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  1. "Still not posh enough Roy - give up, lad" - Listener discussions to 2 July 2014

    Monday 7 July 2014, 11:25

    Tayler Cresswell Tayler Cresswell

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    Post from @debbons on Twitter Post from @debbons on Twitter

    Listeners are concerned at Helen’s continuing blindness to Rob’s true colours following that phone call from Rob’s mum, Ursula Titchener.

    And as Roy struggles to let go of what happened at Greenbury Fields, some listeners are relieved that Elizabeth is playing it cool.

    Elsewhere in Ambridge, many are mystified at “airhead” Fallon’s inability to make up her mind over PC Burns.

    Support for the anti-Route B campaign is on the wane after the battle was compared to WWI, and listeners were startled by “the wrath of Susan”.

    Here’s my pick of listener discussions between 26 June and 2 July 2014.

     

    Now that Helen’s known to her mother-in-law-to-be Ursula, listeners are hoping that she’ll see a bit more sense, even if they relished the chance encounter.

    "Are you the cleaner ?" is my new favourite line (replacing Peggy's "fondant fancy" exit). (Alison Wyld on BBC The Archers Facebook page)

    You know when you accidently catch an episode of #thearchers during the week and it's a belter, that! #Robsmother #Schadenfreude (@polly_comens on Twitter)

    Ooh, Ursula sounds pretty plummy. Will Helen be Good Enough? #shadesofjuliapargeter #TheArchers...

    Read more about "Still not posh enough Roy - give up, lad" - Listener discussions to 2 July 2014

  2. Burn, Baby Burn!

    Friday 4 July 2014, 18:03

    Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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    Borchester Echo masthead

    Ambridge residents took to the hills last week (24 June), in opposition to the Route B option of the proposed Borchester to Hollerton relief road.

    A community bonfire and barbecue on popular beauty spot Lakey Hill developed near-pagan overtones, in scenes reminiscent of the 1970s cult film The Wicker Man.

    Photo: “It’s ‘guy, guy’ Route B”, hopes Ben Archer (12) of Brookfield Farm, as he holds an effigy said to represent the aggressive developers behind the new road scheme.

    Villagers chanted as the figure of a man – supposedly the spirit of the business interests connected with the road plans – was consumed by the fire. Placards brandished by locals reinforced the message, bearing slogans such as “No to Route B” and “Save the Am Vale Environment”.

    Attendance at the event was estimated at over 100, although one resident claimed that a further five million were “listening in”.

    Photo: The effigy goes up in flames to the echo of angry chanting.

     

    Page 14: “...This beautiful jewel must be preserved...” Local author Jennifer Aldridge extols the delights of Ambridge, the village threatened by business interests with links right to the heart of Borsetshire...

    Read more about Burn, Baby Burn!

  3. Ambridge in the decade of love

    Monday 30 June 2014, 10:24

    Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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    ambridge-in-the-decade-of-love_300614_s_el-gr.jpg

    This week on BBC Radio 4 Extra, there’s a rare chance to hear how The Archers coped with the 1960s. In two 30-minute programmes, Ambridge in the Decade of Love presents some gems from a stash of 2,670 episodes of The Archers which had remained forgotten for over 20 years.

    Presented by Richard Stilgoe, Ambridge in the Decade of Love was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2003. At the time, producer Simon Elmes wrote a fascinating article for The Guardian about the find, how it plugged a huge gap in our archive, and what he learned about this period of Archers history:

    “...Ambridge slowly embraces change: coffee bars and jukeboxes, cellar youth clubs, motor scooters, overspill housing, comprehensive schools and the burgeoning leisure industry all feature, not to mention innumerable new farming methods...”

    Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer

    Ambridge in the Decade of Love is available on BBC iPlayer for seven days, and on BBC Radio 4 Extra as follows:

    Episode 1:  Today (Monday 30 June) 13:30, 20:30. (Tuesday 1 July) 02:30
    Episode 2: Tomorrow (Tuesday 1 July) 06:30, 13:30, 20:30 

    Read Simon Elmes’ article in full

  4. "OMG! Elizabeth! Roy! OMG!" – Listener discussions to 25 June 2014

    Saturday 28 June 2014, 20:47

    Tayler Cresswell Tayler Cresswell

    Post from @SuzanneRoynon on Twitter Post from @SuzanneRoynon on Twitter

    It was widely predicted by listeners but Roy and Elizabeth’s festival antics still resulted in shock and a flurry of #horrifiedselfies posted on Twitter.

    Thankfully, Lilian and Lynda lightened the mood with their ongoing knitting competition while David threatened to go even more Wicker Man than usual. Elsewhere there was a scintilla of sympathy for Shula amid the strangles outbreak and mounting speculation about who’s the right man for Fallon.

    Here’s my pick of listener discussions between 19 and 25 June 2014.

     

    Elizabeth took to festival life...

