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Joining in with the Archers 60th anniversary episode

Wednesday 29 December 2010, 14:41

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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Celebrating the 2000th episode of The Archers in 1958. Left-to-right: Patricia Green (Jill), Norman Painting (Philip Archer), Joy Davis? (Mrs Fairbrother), Leslie Saweard (Christine), and Thelma Rogers (Peggy Archer).

Join us on The Archers blog between 10am and 7.30pm on Sunday 2 January to celebrate the 60th anniversary of The Archers as it happens.

Consider yourselves warned (and warmly invited). The special 60th anniversary episode of The Archers is only days away and we want you to join in.

All day, from the beginning of the Radio 4 omnibus episode at 10am until the climax of the 30-minute special episode at 7.30pm we'll be running a live chat on the Archers blog, keeping time with Radio 7's simultaneous day-long Archers epic (classic episodes and omnibuses from the history of the programme running up to the big episode).

We'll be publishing your comments about characters and storylines plus the building speculation about the event expected to 'shake the Archers to the core.' We'll also bring you pictures and stories from the history of the drama all day. Visit the Archers blog at any time from 0945 on Sunday to join in - and tell your friends.

Then, during the anniversary episode itself (an unprecedented double-length programme starting at 7pm), visit The Archers homepage for a 'tweetalong' - The discussion about the anniversary episode on Twitter (which is sure to be lively) will be animated on the page in an app developed specially for the anniversary. Join in by using the hashtag #TheArchers on Twitter.

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

  • The Archers has five million weekly listeners. It's the longest-running broadcast drama anywhere in the world. Listen on Radio 4 at 7pm Sunday to Friday (and Monday to Friday at 1400 for the repeat) and on Sunday at 1000 for the weekly omnibus.
  • Download The Archers to listen to on your computer or MP3 player. Subscribe to podcasts for the daily programme and weekly omnibus
  • The Archers messageboards are among the most popular at the BBC. Follow @BBCTheArchers on Twitter for behind-the-scenes updates, links and RTs.
  • The picture shows the party to celebrate the 2000th episode of The Archers in 1958. It's from the BBC's picture archive and the caption reads: "picture shows (left-right) Patricia Green (Jill Archer), Norman Painting (Philip Archer), Joy Davis? (Mrs Fairbrother), unidentified female, and Thelma Rogers (Peggy Archer)." Update: Tim Bentinck, who plays David Archer, points out that the unidentified female is Leslie Saweard, who has been playing Christine since 1953.

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Comments

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    Comment number 1.

    Peggy Archer: "The Socialists complained" (about her support at "Conservative" fetes). Rather gives the game away doesn't it?
    COUNTRY boy, tractor driver's son, vegetarian, anti hunting and Labour Party member.

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    Comment number 2.

    The central female (ie to Phil's left) is obviously Ysanne Churchman (Grace Archer and, much later, Mary Pound).

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    Comment number 3.

    Predict how many followers The Archers twitter site will attract b4 7pm Sunday, here http://twitter.com/#!/BBCTheArchers

    I say at least 2,000! It is 1147 now!

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    Comment number 4.

    Just listened to the 60th anniversary story line and am complaining because right from the opening moments it was so predictable - pooooor Nigel!! What used to be my favourite 'soap' has just infuriated me enough to make me place a comment on a public blog for the first and possibly last time!!

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    Comment number 5.

    Well, seashore1998, I couldn't agree more. What a fiasco!

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    Comment number 6.

    I'm flabbergasted. There was a golden chance to kill off the whining Helen and leave Tony to bring up the grandson he'd advised against, never having made his peace with his daughter, real drama!

    What happens? Poor old Nigel gets bumped off in such a transparent way that even he might have seen it coming. Like seashore (above) I'm infuriated.

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    Comment number 7.

    A predictable ending and a shame that we have now presumably lost one of our favourite characters, I guess someone had to be sacrificed at the alter of listens numbers and of course the need for a big event.

    Come on writing team you could have done better!!!

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    Comment number 8.

