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James and Leonie in the helicopter - bonus scene

Keri Davies Keri Davies | 14:29 PM, Thursday, 5 April 2012

Jasmine Hyde and Roger May (Leonie Snell and James Bellamy)

James and Leonie caused great excitement with their flight over Ambridge, but in Easter Monday's episode we only heard the before, during and after from the ground.

This exclusive online-only scene takes us into the helicopter itself. Decide for yourself whether Leonie was justifed in calling James a 'klutz'. You may even think he got off lightly...

The scene was written by Archers scriptwriter Adrian Flynn and directed by... er, me.

Update 16 April 2012 - some listeners using screen readers have not been able to access the audio, so here is a copy of the script:

LEONIE You're doing it again.
LEONIE We're approaching Ambridge. Not about to start a firefight in 'Nam.
JAMES What's wrong with a little music?
LEONIE It's very annoying.
JAMES Annoying is as annoying does, Leonie.
LEONIE What on earth that's supposed to mean?
JAMES Well, if you don't understand...
LEONIE (POINTED) Anyway, it's not just me.
JAMES Oh, Christian's in the zone. Always is when he's flying. Aren't you, Christian?
JAMES (UNCONVINCING) See. Totally focussed on what he's doing.
LEONIE Fed up with you barking orders at him, more like?
JAMES I haven't been barking orders.
LEONIE You made us fly over Lower Loxley twice.
JAMES That wasn't my fault.
JAMES It's jolly difficult getting the exposure right up here.
LEONIE (INNOCENTLY) Despite all your experience in helicopters?
JAMES Ssh! (FUMBLES WITH CAMERA) We're almost there. (TO HIMSELF) O.k. Let's check the I.S.O... and the shutter speed. (ADJUSTING CONTROLS ON CAMERA)
LEONIE And the lens cap?
JAMES I only forgot to take it off because you were yammering on at me.
LEONIE To stop you mixing up Loxley Barratt Primary School with the finest stately home in the county.
JAMES (STOPS ADJUSTING CAMERA) That's it. What am I looking out for first?
LEONIE The Brownies Easter Bonnet parade.
LEONIE Tiny girls, brown uniforms, big hats? If only there was some clue.
JAMES Let me just...
LEONIE Hurry up. You've got a great view.
JAMES (WORKING CONTROLS ON CAMERA) Hold on. It's very contrasty.
LEONIE Quick! They're looking up and waving.
JAMES There's too much shadow. They need to move. (CALLS TO THE BROWNIES, FRUITLESSLY) This way!
LEONIE For goodness' sake!
JAMES Why don't they get what I mean?
LEONIE Perhaps they haven't passed their telepathy badge.
JAMES Good Lord.
JAMES On the green. A fight's broken out. They're belting each other with sticks.
LEONIE (WITHERING) I think you'll find those are Morris dancers.
JAMES I know! (RAPID SERIES OF SHOTS) Real Ale drinkers on heat. That's more like it.
LEONIE Get plenty of shots. I want a section on mumming plays in the book.
JAMES (DRY) That'll help it fly off the shelf. (BEAT) What are that lot doing?
JAMES In the pub garden.
LEONIE Dad said they're making the shape of bulls' horns, to signify the pub.
JAMES That's nothing like horns.
LEONIE Just take the photos!
JAMES They're at completely the wrong angle. (RAPID SERIES OF SHOTS) That's more like fingers.
LEONIE Oh, marvellous. So now we've got the pub sticking two fingers up at us.
JAMES (CAMERA STOPS) What on earth...
LEONIE What is it now?
JAMES (COVERING) Nothing, nothing. I just need to change the battery.
LEONIE You were going to do that when we left Lower Loxley!
JAMES If you hadn't been going on at me.
LEONIE Telling you to be prepared.
JAMES It's not a problem. Swing round the village again like a good chap, Christian.
JAMES See if we can take in some farm buildings this time. (SNIFFS THEN QUOTES 'APOCALYPSE NOW') 'I love the smell of hay-barns in the morning.' (RESUMES HUMMING 'RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES'. FADE)

Keri Davies is an Archers (and Ambridge Extra) scriptwriter and web producer.


  • Comment number 1.

    It was difficult to decide who was the greater pain in the neck! James was a klutz. Leonie was nag. My sympathies were with the helicopter pilot!

  • Comment number 2.

    If the pilot had thrown jam-brained James and/or not a pony but a massive nag Leonie out of the 'copter there wouldn't be a jury in the land that would have convicted him. In fact the judge would probably have awarded him funds from the public purse.

    Why do the SWs inflict this pair of braying berks on us? Thye are neither funny or stimulating. The only good thing about the bickering twits is that they would spoil another couple (as my granny used to day).

    I had hoped the chopper would crash into Bridge Farm and immolate the residents but no such luck.

  • Comment number 3.

    More garbiage, someone should have thrown him (the scriptwriter, that is) out in the same way as they did to Omar Suárez (F. Murray Abraham) in "Scarface". Total hastily dashed off garbiage which is we've come to expect from TA production team recently.
    - sa

  • Comment number 4.

