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'Farmageddon' - listeners react

Tayler Cresswell Tayler Cresswell | 15:00 PM, Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Twitter quote

If you're saving yourself for the omnibus, look away now...

Last night's episode of The Archers elicited more than the usual number of tweets and posts from listeners who recounted their reactions as the episode unfolded.

Many were shocked, anxious, thrilled... plenty said they needed a stiff drink afterwards. For quite a few it brought back memories of Grace Archer's death in a stable fire back in 1955, and there were references to the first ITV broadcast on the same night (Grace's death was thought to be a BBC plot to scupper ITV's launch).

Some said that they didn't like the anguish and felt that the storyline had gone too far in putting children and animals in danger. They felt that Josh and George wouldn't have been allowed out at night. A handful said it was too sensational and they were switching off.

So who did it? Listeners suspect Clive, Keith, young George, the badgers and Elizabeth...

Here's my pick of listener discussions on The Archers message board, Twitter and Facebook on the night of 11 June 2012.

As 7.02pm drew closer...

Radio up, cats out, family warned.... (Di Sprake on Facebook)

Really looking forward to #farmageddon tonight. #TheArchers (@tess_hs on Twitter)

Can't wait for #thearchers tonite. Funny, railed against it going darker, yet sucked in by this storyline. We all needed a break from Amy. (@ukdannim on Twitter)

My heart's in my mouth. Can't speak #thearchers #brookfieldsiege (@quilterin24 on Twitter)

Actually rushed home for #thearchers must know what happens! (@Sian_Mererid on Twitter)

@ThatJoelfella will you hold my hand? #terroratbrookfield #thearchers (@ruggerlad on Twitter)

And after 7.15pm...

Blimey! #thearchers is pretty exciting tonight! (@marzillik on Twitter)

I feel sick. I'm in tears. #theArchers #archergeddon #farmgate #SATTC (@pollypanad on Twitter)

#TheArchers Oh my...... That's pretty traumatic........ Exhausted..... (@marthassister2 on Twitter)

#thearchers WHOA... just... WHOA... am actually trembling. (@gothicangel85 on Twitter)

We're standing in the kitchen round the radio like it's 1956 (@ALPietroni on Twitter)

Well that was pretty blooming excellent! Well done ALL involved! #TheArchers #EvenTheCowSoundEffect (@Wimblebear on Twitter)

Dear gods... I'm sat here in tears... damn your 12 minute instalments #TheArchers #farmageddon #SATTC (@allthisandless on Twitter)

So traumatised by tonight's episode that I now have hiccups #thearchers (@stray_hamster on Twitter)

Has ITV started a new channel tonight? #thearchers (@skywoman on Twitter)

Elizabeth's going to have a field day blaming David after tonight #thearchers (@chriscb on Twitter)

I think Emmer holds the key to this - who did she see? I wonder if it was a relation? #thearchers (@gingabeans on Twitter)

Just googling to confirm that badgers do have opposable thumbs and can light a match #thearchers (@helencyb on Twitter)

This is not what I want from the Archers. Anything regarding kids and animals getting hurt should be off limits. There are loads of dramas that provide all that sort of stuff and I don't watch or listen to them. (teddyandgypsy on the message board)

I've got to say I was really moved by the ending of this episode - both mum's screaming for their children... I can't believe they would kill either of them though.  At least I hope not. Okay, I've not been too enamoured by the rest of the storyline, but there was a really good build-up in tonight's episode, with loads of nice little ordinary details, and then the huge conflagration at the end. (Mieteka on the message board)

I actually think that was more dramatic and emotional than the 60th anniversary episode! I am SHOCKED. And a bit upset by now. But it was AMAZING though wasn't it?! (Alex Holden on Facebook) 

Brilliant acting, completely suspended disbelief. The Archers is great at the big story lines. (Rosemary Forrest on Facebook)

Most stressful episode of #thearchers ever? All this 'jeopardy' makes me yearn for a story-line about a spoiled batch of jam... (@Luke_Bowyer on Twitter)

Ok...It was well done, but personally I've loved The Archers for so long because it delivers a slice of REAL life. This isn't the 'real life' I want to hear about when I'm in unwinding mode. Sorry, I know things need to keep evolving but some things are a sacred institution. Keep The Archers cosy and safe! :-) (Lucie Fowler on Facebook)