    The plot can, still be saved. Helen goes fulminant overnight and expires after all, Nigel's fall is broken by landing on Ian: Nigel walks away and Ian can hang around in ICU for a few episodes. David climbs down from the roof and is greeted by Ruth saying "Oah, No! David!".

    Come on BBC. Don't snatch Nigel from his loving fans...

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    Comment number 9.

    I agree with all the previous comments about the 60th anniversary programme. This too is my first ever blog and I am sorry that it is because Nigel has been apparently "bumped off", Unfortunately it did seem fairly obvious that the one with the name Archer would be safe.
    Ah well, try again perhaps and put in a tree to catch him!

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    Comment number 10.

    the thing is, nigel should have listened to ilazebeth's warning about not going out to remove that banner in the dark

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    Comment number 11.

    It was a long scream though. Poor Nigel. He must have more than a scratch. Unless he caught his pants on a flagpole on the way down. Tonys fixed his tractor - lucky he left a full load of hay on the trailer??? No way. I think hes toast

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    Comment number 12.

    Crazy. I was relieved and disappointed at the same time that it wasn't David who fell off the roof. Now that would have shaken Ambridge to the core.
    What was a sensible chap like David doing up there in the first place? I could understand if it was his brother Kenton with Nigel, but not him.
    This episode was gripping drama but didn't quite ring true, a baby born and a life lost (I assume - or maybe Nigel is badly injured with brain damage and ends up in a wheelchair - a new situation for the scriptwriters to tackle).
    Either way I predict that Elizabeth will be a little cross with her brother.....

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    Comment number 13.

    As an avid fan and addict I too was so disappointed with tonight's most predictable episode.I am totally bored with Helen and this baby.She has spent so much time on the internet in previous episodes that she must have known her condition!! The Nigel and David storyline was so predictable.A real let down.

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    Comment number 14.

    I am so disappointed!! Not only has one of the best characters been killed off (presumably) but it was made obvious from the outset. Why, oh why, did the Archers have to go the way of all TV soaps and create a completely unbelievable, tragic storyline simply to mark the anniversary???? Neither David or Nigel would have done anything so stupid - totally out of character. This has really insulted the intelligence of your listeners. I am very cross indeed. I thought The Archers were above this sort of thing.

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    Comment number 15.

    I along with many others am disappointed. It was SO obvious from the beginning of the programme that David and Nigel were going to go onto the roof. From there the only way was down. As someone else said David is too sensible to go roof climbing in the dark on a frosty night. Shame on you writers for not thinking of something more appropriate to celebrate 6o years. I am not even going to mention Helen! I will say that I enjoyed the coverage on Radio 7, that really did bring back memories. Thank you.

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    Comment number 16.

    Have listened to the Archers since it first started but Icannot remember whether it replaced The Daring Dexters or Jackson of the Jungle .I thin k the former can anyone tell me

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    Comment number 17.

    Elizabeth wakes up and it is a dream!

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    Comment number 18.

    The scream was a bit OTT, but surely it has to mean that Nigel is crippled, not dead – that's if the misery is to extend over years rather than weeks. Especially if Lizzy is to discover that Nigel was talked into removing the banner by David. If Nigel has gone, no one will find out about David's wretched mistake. The continuing presence of a paraplegic Nigel will reduce David to uncontrollable remorse. Oh dear…

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    Comment number 19.

    I agree with previous posts, the reason I continue to listen to the Archers since childhood is BECAUSE it avoids the tactics of TV soaps...Helen's (highly unlikely) pregnancy has always sounded like public service information on how to approach pregnancy..but there's no chance she would have missed these symptoms...but those two would never have gone onto the roof in failing light and freezing weather, the tragic scream was over dramatic...nevertheless i will be listening tonight, but please less of this type of drama (and ideally less of Helen too).

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    Comment number 20.

    Well, I wasn't disappointed; apart from wishing Helen had bought it rather than the sweet Nigel, but at least his dying yell will be immortalized as my new ringtone - if that doesn't infringe copyright?

 

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