David Troughton (Tony Archer)



There’s a big change afoot at Bridge Farm. Having played the part of Tony for more than four decades, Colin Skipp has decided to retire on health grounds. David Troughton (pictured above) will take on the role from 7 January.

David is an enormously experienced actor. As well as numerous television appearances, his illustrious stage career includes leading roles in the Royal National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

Archers editor Sean O’Connor paid tribute to David’s predecessor: “We’re so sorry to say goodbye to Colin Skipp, who has been at the core of The Archers family for so many years. He has created a vibrant, warm and iconic character. He’ll be hugely missed by everybody working on the programme and, I’m sure, by listeners too. However, we’re thrilled to welcome David Troughton to fill Colin’s wellies and very excited to see where he and the writers will take Tony and the Bridge Farm Archers in the future.”

Colin said: “I’m sorry to be leaving The Archers after more than 40 happy years in the programme. But sadly ill health has made it extremely difficult for me to continue playing Tony. While at 60 years of age, Tony quickly recovered from his heart attack, I had more problems at 74 coping with several real-life heart attacks, resulting in major heart surgery.

“I shall miss my trips to Ambridge, working with a superb cast, directors, everyone in the office and studio – and my lovely radio family, Pat, Louiza and Tom. However, I’m looking forward to spending time with my own wife, daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. I send best wishes to David Troughton, the new Tony, and hope the part will give him as much pleasure as it gave me.”

David has been thrown in at the deep end but took a moment during a busy recording schedule. He said: “This came totally out of the blue but I was extremely pleased and privileged to be asked to take over such an important part in the longest running series in the world. I wish Colin all the best in his retirement and I’ll do my very best to fill his muddy wellington boots.

Tony - storylines

As Tony, Colin Skpp has starred in numerous memorable storylines. He was something of a lad-about-Ambridge in his younger days. But he found stability with Pat, until she became more politically aware in the 1980s - famously cancelling his Daily Express for The Guardian and becoming involved in the women's movement and CND. Tony's suggestion that they convert Bridge Farm to organic production gave them the common purpose that salvaged the marriage.

Tony's most dramatic moment was when he discovered the body of this son John after a tractor accident in 1998 (audio clip below). More recently, he has fought hard not to be sidelined by younger son Tom over the future direction of the farm.

Some memorable performances from Colin Skipp as Tony Archer:

Tony discovers John after the accident (Feb 1998)

Tony can't be happy that Helen is pregnant (May 2010)

Tony meets his new grandson Henry (Jan 2011)

 

Colin and Pat discuss being in The Archers. Includes how the big scenes are the easiest to play, and meeting the business end of a dairy cow.

Patricia Gallimore and Colin Skipp discuss who wears the trousers in the relationship between Pat and Tony Archer and how they bring to life ordinary events in the drama.


David Troughton - credits


David's television appearances include Outnumbered, New Tricks, Holby City, Casualty 1909, Doctor Who, Jericho, All the King’s Men, Madame Bovary, The Last Detective, Midsomer Murders, Sharpe’s Rifles, Sharpe’s Eagle, Trevor’s World of Sport, Drop the Dead Donkey,Bob Buzzard in  A Very Peculiar Practice, The Winslow Boy, Cider With Rosie, and Stan in The Cafe.

David is an Associate Artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, for whom his credits include Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Kent in King Lear, Ross, the Porter and Duncan in Macbeth (not in the same production), Caliban in The Tempest, Bolingbroke in Richard II and the title roles in Henry IV Parts One and Two and Richard III, for which he received the Globe Theatre Best Actor Award.

For the National Theatre his stints have included Don Juan, Sergeant Musgrave’s Dance, Martin in Fool for Love, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, George in Playing With Fire, the Duke in Measure for Measure and Uncle Harvey in Season’s Greetings. 

The son of Patrick Troughton, David has played his father's role in Doctor Who audio adventures.
David is a cousin of Judy Bennett, who plays Shula Hebden Lloyd. And In a strange coincidence, in The Archers Tony and Shula are also cousins!

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.


Learn more about Tony – and David Troughton – in our Who’s Who

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  • Comment number 81. Posted by jude salmon

    on 15 Jan 2014 20:10

    Good luck in your retirement, Colin, I will miss your voice. Welcome David. My only criticism is that I think David sounds a lot like Rob Tichener and that can be a bit confusing sometimes.

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  • Comment number 80. Posted by Mottley

    on 15 Jan 2014 19:50

    I shan't miss Tony but I'll miss Colin Skipp. The storyline leading to Tony's discovery of his dead son is true radio drama. Colin's acting of the discovery has lived with me ever since. Listening to the clip above reduced me to tears, for the second time. I wish Colin a long, happy, Tony free retirement.

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  • Comment number 79. Posted by SueM

    on 15 Jan 2014 16:24

    I have been listening to the Archers since the 1960s and wouldn't miss it for anything. Tony (Colin) has been a believable character for such a long time, but I hope he enjoys his retirement to the full. Welcome to David - I'm still trying to get used to the new 'voice' !! Poor David - you have entered at a VERY tricky moment so good luck..........

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  • Comment number 78. Posted by Crazyfox

    on 14 Jan 2014 13:59

    I started listening to the Archers, as an old teenager, in 1972 and it is always a shame when an actor is replaced, from this wonderful soap, for whatever reason. The departure of Colin Skipp will take many weeks to get over, he has such a distinct voice and, as Tony, it is very easy to imagine him a man much younger than his years. His portrayal of Tony has been wonderful and his ability to make the scene so realistic is amazing.
    Both my wife and I would like to wish Colin a relaxing and enjoyable retirement.
    Also, we wish David Troughton all the best as the new Tony Archer.

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  • Comment number 77. Posted by Tayler Cresswell

    on 13 Jan 2014 19:52

    Hi mickhodgson - David hasn't been in The Archers before. You can see a list of his acting credits on Tony Archer's Who's Who page here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qpgr/profiles/tony-archer
    Tayler

  • Comment number 76. Posted by Peter H

    on 13 Jan 2014 16:11

    What a shock to hear Tony's new voice after being absent for 10 days! I shall no doubt get used to it but at present it seems less musical and a little hard. However, good luck to David; I know you'll do well but please note that Tony was never Shakespearian in his presentation; he always just sounded caring.

    As for Colin - you will be sorely missed and I do so hope that your health stays good enough for you to enjoy a happy retirement. As a young child with my Nan, I heard the first edition of the Archers when it replaced Dick Barton Special Agent and I have listened ever since. I heard your first broadcast, Colin, and I have always enjoyed your portrayal of Tony. All the best.

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  • Comment number 75. Posted by mickhodgson

    on 13 Jan 2014 14:26

    David's voice is very familiar, has he been in the Archers before?

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  • Comment number 74. Posted by abbeydale

    on 12 Jan 2014 21:36

    I really enjoyed listening to Colin Skipp over the years,--he brought a real warmth and humanity to the part,--long suffering Tony.I wish him well in his retirement.
    Congratulations to the Archers team, too.Really impressed by the development of the various stories,and of the characters.I think that the writers and the actors/actresses show real insight and depth in their portrayals.Kind regards--looking forward to listening in the months and years to come..

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  • Comment number 73. Posted by She_la

    on 12 Jan 2014 19:49

    Happy retirement to Colin Skipp. And what a major coup to get the wonderful David Troughton to play Tony. Have enjoyed so many of his stage and screen performances.

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  • Comment number 72. Posted by FRED HALLIGAN

    on 12 Jan 2014 16:40

    It is hard to accept the new Tony but let's wait and see. Colin will be a hard act to follow.

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