate rowing with the editorial team. We know Nigel lovely but FICTITIOUS character. We know the editorial team are real people who can be hurt by these comments.... BUT you are NOT listening or addressing your listeners.

    Poor Graham Seed has been sacked after doing a fantasatic job in the interests of sensationalism. You need to start apologising and rebuilding.

  • Comment number 81.


    This appears to be yet another attempt by either VW or the Beeb to divert attention from the fundamental issue of their crass actions on 2nd January.

    It's about time they woke up to the fact!!!

    As for Nigel he will be sorely missed as he brought humour and enjoyment to the programme. This is something sadly missing since he left.

    The maudlin scripts since then have been dire. Is it just my impression or does it appear that the actors and actresses hearts are not in it?

  • Comment number 82.

    Dominic123, Jim W and a few minutes ago, Listen_here raise something I have been thinking all over the last ghastly two weeks. As so many of us agree, the boss and her team got it wrong, and as we can see from all the nonsense planned tomorrow, they just keep digging.

    But, the three folk I mentioned come up with the subject which might be taboo for the pro's in the editing suite, but, as Listen_here points out, just might bring some of us back on board. Use the 60th as a one-off opportunity to respond to this overwhelming and justified panning that you are getting, by playing scriptwriter God and stopping the wheel turning, allow a break in disbelief and turn the thing back. Then learn from it. No one posting here is arguing for other than great drama, ranging widely and reflecting human issues of all kinds. We accuse you of forgetting that in your anniversary euphoria, and allowing yourselves to fall from fine writing which as others have identified in episodes last year and over decades, and as katie_katherine wrote 'But if there's grief, it's for the loss of the delicious pleasures of the subtlety of small and big events which = The Archers to me. Like the superb writing and acting of Phil's death, for example.

    You'd placate a lot of people by acknowledging that you misjudged the anniversary episode, rather than glossing over it, and getting back to brilliant small stuff like Susan and Vicky's gossipy scene, which was vintage.'

    Yes, we need all that back, but it is the Editor who has to respond with the kind of seriousness that responds to the hours we have collectively put in to telling her that we think the 'play was poor'. I, for one, want Graham Seed and his character back. In fiction, wow, we can do it. I guess we might happily suspend our disbelief for a moment, and when an aged Mr Bentinck introduces the day's festivities for the 120th anniversary, he can refer to the archives moment when the Archers lost, and found the plot because of listener fury.

    Do that, and I will start listening, and we will all have something to celebrate!

  • Comment number 83.

    David - comment 82 - has a perfect solution. I too would listen again if this were to happen.

  • Comment number 84.

    Unbelievable. What an extraordinary idea!

  • Comment number 85.

    Another bit of BBC PR goes horribly awry..

  • Comment number 86.

    Brilliant scriptwriting as ever for the pantomime making Nigel the star performer, side tracking us with the Helen/Tony baby saga "red herring" then wallop you kill Nigel off....boo hiss

    Subsequent episodes have been well written and sympathicly acted to date.

    However if you feel like killing anybody else off let it be one or both of the "witches" Susan or Vicki preferably Vicki

  • Comment number 87.

    I would like to turn back time and have Lady Di in a gorilla suit as the special guest for the 60th anniversary.
    Why won't the scriptwriters make it happen?
    It's so not fair.

  • Comment number 88.

    It amazes me that after all these comments there has been no response from VW or any of the production team. I presume the only way that we will get a response would be to write to the DG, having spent years as a public office worker, we would at least have had the courtesy to reply to critism. I do not know when or if I will return to The Archers, as I have said earlier I have been enjoying vintage tapes. Does the editor not realise that stooping to the depths of soaps she has thousands of faithful listeners disappointed when she went down this road instead of celebrating the 60th anniversary?

  • Comment number 89.

    What another silly idea. Are you really doing all this stuff for a bet or something? or just to wind the nation up?
    I want Nigel back or just take the program off for good.

    To me the Archers is finished and I will remember the last part as being Nigel giving the brooch to Lizzie and pretend to myself that that he and his family have emigrated.

  • Comment number 90.

    I so agree with message 82 - and along with many others made a similar suggestion after the Jan 3rd episode. Keri - you have said 'the Archers doesn't work like that'. Well - it doesn't work like this for sure - so why not do something unprecedented to put it right?

  • Comment number 91.

    Sorry, Keri et al, but you just don't get it do you? There's around 400 comments on the 60th anniversary blog, most from people who have gone to great lengths to explain what it is they are upset about. Are you wilfully misunderstanding *all* of them?

    I'm not going to list what I'm unhappy about yet again - obviously there's no point plus many other people have done so eloquently upthread. Many of us are mourning what's happening to TA, not 'Nigel'.

    A book of condolence for a fictional character? Words fail me.

