Editor's note - Charles Collingwood, landed lothario Brian Aldridge in The Archers, stopped by my borrowed desk in the Birmingham Mailbox this morning and, while pacing up and down, dictated this short diary piece to me. And this, for some reason, seemed entirely appropriate - SB.
I stayed overnight in Birmingham because my home is in distant Hampshire. After a hearty breakfast I popped into the BBC Shop to sign copies of my autobiography - Brian and Me. Selling well, I'm happy to say!
And then I popped up to the Archers Green Room. There were a few laughs with my old friend Tim Bentinck (of 25 years), then producer Rosemary Watts came and told us all to be quiet and we did a read-though of the 1130 episode. We do four episoded per day - 0915, 1130, 1445 and 1700. A long day if you're in all of them. Today I'm just in the 1130 and the 1445, which is a good thing becasue I've got to drive home all the way to Hampshire.
My episode this morning, without giving too much away, is with my gamekeeper, William. And grumpy William needs taking down a peg or two which I'm more than able to do. William. of course, is played by Philip Molloy (whose father in real life is Terry Molloy who plays Mike Tucker).On Friday I'm delighted to say I'm recording Just a Minute in London. I don't know the subjects and don't know the panel but I'm sure it'll be a riot. Last Friday, coincidentally, I went to a Lords Taverners tribute lunch for Nicholas Parson who's now officially the oldest man on the planet but looks the youngest. A great time was head by all. A worthy tribute to an old trouper.
And finally please note that in my photograph I'm wearing a cravat (since I promised not to put pictures of the cast on the blog you can see Charles in his glory here - SB). I wouldn't want to disappoint you.
Charles Collingwood plays Brian Aldridge in The Archers
- The picture doesn't show Charles Collingwood. It shows a man wearing a cravat from Allister's photostream and it's used under licence.
- Archers Week ran on the Radio 4 blog from 23-30 November 2009. 19 blog posts were published in all, from 17 authors. They're listed here.
- Radio 4's Archers web site is full of good stuff, like a map of Ambridge, family trees for all the big clans and a detailed who's who. There's also a 'two-minute guide' for Archers newbies.
- The Archers messageboards are among the busiest at the BBC - nicknamed Mustardland because of the distinctive yellow page backgrounds. They're a bit sceptical about Archers Week, though.
- There are two Archers podcasts: one for the daily episodes and one for the Sunday omnibus.
- Hedli Niklaus, who plays Kathy Perks in the serial, also runs the Archers fan club, Archers Addicts.
- Norman Painting, who played Archers patriarch Phil for nearly sixty years, died on 29 October 2009. The last episode he recorded aired on 22 November. Archers Editor Vanessa Whitburn paid tribute to him here on the blog and the Archers Addicts have collected listener tributes.
- During our visit to the Archers' home in Birmingham dozens of photographs were taken, many of which feature pictures of cast members (and an ironing board).
- Twitter was put to use during Archers Week. #archersweek was the hashtag and we learnt that Tim Bentinck, who plays David Archer (@timbentinck) and Keri Davies, who writes scripts (@keridavies) are both Twitterers. Follow the Radio 4 blog on Twitter.