BBC Radio 4

"Helen is starting to sound really creepy..." - listener discussions to 22 February 2012

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There were birthday cheers for Tony this week, and commiserations that he had to spend it with his "truly appalling" family. Kylie's visit set tongues wagging - many think she's "opening a can of worms" at Bridge Farm.

Alan's Lent appeal has some worrying that we're in for a quiet time in Ambridge with no gossip. But was the promises auction "filthy", "sexist" or "genius"?

Shula's appearance at St Stephen's Church surprised listeners - has she put the past behind her when it comes to Alan and Usha?

And over at Home Farm, is Adam suffering from a bad case of the "terrible twos"?

Here's my pick of listener discussions on The Archers message board, Twitter and Facebook between 16-22 February 2012

It was a not-so-happy birthday for Tony on Thursday. While his "controlling" daughter prepared the meal, his "ungrateful" son badgered him about work, work and more work.

"Happy Birthday, Tony!". "Oh no, not another one...." Or perhaps we're in for a shock. I'll be sitting down just in case! (Ringo Gebbie on Facebook)

I have a feeling Tom is gonna try selling his damned sausages at Tony's funeral. #TheArchers (@armlessphelan on Twitter)

Helen was determined to do the meal, her way, with her choices, demonstrating the whole time how much work and effort it was taking... When Brenda was late, I heard a slight wobble and the sound of stress rising as Helen saw her Schedule teetering into disarray. The brittle voice went even more sharply metallic at that point. (Elnora Cornstalk)

Ever helpful, listeners came up with some handy tips to alleviate Tony's woes...

....if you want the farmyard painted and decorated, well, why not grab a paintbrush and get on with it? (JudithL)

If he has a word with Susan she'll get Neil to do it for nothing. (Hybro)

Err Tom...ever heard of photoshop? (TheOldBiddy)

Add your tips on the Hey, Tom, here's an idea thread

By the time Kylie turned up at Bridge Farm on Monday, many felt there was menace in the air... were Helen's friendly overtures too good to be true? Some think Kylie is stirring up trouble, but they're not sure what her motives are...

Who else thinks that if Kylie gets in that car with Helen we'll never hear from her again?! #thearchers (@mymates263 on Twitter)

I read Kylie's "I have to respect my mum's wishes" to mean, "Oops, I SHOULD have respected my Mum's wishes... this Helen is starting to sound really creepy with all this 'healing' stuff ... OMG what have I done, Mum will go ballistic if she finds out!" (JustJanie - Fearweather Jogger)

How on earth does she think her mother would feel knowing she's telling Helen all of this? For someone who is supposed to be quite bright, Kylie does not seem to be ...well, very bright. (Auntie Molly)

Read all about it in the I have to respect my mum's wishes thread on the message board

The prospect of a gossip-free Ambridge has alarmed some

Less than two hours to gossip. Can't even retweet. Lent is going to be too long!!! #thearchers #lent (@Jay4Jennifer on Twitter)

... and there have been suggestions for "random acts of kindness", but I'm not sure Alan would approve...

Give Helen reality check by Henry developing terrible twos. (Jeanette Dobson on Facebook)

I'd tidy up the yard for Tony and shove Tom in the slurry pit. (Helen James on Facebook)

...something painful but non life threatening happening to Brian, like a sudden case of boils. (Sarah Shell on Facebook)

Tuesday's promises auction elicited a love/hate response with some glued to the unfolding action, and others thinking of giving up The Archers for Lent! It seems Lynda's llamas were much more popular outside Ambridge. But the auction of Harry made for uncomfortable listening for a few.

Just put 4 eggs in my pancake mix by mistake. Got carried away listening to #thearchers (@parmavi0lets on Twitter)

Tonight's #thearchers was a) dreadful, b) inconsequential, and c) filthy. I miss it already. (@Mudkipstoat23 on Twitter)

I thought Linda's auction offer was genius. #hurrahforlinda#thearchers @coatgal on Twitter)

The thought occurred to me that if it was Fallon or one of the other younger women offered to do the gardening, there would have been a lot of posts about comments made by the men if they had reacted in a similar fashion.. (wombatnose)

Make your bid on the message board

Some were surprised to see Shula back at St Stephen's Church and debated her return, her feud with Usha and her affair with Dr Richard Locke...

I know there was a level of rapprochement after Nigel died but I don't recall Shula resuming her Sunday worship at St Stephen's. (virtual_jan)

I'd say Shula one-upped the vicar by carrying out a retaliatory random act of kindness preemptively. (Hot Cross Nun)

Is Shula, as I've always thought, an ecclesiastical groupie? (Dedan)

[Usha was making Shula] feel awkward in church, bitching about her to Alan, giving her the cold shoulder. And her relationship with Richard had most certainly been on the skids - nothing to do with Shula. ... But Alan was at fault too. He accepted Shula's resignation from her church offices and waved her goodbye without an iota of wistful regret - as long as Usha was happy. (StargazerwithOscar)

Read the whole debate on the message board: Shula at church

And finally to Home Farm. After his rift with Brian over the mega dairy, will Adam stay? Most think he will, if only because he's tied to mummy's apron strings...

Adam is in the grip of the terrible twos plus a massive chip on his shoulder for having never truly achieved anything on his own account. Sometimes I really do think Brine or JD [Jenny Darling] should pop a dummy back in Adam's mouth. (Feral_Ralph)

Brian has the line of the week: "that son of yours can sulk for England" how true! #thearchers (@mdransfield on Twitter)

What is Adam's future at Home Farm? Join the debate on the message board

Tayler Cresswell is host of The Archers message board.

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