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27/06/2017
BBC Radio 4

The Archers

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June Spencer, who plays Peggy Woolley, is recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2017.

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  • It seems that the grief surrounding the late miscarriage of their child first pulled Kirsty and Tom together, then pushed them apart.

    Now, while Kirsty is driven to protect the world from big business and globalisation, Tom is motivated only by pound-signs.

    In the week when their child would have been born, Kirsty is adamant that her relationship with Tom is not worth the effort. There are more important things for her to plough her energy into.

  • Assistant Producer, The Archers

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    In anticipation of Adam marking his 50th birthday I have been poring over the annals of his life in The Archers Archive. It's an impressive back catalogue of storylines.

    There is of course, lots of information on Adam’s work at Home Farm and his endless power struggle there with Brian. Then there’s when he came out as gay and his relationship with Ian. But there’s also the time he was in Africa, the time he was assaulted and the time he got bitten by a snake (in Ambridge, not Africa).

    But the one that caught my attention is Adam’s Kidnapping.

    In January 1970, a worried Jennifer told her parents about a threat to Adam who was only two and a half years old at the time.

    The next record, from 9 February 1970, says Adam was kidnapped from The Bull and Peggy phoned the police. Four days later Adam was found in Birmingham. Jennifer and her then husband Roger Travers-Macy went to collect him. Their return to The Bull was televised.

    The kidnappers, two strangers called Henry Smith and Chloe Tempest delivered a demand for £5,000 but they were so inept that before Adam’s family had time to respond the police had already tracked them down.

    Decades on, maybe the time Adam was kidnapped has...

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  • Worcestershire Beekeepers' Association

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    Bees are great for my garden as well as those around me, they are also incredibly clever and fascinating and then, of course, there’s the honey. There’s quite a ritual involved in extracting it.

    Wearing a bee suit and carrying a smoker and hive tool, I head down to the hives. After smoking the entrance, I take off the roof and smoke through the holes in the crown board, removing it to see what’s going on in the supers. I’m looking to see whether the majority of the frames contain capped cells of honey ready to be extracted, just like Jill and Kirsty have been doing.

    Lorraine Chapman at her beehives

    Before extracting the honey, the bees need to be removed from the frames. Some beekeepers use a bee escape, which works like a one way valve, preventing them from re-entering the super once they have left. You simply put that on the hive the day before and the next day the super is clear. But you can just shake them off and brush off any lingerers with a bee brush. A super can be quite heavy...

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  • Assistant Producer, The Archers

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    The Birthday Honours List is a long held tradition of the reigning monarch's official birthday but this year the honours come as an added birthday treat for someone else other than the Queen.

    In the same week as her 98th birthday, the Archers actress June Spencer is recognised with a CBE in the 2017 Birthday Honours List!

    June, who plays Peggy Woolley, is the only surviving member of the...

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  • There's a time and a place for a sausage sandwich apparently... and it's not lunchtime. That's devilled kidney time. Thanks for the lesson in etiquette, James.

    It could also fairly be said that there's a time for a mother (Lilian) to advise her grown-up son (James) to buy and cook his own lunch. 

    The more we hear from James, the more tempted we are to take Leonie's side...

    Catch up: Hear

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  • Assistant Producer, The Archers

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    Despite their past history, Tom can’t help be tempted by Matt’s suggestion that Bridge Farm may be able to do better than Justin's offer.

    There are pounds signs in his eyes. And they are clearly obscuring his vision of his past dealings with Matt!

    There was a time when Matt and Tom were going to go into business together. In 2009 Tom wanted to get out of his partnership with Brian. He thought his prayers were answered when Matt came knocking.

    But then, after a couple of months of not hearing anything from Matt (which surely would make you suspicious!), Tom was told the deal was off. Matt...

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  • Assistant Producer, The Archers

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    Pip’s frustrated exclamation that she picked the wrong brother made for an excruciatingly awkward moment between her and Rex.

    It makes you wonder if Pip really was aware of Rex’s feelings all along. Back when Rex was trying to find a way to encourage their relationship into more than friendship, Pip appeared oblivious to his advances. Even when Alice explicitly pointed it out to her, Pip...

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  • Justin seems to think he has Ambridge eating out of his hand. He's made a one million pound land offer to Pat and Tony without telling Lilian. David spoke in favour of his intensive pig unit at the parish council meeting thanks to Brian's intervention. And he tried to buy off Kirsty by investing in the Millennium Wood.

    Meanwhile, concerned that Justin gets just the right type of PA (purely for business reasons, of course) Lilian's attempting her own spot of people-handling by interfering in the interview process.

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  • Assistant Producer, The Archers

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    The comedian Chris Neill has admitted that he once mistook a doorbell in Ambridge to be someone at his own front door. 

    The confession came in his comic autobiographical meanderings Woof - One Man's Search for a Dog or a Boyfriend broadcast on Radio 4.

    Chris makes light of the incident being an exemplar of his solitary life but there must be lots of other examples of this strange...

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  • Actor (Lynda Snell)

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    I still can’t quite believe that Lynda Snell has been part of my life for over 30 years and is celebrating her 70th Birthday – terrifying! But also rewarding to play someone who arouses such strong, conflicting reactions. She is supremely irritating, self-regarding, humourless and smug and yet, deeply vulnerable, well-meaning and human. And we all know someone just like her! In fact, discovering Lynda can be quite cathartic for everybody, including me!

    Here are some of my favourite moments from Lynda's life in Ambridge.

    Dame Edna

    I love the irony of placing Lynda away from...

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