    …and Another Thing: The picture at the top of this blog is simply dreadful, the reason being that neither of the two people (the main subjects of the photograph) are looking at the camera. OK, perhaps it was the intention of the photographer to create discord and disunity between the two people, in which case it certainly works, but if the skill and craftspersonship of the TA production team is anything to go by, then I'd say the effect in achieved in the photograph was a happy accident! - sa

  • Comment number 5.

    Well, I rather enjoyed this extra! Deliciously mad and surreal. First the references to 'Apocalypse Now', with the Ride of the Valkyries, then "the pub sticking up two fingers at us". And then more 'Apocalype Now'...!("I love the smell of haybarns in the morning"....) Made me smile. Thanks, Keri.

  • Comment number 6.

    The picture is exactly how I imagined them to look, so that's good, and I like the tension in the photo. Not really sure what the extra scene added though - we already knew that there was friction between them, and bickering isn't fun to listen to!

  • Comment number 7.

    Well, I enjoyed it - but then I do feel somewhat smug… ;-)


  • Comment number 8.

    Well, I thought it was very funny and thanks very much for posting it. (i also get the additional bonus of imaging what the lives of the po-faced complainers are like. Whine away guys, you're hilarious!)

  • Comment number 9.

    I heard half of this in the car on the wat to a modern dress performance of the RSC's King John.

    Turned it off. Utter garbage. Marginally worse than the King John - left at the interval.

    Mr Davies. Can I ask?

    What are you, all of you, trying to "do" with the Archers? Do you have a brief or overview of any sort?

    It really would be very pleasing to get a frank answer.

  • Comment number 10.

    You would be lucky, Dullers but keep trying - you never know they might have a plan that they are willing to share with us.

  • Comment number 11.

    Quote: I heard half of this in the car on the wat to a modern dress performance of the RSC's King John.

    Turned it off. Utter garbage. Marginally worse than the King John - left at the interval. /End of quote

    You may very well not have enjoyed the part of Monday's episode that you heard in the car, but this blog and these comments are about the bonus scene, accessible from this web-site.

  • Comment number 12.

    Why was this extra made? If it was made for the show and then cut out, fair enough, but if an extra scene was to be created, why this one?

    And Brownies don't wear brown uniforms any more. They've been yellow for decades.

  • Comment number 13.

    Well, it's been about ten years since my daughter was in the Brownies, but she wore a yellow sweat shirt, a brown sash and a brown skirt--others had brown trousers. I've just googled 'images' and seen pics of Brownies in zip-up brown and yellow tops, which I assume are part of the current uniform.
    I expect the extra scene was created for those of us who enjoy extras on the web-site and think it's a bit of fun.

  • Comment number 14.

    Dear Nemo,

    But this isn't a blog is it?

    Just appears to be a bit of PR puffery of the sort that the marketing wonder girl would engage in.

    From my view point it appears to be the only forum that the "team" might read, and I always hope that they may just engage in some useful dialog. You know as in a real blog.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm sure I've seen Keri Davies respond to comments on these blogs in the past. Certainly when there was all the furore about killing Nigel. But there's nothing controversial on this blog, surely? It's just a bit of fun, and to be honest, I enjoy these little 'extras' on the site. The one about Brian was very funny, I thought.

  • Comment number 16.

    Reply to :(At 09:51 10th Apr 2012, The-Dull-Eyed-Llama): Funny you mention "King John", recently I was sorting some old copies of "The Economist" and I came across the 25-Dec1982 to 7-January 1983 edition which contains "Shakespeare Goes to The Falklands" and the complete text of "Queen Margaret" (with all the sources noted). I seem to remember that the play was put on somewhere in London, perhaps late 1980s or 1990s. Anyone remember that one? Very funny and the script in "The Economist" contains some wonderful illustrations. - sa

  • Comment number 17.

    "What are you, all of you, trying to "do" with the Archers? Do you have a brief or overview of any sort?" asked The-Dull-Eyed-Llama. I'll tell you what Keri & co have 'done' is to find myself revolted by the venal Bridge Fram crew and their snatching success from the jaws of bankruptcy. I'm sick and ruddy tired of this vile bunch being featured in just about every episode andI now turn of my radio the second I hear any one of them.

  • Comment number 18.

    Really don't understand what the above comment has to do with the "extra" re: James and Leonie that's the subject of the log! Feels like I strayed into the Twilight Zone......

  • Comment number 19.

    ummmm, 'blog', not 'log'....

  • Comment number 20.

    (18.At 19:10 10th Apr 2012, Nemo399)"…Feels like I strayed into the Twilight Zone…"
    I fell like that each time I tune in to TA… - sa

  • Comment number 21.


    Mr Davies did answer a post of mine here it was long in expression but boiled down to We are right and you are wrong. Won't explain anymore. conversation is closed

    Now this "extra thing" ... just baffling.

    The quality of the programme has gone to pot yet they "make" this extra guff on the back of it and then it is not broadcast. Why?

    Must be some kind of experiment and we are the guinea pigs. God knows where this is going.

    Anyone in the "team" care to cast light on the point of this?

    You are publicly funded public servants after all. And this looks like wasting money to me.

  • Comment number 22.