    Read more about "OMG! Elizabeth! Roy! OMG!" – Listener discussions to 25 June 2014

  5. The Archers praised in BBC rural review

    Friday 27 June 2014, 15:10

    Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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    Tractor in field

    The Archers has been described as one of the BBC’s ‘rural gems’. The programme was lauded – along with Countryfile and Farming Today – in a review of the BBC’s coverage of rural affairs.

    The study was commissioned by the BBC Trust and carried out by Heather Hancock, who formerly chaired the BBC's rural affairs committee.

    This is what she said about The Archers.

    It proved impossible to ask any audience or stakeholder about the BBC’s rural affairs coverage without discussing the significance of The Archers, a programme which now as always arouses deep passion in its listeners...

    Read more about The Archers praised in BBC rural review

  6. Jim Lloyd’s ‘insulting’ article about Brian Aldridge

    Friday 27 June 2014, 15:10

    Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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    Charles Collingwood (Brian Aldridge) Charles Collingwood (Brian Aldridge)

    Last year, Jennifer Aldridge spent several weeks not talking to Jim Lloyd, because of the profile of Brian which Jim wrote for Borsetshire Life magazine.

     

    We heard snippets from the piece on air at the time. But we thought you’d like to read the article in full...


    The Squire of Ambridge
    by Jim Lloyd

    As I arrive at Home Farm, I catch sight of a well-manicured outdoor swimming pool, recently unveiled from its winter slumber. Such a mark of conspicuous consumption takes a deal of wealth to support. What is it about my host, Brian Aldridge, that makes...

    Read more about Jim Lloyd’s ‘insulting’ article about Brian Aldridge

  7. "Lordy, mascara alert!" – Listener discussions to 18 June 2014

    Thursday 26 June 2014, 11:58

    Tayler Cresswell Tayler Cresswell

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    Post from @kingbagcarrier on Twitter Post from @kingbagcarrier on Twitter

    As Peggy poured her heart out to Jill following the death of her beloved cat Ben, listeners reacted with a great deal of compassion – and floods of tears.

    There was no love lost for Rob, however, as Helen took him for Father’s Day lunch with Pat and Tony.

    Elsewhere in Ambridge, listeners wondered where Lilian’s knitting struggles were leading and some were surprised to find themselves agreeing with Charlie as he questioned Debbie’s role at Borchester Land. Meanwhile, will it be Roy or Charlie who proves most appealing to Elizabeth?

    Here’s my...

    Read more about "Lordy, mascara alert!" – Listener discussions to 18 June 2014

  8. Strangles - the disease that's hit The Stables

    Wednesday 25 June 2014, 18:04

    Anne Gibbs Anne Gibbs Vet

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    A sick horse


    A horse which Shula has in livery has developed a disease with an unusual name: strangles. Vet and equine specialist Anne Gibbs explains the implications of this serious condition.

    Strangles is a highly contagious disease. It gains its name from the fact that affected horses can develop enlarged lymph nodes around the throat, which restrict passage of food and in severe cases restrict breathing.

    Horses were emotively described as being ‘strangled’ by the disease in early veterinary books and the term has been adopted worldwide.

    Easily spread

    The disease is caused by a bacterium, Strep...

    Read more about Strangles - the disease that's hit The Stables

  9. Old College Sunday – more from Sandhurst

    Monday 23 June 2014, 10:58

    Todd Ledwith Todd Ledwith Army Officer Cadet

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    Officer cadets at Sandhurst

    Officer Cadet Todd Ledwith explains what Ambridge’s own Army trainee –  Dan Hebden Lloyd – has been undergoing recently. This period includes Shula and Alistair’s chance to visit Sandhurst for ‘Old College Sunday’.

    Officer Cadet Ledwith previously wrote about the gruelling Exercise Long Reach.

    Oh, and while we were at Sandhurst recording the sound effects for Old College Sunday, guess what the band played. Some Army director of music has a sense of humour...

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    The events of this week were summarised succinctly by a member of my platoon. We were crawling through a water-filled...

    Read more about Old College Sunday – more from Sandhurst

  10. Peggy’s cats

    Wednesday 18 June 2014, 10:50

    Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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    Cat with wool

    Following the sad demise of Peggy’s cat Ben, we remember how she came by him and Bill, and also the life of her previous much loved moggy, Sammy.

     

    Sammy first came into Peggy’s life on 14 June 1983, when Jill gave her a kitten from a litter of farm cats at Brookfield.

    In December, Sammy went missing after a fire at Peggy’s home, Blossom Hill Cottage. Nigel Pargetter got into Peggy’s good books by finding the missing cat.

    Peggy took Sammy with her to Home Farm while her cottage was repaired. Her son-in-law Brian Aldridge found his presence irritating on several counts. Fearing...

    Read more about Peggy’s cats

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Backstage news and insight into The Archers. Curated by Keri Davies.

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