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Vote for the most potent Archers memory

Keri Davies Keri Davies | 15:39 PM, Friday, 25 February 2011

Arnold Peters (Jack Woolley)

When a show has been going as long as The Archers, inevitably some moments and stories stay in listeners' memories more than others. We thought it would be interesting to see what you thought might be the most potent Archers memory

We've selected a short list. Some are iconic scenes such as Sid and Jolene in the shower, and some are storylines that ran for several years - or are still running, like Jack Woolley's mental decline.

And we'd like you to make the final decision.

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.


  • Comment number 1.

    What a privilege to be allowed to make the final decision about something on The Archers! Keri, you're a true gent.

    Seriously, I'm not sure. I tend to find the throwaway moments the most poignant. Personally I always thought the actor who playes Linda was a true comic genius, and for me some of my most poignant memories are of the moments when her brash veneer caved in and we saw the woman underneath. I suspect the woman who plays her has a deep knowledge of the character and all sorts of back stories. So I would have to suggest her emotional goodbye to the grandchild, followed by Robert's news of the surprise holiday. Very poignant.

  • Comment number 2.

    LOL But perhaps not POTENT which was what you actually asked. Unsurprisinlgy, I'm not inspired by Vanessa's choices. I know that 'Peggy' nursed someone in real life and advised on script, but I have to say Jack's illness was so NOT what I have seen with people I know and love, that I have never been totally convinced by it. As for the rest, I was rather hoping Ruth WOULD leave... I'll leave it to others to decide.

  • Comment number 3.

    Inevitably my most powerful memory of TA is Nigel's fall from the roof and the traumatic fall out among the ranks of listeners.

    As a D Tel cryptic addict (and I know that makes me an even more unsuitable listener), I was compelled to look up the meaning of the word 'potent' in Chambers...

    ..... pungent (a strong whiff of desperation about the storyline)

    ..... convincing, persuasive compelling (yes, all of those, towards the off button)

    ..... vigorous (what else can a fall from a great height be?)

    ..... commanding...(see compelling, above)

    ..... dominant (this fiasco will be my dominant memory)

    ..... influential (the powers that be are and I, a licence payer, am not)

    ..... overpowering (overpowering amazement at how little I feel the loss of TA so many weeks later),

    ..... puissant .... (now, now, in the back row) I'm looking for the poetic justice of the biter bit long term, perhaps?

  • Comment number 4.

    Congratulations Mr Davies!

    You have just destroyed Jack Wolley *"POP"*


  • Comment number 5.

    Isn't it a bit strange that all bar one of the clips that are available to vote upon are from VW's reign?

    The Archers had been running, very successfully, for 40 years before she became editor.

    Of those from which a choice can be made the death of Grace was probably the most poignant, but for raw emotion and brilliant acting I don't think that Kathy's confrontation of Sid when he returned from the LVA meeting (or Joleen's flat really) can be beaten.


  • Comment number 6.

    None of those. John's death and the aftermath was the best for me.

  • Comment number 7.

    My most potent memory is John's death, or rather Tony sitting there with John and covering him with his coat. It's not there, so I can't vote.


  • Comment number 8.

    Disappointed with the choices on offer. Totally agree with the last two comments by anna kist and Vicarshusband - John Archer's death will always resonate particularly strongly for me and I can still hear Tony sitting talking to him.

  • Comment number 9.

    John Archer's death and Joe's ferrets - the thought of them still make me go misty. Oh, sorry, they're not included!

  • Comment number 10.

    Another misguided hostage to fortune, Mr K? Nothing before VW? Oh, so the previous 40 + years don't matter, eh? Hubris, sir, hubris.

    Glad the TA team are not playing defence in any football team I follow otherwise they'd lose every match on own goals.

  • Comment number 11.

    Most potent Archers memory!
    Ah that would be when Baby Henry was born, (although no midwife thought to weigh him), to the mother who had never heard of pre-eclampsia wasn't it.

  • Comment number 12.

    Oh the FERRETS!!!
    I don't count Nigel's death as am still trying NOT to remember it.

    How about the wonderful moment when the Duchess of Cornwall asked to meet the chef? I hear that was exquisite.

    Or - erm - how about one of those moments which saw the entire Archers family poking fun at Ruth's cooking (ignoring her hard work on the farm) yet again?

    Or - can't help myself - the time when Nigel uncharaceteristically ignored the urge to fuel a party with fresh champagne, and...

  • Comment number 13.

    Walter Gabriels Auto-Gloken Polyphon.


    Purchased with part of the proceedes of the £7,000 pools win.

    All the stuff in the last few years is... well unprintable

  • Comment number 14.

    I know you had to keep the list to a manageable length Keri, so I've voted for one of the options offered. But like others, John's death is the one I would have preferred to vote for. The acting from everyone in the aftermath of his accident was superb, particularly the actor who plays Tony. The scene when he found his son was one of the very best moments of radio I've ever heard.

  • Comment number 15.

    I echo the comments made by others - one of the most moving scenes in the Archers was when Tony found John. I would have voted for that one!

  • Comment number 16.

    Another supporter for Tony finding John. The only time I've ever cried while listening to the radio.

  • Comment number 17.

    sorry. none of those. my most potent memory was when i lost interest in the archers. the pointless writing out of a character for cheap sensationalism when supposedly celebrating 60 years just made me fed up and annoyed. i have lost my enjoyment of a simple little ritual enjoyed for 35 years.

  • Comment number 18.

    I cry at the radio quite often , but usually when listening to Classic FM. I had somehow never heard the duet from the Pearl Fishers, and it came on as I was driving to a meeting one day a few years ago. I had to pull into the side of the road to sob, and was late for the meeting!