    >What are you, all of you, trying to "do" with the Archers? Do you have a brief or overview of any sort?

    The same as we've been doing for decades, which is to tell stories that people want to listen to, about characters they are interested in (which is not necessarily who they like, of course).

    You may not be enjoying The Archers at the moment, and have a perfect right to say so, but our listening figures and audience appreciation ratings would suggest that there are many people who feel otherwise.

    As to why we have recorded this scene, we are experimenting with a number of different types of online extra. The recent video interview with June Spencer was one such.


    As well as offereing material that we can't carry in the programme itself, they act as a shop window for the website. So it's a way of encouraging people to visit the site, where they will find information about the characters, the map and timeline, the message board and so on.

    Again, you may not like the helicopter scene, but we've had a lot of nice comments from people who enjoyed it. And the response to the video has been almost universally positive.

  • Comment number 23.

    Dear Mr Davies,

    Thank you for your responce. Appreciated.

    I wonder?

    These Blogs, as you imply, are a promotional activity. Do you think it would be possible that it become more of a blog? ie. The originator doesn't just cast it adrift like a wayward child but enters into some form of dialogue? I appeciate this is extra work but if this is not possible please call it something other than "A Blog".

    The messageboard rarely get any responce from "the team".

  • Comment number 24.

    But you just did get a response, Dull-Eyed Llama! I have to say that, in my experience of posting on some blogs i.e those written by journalists on National newspapers, it's very rare to get any response from the original blogger.

    I think these blogs are good--loved the interview with June Spencer, and laughed a lot at the one about Brian. This one's fine too.

  • Comment number 25.

    Hurray! This time the clip works fine for those of us outside the UK, unlike Brian's holiday which required a fix before we could hear it.
    As for the clip methinks James and Leonie deserve each other but why when it has finished don't we get the chance to listen again but instead are shown a selection of video clips which, presumably, someone thinks may also interest us. Clips from The Voice are at least BBC but:
    - Lazers v iPad3 ...
    - Jennifer Lopez ...
    - Kate Perry feels like a plastic bag [sic] ...and ...
    - Bikini clad lunchadores guide to the galaxy

    Are these really from the BBC? (though some might be Brian's dalliances)
    And then there's the ads that pop up on the screen when the clip's playing (at least those listening in the UK won't get these)

  • Comment number 26.

    An addendum to my posting above.
    Having just (re)read some of the other postings, and in particular Kerl Davies' which I hadn't seen before posting mine (I had written mine earlier but was delayed in posting it), am I right to gather this is supposed to be a video clip? If so there is a problem for me, and probably other non UK people as well, as all I get is an audio clip with screen - radio 4 and URL - staying the same. Ironic as when it's finished the selection of video clips to play do appear.

  • Comment number 27.

    It's an audio clip.

  • Comment number 28.

    I'm sorry Keri, but I'm rather tired of the references to happy listeners, such as your "our listening figures and audience appreciation ratings would suggest that there are many people who feel otherwise".

    Untill some sort of accurate measure can be used instead of listener numbers to the 7pm news broadcasts (unsurprisingly popular as people get home from work / cook / eat etc) being credited to TA, I don't see how you can justify it.

  • Comment number 29.

    Just classic.....more please Mr Davis!

  • Comment number 30.

    It is an audio clip, with a still image. We had a problem with the production system we usually use to put audio on the website, so I had to do an emergency job with YouTube - hence the rather unrelated suggestions for further viewing that you received at the end.

    MaddieFingers - I'm interested in what makes you think the news is counted in The Archers audience figures. Even if this is the case, there can be no such effect with the omnibus, with its roughly 2 million listeners.

    The audience appreciation figures (which are listeners' assessment of their enjoyment of a programme) are related to the show, not the time slot, and they have been consistently high.

    The naysayers here have a perfectly valid viewpoint and we take notice. But they seem to think that they speak for all listeners. I'm afraid that simply isn't true.

  • Comment number 31.

    Hi Keri

    To date it's been quite hard to find anything clear and specific about how the RAJAR figures work, but I found this extract today on http://www.mediauk.com/article/33506/how-do-radio-listener-figures-work by Paul Kennedy, Research Director of RAJAR .... " ...The diary has separate pages for each day, with the day divided into quarter hour periods down the side of the page, and the respondent’s selected stations across the top to form a matrix. The respondent simply has to draw a line from the quarter hour when they start listening to a station until the time when they stop... " so it's quite difficult for analysts to judge which programme a listener has tuned in for, isn't it?

    I take your point about the Sunday omnibus, but I'm also interested to know how - in your words - "The audience appreciation figures (which are listeners' assessment of their enjoyment of a programme)..." are collected. Can you explain, please? (Sorry, this probably isn't blog-appropriate, but I don't know where else to find more than a standard one-size-fits-all response).

  • Comment number 32.

    Hi Maddie

    There's some information from the BBC Press Office and from Wikipedia about how the audience appreciation figures are collected.

    Hope this helps,


  • Comment number 33.

    The naysayers here have a perfectly valid viewpoint and we take notice. But they seem to think that they speak for all listeners. I'm afraid that simply isn't true.

    Well said!


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