I truly hate what the BBC has done with the sensational 'modernization' and ruination of the Archers regarding the awful OTT plotline terrorizing of Ruth and David, their children and others. Tonight's episode was truly bizarre and hateful and is just NOT the Archers, the BBC should take into account that many regular listeners might be elderly or living alone and will find it very upsetting.  (Julia Blaxill on Facebook)
If anything happens to Gina the cow in that barn then I am an ex listener. (Christine Wilson on Facebook)

I feel disappointed reading posts about ppl saying they won't listen anymore & seeming to want to control the storylines. I enjoy exploring how a situation like that could be handled while I know it's fiction & also when things like Nigel's and Phil's deaths happened I identified with the characters' grief reactions having gone through bereavement myself, as we all must at some time. I'd think less of The Archers if it was all soft and cosy and nothing bad ever happened, but I would also think less of it if bad stuff constantly happened with characters always screaming & shouting like in TV soaps, which I actually find distressing. (Lexi Hibberd on Facebook)

@ruggerlad You can let go of my hand now. #thearchers (@ThatJoelfella on Twitter)

Tayler Cresswell is host of The Archers message board.


  • Comment number 1.

    That's it. Enough's enough. I've struggled every year with them churning out the same story line every Christmas. Linda Snell decides to stage a show. Linda Snell runs into trouble. Linda Snell finds a solution. So may people take part in the show than there can't possibly be anyone left for an audience. Everyone is happy. Now I've hit the final straw. Two irritating and implausible story lines running simultaneously. Between Amy and this palaver with David, I can't stand listening to the hysteria any more. My Sunday mornings will never be the same again.

  • Comment number 2.

    Utter Bull-Ox.

    You are all publicly funded public servants. You should be accountable. What are you trying to do?

    If you enjoy producing this trash please just start some other metro PC soap and resurrect THE ARCHERS before you all resign in disgrace.

    Hopefully after the Bankers, the BBC.

  • Comment number 3.

    Over the last six or seven months the story lines have become unrealistic and often with a "black" theme. Bring back some humour and sunshine.

  • Comment number 4.

    The two "Farmageddon" episodes made great listening--well acted, well paced, good sound effects, 'heart in mouth/edge of seat' dramatic tension, deliciously scary (this being The Archers, I knew, deep down, that Josh and George weren't going to be incincerated, but I thought poor Gina the cow might cop it!) I think we need these times of high drama, in amongst the more perennial stuff of Flower and Produce Shows, village pantos etc. Now let's see if Emma can identify the arsonist!

  • Comment number 5.

    Who is writing this stuff? The Archers has become ridiculous, predictable, depressing and totally 'dumbed down' . The acting on this latest episode was absolutely diabolical with inane comments from practically everyone. I used to enjoy this program, now I listen to it with incredulity and try to imagine the type of audience that the BBC is aiming for!!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Now and again I stumble come across The Archers. I never know what it's all about or who the characters are (lack of interest) and there's no way I can get back into the habit of listening, though I was a fan 40 or is it 50 years ago, because the chunks I happen to listen to are invariably awful. Can it really be true that people regard the characters as members of their family, as real live people, and the events as real live events?
    I'm sort of listening to the episode before the fire, thanks to my Radio 4 newsletter. Are they finally going to set Ambridge and all who sail in her alight?
    Of course not, so cheer up, family and friends.
    I'm really waiting for Nigel to reincarnate. Then I might start listening again.............

  • Comment number 7.

    People should get a grip! It's a story which has high listening figures, so they can afford to ignore all critical comments. It's planned, written and directed largely by women, largely for women. Sometimes the plots are daft, and sometimes the acting is surprisingly good- I seem to remember Elizabeth was good sometime in the last year or so.

  • Comment number 8.

    Heavens to betsy , the twitterers have weak stomachs don't they? Thank heavens we are made of more robust stuff on the message board.

  • Comment number 9.

    Melodramatic tosh, out of which more and more melodramatic tosh is being spun like something out of Shelob's entrails. What the actors must be thinking about this stuff beggars belief.

    The only hope is that in the final showdown a Horrobin or two might get sent down and so thin out the infestation that has very stupidly invaded the TA airwaves.

    Remember that you guys in the studio can tell them apart because you can see them. Try listening: Horrobin men sound exactly like each other with identical mummerset accents and Horrobin women sound exactly like each other with mummerset accents. So, as an experiment, just try to follow a plot with scenes in which Horrobin women are at each other's throats and then work out what the hell is going on.


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