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Ambridge Extra goes globetrotting

Keri Davies Keri Davies | 13:26 PM, Monday, 2 July 2012

Gbemisola Ikumelo plays Mandisa

The next series of The Archers' spin-off Ambridge Extra starts on Tuesday 3 July. And this time it will take listeners a long, long way from Ambridge.

The first bit is set in South Africa, where Phoebe Aldridge has spent the best part of a year living with her mother Kate. Phoebe's had a pretty good time in Johannesburg up to now. But when Kate's around, nothing runs smoothly for ever.

The characters

As well as Kate and Phoebe you'll meet:

  • Lucas: Kate's husband, a radio journalist whose career aspirations start to cause friction at home.
  • Delia: Kate's mother-in-law makes and sells ceramics, and keeps a close eye on her son's family.
  • Michael: Kate's father-in-law. Retired headteacher, now lecturing in education.
  • Johan: A university colleague of Michael's, and an adviser to the women's crisis centre where Kate works.
  • Mandisa: (pictured above) Phoebe's school friend.
  • Milton: Mandisa's sister's boyfriend, who turns Phoebe's head.


You can hear Ambridge Extra on BBC Radio 4 Extra:

Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2.15pm.

Omnibus edition: Sundays at 11.15am and 7.15pm

(and for night owls on Mondays at 2.15am)

You can also get it on BBC iPlayer, or as a free download (podcast).

Photo gallery

View a selection of cast photos, in and out of studio.

Sharp-eyed listeners might notice that Johan is played by William Gaminara. In the 1990s, William played Dr Richard Locke, Usha's boyfriend who had an affair with Shula. He's probably now best known for his role as Professor Leo Dalton in Silent Witness.

Later in the series

We'll return to Ambridge briefly before embarking on a bit of a road trip. And the final part of the series will follow Kenton and Jolene on their visit to New Zealand. But more of that in due course.

NB: An earlier version of this blog post incorrectly listed Milton as Mandisa's brother. Please accept my apologies for the error.

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


  • Comment number 1.

    I'll be sure to download the first episode when it's available and have a listen.

  • Comment number 2.

    I've tried AmEx several times and didn't like it. I might try again, but I don't see diluting/diversifying TA brand like this as a good thing. Mind you, over the past couple of years I've been transformed from an avid Archers listener to an occasional dipper-in (and-quickly-out-again) so I'm probably "The Wrong Sort Of Listener".

  • Comment number 3.

    Enjoyed AmEx3:1 - with AmEx 2 having been so much better than the first AmEx, am hoping this latest series maintains the high quality. Glad to note that the inner voice experiment has ended - it only really worked with Clive last time, and was toe-curlingly awful in Daniel & Alastair.

    Keri - would be interested to know whether any of AmEx3 has been recorded "on location", given that fair chunks of this series will be set in SA & NZ? Thanks.

  • Comment number 4.

    Isn't it incorrect that Milton is Mandisa's brother? I thought he was Mandisa's older sister's boyfriend.

  • Comment number 5.

    So one episode in to the new series and it seems clear that once again we are going to witness another Aldridge daughter experience/flirt with the idea of an extra marital affair. Now I appreciate Kate is and Aldridge so she is only carrying on the family tradition (like farther like daughter) and I think her mother was a 'game' girl in her youth. But I think the script writers need to show a bit more imagination rather than repeat the same story line, within the same extended family - after all they are not Quentin Tarranteno or Guy Richie. Now Debbie is only Brian's step daughter but I guess series 3 will concern itself with her amorous adventures in Hungary.

  • Comment number 6.

    I see Milton's relation ship has been adjusted!

    Any news on SA school terms and winter camping?

    Anyway; niggles apart I like this series

  • Comment number 7.

    In reply to Organoleptic Icon - SA schools have been on their school holidays since 22 June, and go back this Monday, so they wouldn't be going on a camping trip when they should be at school - and it gets flippin' cold there at night! I wouldn't want to camp in winter.


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