Nancy Banks-Smith of The Guardian sums up recent events in The Archers.

"...He finally snapped, like a farmer spotting Janet Street Porter on his land..."


Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer

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  • Comment number 8. Posted by Squirrelnet

    on 16 Feb 2011 20:30

    Heres the article

    February, 2011

    Graham Seed - the late Nigel Pargetter in The Archers - has voiced his concerns about the future of Radio 4.

    The actor, 60, played Nigel for 27 years on the long-running radio drama before his character was sensationally axed.

    The controversial death - the aristocrat fell to his death from the roof of his Lower Loxley home as part of a 60th anniversary storyline for the Radio 4 soap - caused a storm of protest.

    Seed told Equity magazine: “I’m worried that Radio 4 is behaving increasingly like a commercial radio station and I am not sure the direction it is going in is what the audience wants.”

    He added: “The listeners want quality drama with characters that they can enjoy.”

    Seed also suggested that The Archers production team had been “insensitive” in the way that they handled the anniversary storyline, in which none of the cast knew who was going to be killed off.

    He said: “Internally, there is evidence of a lack of sensitivity by production teams. For example, the cast of The Archers had to suffer the anxiety of something awful happening in Ambridge for six months.

    “Any one, or more, of the cast could have lost their jobs, and it causes a lot of stress.

    “I found out three weeks before recording the fateful episode that Nigel was going to die and 30 years of my life was coming to an end.”

    He added: “My contract forbids me disclosing anything in advance and I did not utter a word which meant I could not make myself available for other work.”

    Asked how radio drama had changed during his career, he said: “I have noticed that radio drama slots appear to be diminishing and the loss of the Friday play (on Radio 4) was very disappointing.”

    Seed told Equity’s Review Of The Year 2010 magazine that he had been sent more than 2,000 emails from listeners since his character was killed off.

    Hundreds of listeners complained to the BBC over the death.

    The show’s editor Vanessa Whitburn inadvertently let it slip in a radio interview that Pargetter’s fall would prove fatal before his demise had been revealed on the drama.

    Seed’s comments follow controversy over a report by the BBC Trust which said that the station needed to attract more younger and ethnic minority listeners.

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  • Comment number 7. Posted by Kaiho

    on 16 Feb 2011 12:56

    @6 BofB

    I found the same problem. However the following newspapers seem to refer to the interview in question:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/bbc/8324112/Radio-4-too-commercial-says-Archers-star.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/radio-4-has-lost-direction-says-archers-star-2215058.html

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  • Comment number 6. Posted by Brian-of-Britain

    on 16 Feb 2011 11:45

    berkboy,

    I wonder. Can you give a transcript of this? Perhaps cut and paste?

    I cannot access it unless I subscribe which I do not do on principle.

    Thanks,

    BofB

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  • Comment number 5. Posted by Squirrelnet

    on 15 Feb 2011 20:43

    This might be of interest to all those dissenters

    http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/radio/archers-star-expresses-fears-for-radio-4/5023802.article

    'Hundreds of listeners complained to the BBC over the death.' Graham seed

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  • Comment number 4. Posted by Rebecca_Gibraltar

    on 10 Feb 2011 14:57

    Keri, can you write a blog entitled 'A Month Out
    Of Ambridge' about all the listeners who left the 'show' at the beginning of January due to the disasterous 60th 'celebration' episode????

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  • Comment number 3. Posted by Rebecca_Gibraltar

    on 10 Feb 2011 11:20

    Very lazy blogs, hear! hear!

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  • Comment number 2. Posted by Brian-of-Britain

    on 10 Feb 2011 10:52

    Dear Mr Davies,

    Please. Poor scripts now followed by lazy blogs...

    Still no answers though

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  • Comment number 1. Posted by Sister Gnome of Wibbling Plume DefiantUntoThingy

    on 9 Feb 2011 18:43

    Gosh, Nancy Banks-Smith is a bit harsh re the Rolls-Royce, isn't she? 'will arrive at Grey Gables in her Rolls-Royce, which, like a good tweed suit...' Wonder what colour R-R call THAT in the brochure? And does it brush up well?

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