    I am surprised at the narrow choice of things to vote for, I can't really vote for any of those.

  • Comment number 19.

    John's death had me in tears, that is number one for me. Also Joe's chat with the vicar after Muriel died left me with moist eyes.
    Tony's birth. I still remember the exitement when everyone was gathered at Brookfield for the news. They all raised their glasses "to Anthony William Daniel" just before the music. Doris Archer's death.
    I was very young, but I also liked John Tregorran's romance with Carol, Christine's star crossed marriage to Paul, Grace's death. The wonderful and funny partnership of Walter and Mrs P and the unforgettable performance by Jack May as Nelson.
    I also loved Nigel!
    I cannot vote for any of your choices. I thought the shower scene was best forgotten. It put me off my supper.
    I have been a non listener since the day we learned Nigel had died and that "Wonder Woman" had been delivered. Having read people's comments, I have seen nothing to bring me back after being in at the very start. It is a shame as music and BBC 7 has now filled that gap. I do not bother to turn back to Front Row now. BBC 7 is in danger of becoming a Radio 4 overflow, so I guess soon I will be a non radio listener.
    Unless something happens soon, I think the end of TA is not far off. Perhaps this was the plan. Is it very expensive to make?

  • Comment number 20.

  • Comment number 21.

    John's death. Mark's death. The Ferrets. Shula finding Doris dead in the chair. Christine & Paul. George & Christine. Shula & the "inky blighter" in the corn-field. Mike's break-down. Neil & his near-affair.

    So many memories of special events. So sad I have been forced to stop listening.

  • Comment number 22.

    Following my message 19. You may wonder why I did not vote for Grace's death because I had mentioned it. This was because it was nowhere as potent to me as the memorable moments I had written about. John's death, the vicar and Joe's talk, Tony's birth and Doris's death.
    I would have voted if John's death had been in there.

  • Comment number 23.

    Oh I loved Nelson. Kenton was developing into a worthy successor...

  • Comment number 24.

    Tigermontague @ 19

    "I have seen nothing to bring me back after being in at the very start. It is a shame as music and BBC 7 has now filled that gap. I do not bother to turn back to Front Row now. BBC 7 is in danger of becoming a Radio 4 overflow, so I guess soon I will be a non radio listener."

    I too have been listening since the begining and I now listen to R7 R3 & Planet Rock. You point about R7 is very well made and very worrying. The Contoller of BOTH R4 & R7 is gweneth williams and a fan of ms whitburn so not too good an outtook in my view.

    It is interesting that since the archers has gone from our house R4 in general is not listened to much anymore either

    I am afraid we are the wrong sort of listener.

  • Comment number 25.

    Nigel's death - potent because the way the whole 60th anniversary debacle has been handled has had the power to destroy my pleasure in listening to The Archers. I have not listened since all that daft hype, and I am totally disillusioned with the refusal of Vanessa Whitburn and her team to acknowledge what has happened for so many of us - and to apologise. Caroline Spellman did it - the ability to apologise for a serious mistake is quite a grown-up thing to do - to refuse to acknowledge a serious mistake for which you are responsible is not.

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree Brian-of-Britain. "We are the wrong sort of listeners." The station has been a warm friend to me for most of my life, but I feel it is gradually being transformed into a po-faced, dry as dust, up itself irritant.
    It is still possible to find the odd gem, but, I find this hard to say, the high, much valued standard, is slipping. Some of the programmes are just not very good.
    TA was always in a different category. If we are honest, many of us recognised that it was not the best drama in the world, but we were in on the joke.
    The strength of TA was its continuity, its "everyday story", its humour, its pathos, and just sometimes it could bring you up with a start.
    As a country person born and bred, living in the middle of nowhere for many years and later in a village, it was not perfect, but some of the characters were people I recognised, and quite a few of the situations were feasible.
    It also got its basic facts right and it did not leave you, as it does now, with more questions than answers.
    My daughter, a regular listener, gave up long before I did and I doubt my granddaughter who is 10 will tune in.
    From the start, as my Dad washed the hens eggs in the old kitchen, I would dry them and listen enthralled. I know things can't stand still, but I wish TA could still be rooted to the land and provide something closer to the real life we live in the sticks. And at times, there is real drama out here too. Honest.
    Those in charge are missing a trick, because they have a chance to help people in towns and cities understand country life a little better and this is badly needed right now. I also think they would be entertained by its difference. It would not be a radio EastEnders or Woman's Hour (ugh!) lite.
    Brian, good listening. I adore 7, enjoy 3, am learning to like 5 and 6, and I will give Planet Rock a go.
    Good Luck to you and all those who want our Archers back.
    Keri I apologise for the length of this, but I cannot just sit here and say nothing.

  • Comment number 27.

    Hello Tiger,

    What you say sums up my reading of the situation

    Like you I am country but village. Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Sussex, Berkshire & Buckinhamshire and I enjoyed the carefully nuanced continuity. Mrs B-o-B Leicestershire ( her parents house had no electricity, mains water or sewage..

    What they have done is beyond belief. I gave up after the CofE vicar of a middle England village married a practicing Hindu. My wife afer "that" episode. Trust broken scales falling from the eyes. Just poor tosh getting worse. No care, No craft & Ishoos.

    Do try Planet Rock. If you like that sort of thing & I do is is all the best stuff without the rubbish.

  • Comment number 28.

    Just to make it clear that the shortlist was drawn from the memories which listeners themselves mentioned on the My Archers page:


    It's inevitable that many of these will have been from the last 20 years.


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