    If this blog is to be about 'Nigel' then an apology for the reported RL shabby treatment of Graham Seed would be better received.

    I haven't listened to TA since Jan 3rd and can see no reason to return at the moment.

  • Comment number 92.

    Vanessa, Keri - you've lost me. Truly, this is so far removed from anything I want to listen to, you're on your own on this one. Good luck. I hope the eventual, inevitable sacking of VWhitburn gets as much press coverage as did the dedding of Nigel - at which point I'll know it's safe to tune in again. You chaps have fun meanwhile - see you in, ooh, about 6 months?

  • Comment number 93.

    At last some common sense: thanks stan-at-ashby!
    I cannot believe the over-the-top drivel I have just read in the blog above - my first visit, incidentally. What is the matter with people?

    For goodness sake, this is a fictional drama and people are born, they live, and they die in unpredictable ways. I have listened to the Archers for 30+ years and cried & laughed at all the appropriate times. I cannot believe that people are kicking up such a fuss about the circumstances of Graham Steed. He is an actor and so has a constantly uncertain future, at the mercy of script writers and editorial staff and audiences. Nigel is dead and we all move on and wait to see how this impacts on the goings on in Ambridge.

  • Comment number 94.

    I originally thought that Nigel's fall was going to be a bit of fun on the part of the production team. We, the audience, wait twenty-four hours with the terrible scream ringing in our ears, loads of tension, loads of strife, Ms Whitburn saying that the episode contained a death rather than a potential death...

    Then: theme tune:

    David: "NIGEL, NIGEL!"

    The wind blows... silence... then...

    Nigel's voice, echoing upwards: "I'm all right David. One of the banner ropes is wrapped around my ankle, and I'm holding on to a window sill. Could you call the fire brigade, please?"

    Cries of relief from the audience, and Ms Whitburn and the team winking at us and saying: "Didn't really think we'd stoop so low as to kill off Nigel, did you? But wasn't a bad cliffhanger, was it?!"

    The overnight cliff-hanger would have given the show lots of publicity, and yet resulted in a funny twist very befitting to Nigel!

    I was such a fan of his - from 1983 to today. He was an essential character, a Marjorie Antrobus, a Walter Gabriel... a REAL character. And he lightened things up so much. That's why I've left Ambridge. Nigel helped to make the programme what it was, what I enjoyed listening to.

  • Comment number 95.

    @65
    Yes, what a relief.
    There I was reading NGR's thread(I think)on the message board - and more particularly Taylor's remark that to describe the moderators as Stalinist was unfair - when I tried to move onto the next page of the thread only to find that the messageboard had disappeared. A subsequent check of the blogs seemed to show that they had all been stripped of their comments. Well, I thought, what irony!
    So glad to see things are not as Stalinist as they appeared last night.

    But I'll add my voice to those asking for a Book of Condolences for The Archers, not Nigel..

  • Comment number 96.

    I agree totally with Debbie in message 94 .... I too thought Vanessa was revealing a sense of fun in saying there was a death and would have the last laugh at us all. I thought David would dash downstairs and we'd hear him saying "Cor Nigel, I thought you were a gonner".

    The Archers was mother's milk to my two daughters but my son-in-law has never really listened and so wanted to know what "the fuss" was all about. My daughter explained how it had all been hyped and the plot manipulated to suit the hype and that it is just not what The Archers is all about ... and yet the production team don't seem to understand this fundamental truth.

  • Comment number 97.

    Archers' Scriptwriters - please sign up Debbie P asap!

  • Comment number 98.

    Thank you Snowpenguin for comment 48.
    Also, it feels like the production team and the listeners are speaking two different languages with mutual incomprehension being the result.

  • Comment number 99.

    Debbie P. Post 94 - what a brilliant cliff hanger/twist, and would have been a true way to celebrate the 60th anniversary. Not the ham-fisted concoction produced.

  • Comment number 100.

    Last one from me as I'm off to a REAL funeral and will be signing a REAL Book of Condolence.

    I'm 64 and have listened to TA on and off since the first episode, my family believed in radio not TV! So, I have witnessed most of TA's highs and lows including those of VW. This is not the first time she has caused ructions on TA and she is regularly held to account for poor decision making by fans on the various TA websites.

    Personally I blame VW for the insidious deterioration over the past 20 years to the point where I went from being an every day addict to an occasional listener. When there were 20 or so characters it was intimate - now there are around 80 and most of those are boring and trivial & bring little to TA.

    VW was a producer on Brookside and as I loathe TV soaps the Brooksidisation of TA has saddened me and I hold her responsible for that. But "celebrating" 60 years with the unrealistic death of a valuable character is so VW that TA has now lost me completely as a fan and a listener.

    Graham I hope you are reading these comments because as much as it's about Nigel it's probably more about the sorrow that we can't listen to you! Ax

 

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