Having spent time in South Africa and on the road in the Lake District, our spin-off series Ambridge Extra now visits its furthest-flung destination yet. Between now and the end of the series on 6 September, we follow Kenton and Jolene on their trip to New Zealand.


The Characters

As well as Kenton and Jolene, we meet:

  • Mel: Mel married Kenton in 1994 to help him stay and work in Australia. It grew into a love match, but the marriage fell apart after eight years.
  • Meriel: Kenton's daughter, who of course he seldom sees.
  • Aiden: Mel's new husband. He and Mel run an outdoor activities business.
  • Lance: Mel and Kenton's former business partner. They ran a sailing charter business in Australia until Kenton returned to the UK in 2002.
  • Lucy: Jolene is determined to visit the memorial to her husband SId, who died in New Zealand in 2010. But relations with Sid's daughter Lucy have always been difficult.


Photo gallery

You can view a photo gallery of cast and studio pictures.


Get on board

Several of the episodes are set on board a sailing yacht. Meriel is increasingly under the influence of her sporty (but non-sailing) step-father Aiden. So Kenton hopes the trip will re-kindle his relationship with his daughter.

I scripted the final six episodes, after taking the baton from my Archers colleague Caroline Harrington. The sea-going scenes were particularly fun to write, as I used to sail quite a bit. I qualified as a Day Skipper, which is rather lowly and way below the Yachtmaster ticket that Kenton, Mel and Lance possess. But I enjoyed applying my knowledge to getting the sailing technicalities as accurate as possible.

Not that you need to know anything about sailing to enjoy the episodes. It's just the background to a rollicking tale in which we learn a considerable amount about Kenton's colourful past Down Under.


Schedule

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).


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


  • View the photo gallery

  • Ambridge Extra programme page

  • Picture shows a yacht anchored in the Bay Of Islands, New Zealand, and is used under licence.

Comments

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  • Comment number 11. Posted by Keri Davies

    on 10 Sept 2012 09:20

    Not an ideal time of year, I agree, but it was Kenton's only chance to stake his claim for Meriel's affections.

  • Comment number 10. Posted by Jennie65

    on 8 Sept 2012 11:51

    I noted elsewhere about the weather ... Hardly sailing weather this time of year in NZ!! Surely you would have to be nuts to organize a sailing holiday - must be freezing!

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  • Comment number 9. Posted by Katya

    on 5 Sept 2012 09:08

    Blimey, these episodes are more like a soap opera from the 80s than the Archers! Could it be any more histrionic?! Will it turn out to have all been a dream when they get back to Ambridge?

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by Antanya

    on 30 Aug 2012 06:19

    Thank you! Crowded House, I thought it sounded familiar.

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by Keri Davies

    on 29 Aug 2012 13:15

    Some of it is by the New Zealand band Crowded House. I think other bits are 'library music'.

  • Comment number 6. Posted by Antanya

    on 29 Aug 2012 10:34

    what is the music played in between scenes in this part of AmEx?

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by Keri Davies

    on 20 Aug 2012 10:58

    I'll make sure to do that in similar posts in the future.

  • Comment number 4. Posted by Mustafa Grumble

    on 13 Aug 2012 12:28

    Keri thanks for this, but above all thank you so much for making the gallery of cast & studio photos *optional* rather than compulsory!

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by Keri Davies

    on 13 Aug 2012 12:26

    >I listen to The Archers from Auckland, New Zealand and am looking forward to hearing the goings on of Kenton and Jolene down under.

    Mel and Aiden live in Auckland, so I hope I've got the local detail right!

  • Comment number 2. Posted by Suzie_G

    on 11 Aug 2012 08:16

    Looking forward to let slips, ready-abouts and the all important g & ts when safely moored (just the tonic for Meriel)

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