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29 October 2014
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Who's Who in The Archers – the essential companion to the world’s longest running radio drama series




 

Has Emma Carter married Will Grundy or Ed? Why is Pat Archer looking so stressed at the moment? And what would Julia Pargetter say if you congratulated her on her recent 80th birthday?

 

Newcomers to Ambridge need have no fear of embarrassing themselves in the bar at The Bull, or at the Ambridge village shop, so long as they keep this handy volume close by.

 

In her foreword to the 2005 edition of Who’s Who in The Archers, written by Keri Davies and published on September 30 (price £3.99), programme editor Vanessa Whitburn explains: "It was originally conceived as a bit of background to the people we heard on-air and a helping hand to explain their intricate relationships but we have found that even established listeners find it an entertaining volume to keep by the radio or (as we suspect is more frequent) by the loo."

 

And there are lots of them. With nearly five million listeners every week in the UK alone, The Archers is the most popular non-news programme on BBC Radio 4.

 

There are entries for all current characters – both spoken and silent – and for the important locations in and around Ambridge. As ever, this has been an extraordinary year for The Archers, with far too many stories to mention, but the trials and tribulations of Emma Carter in the run-up to her wedding to William Grundy, have kept fans riveted, and will continue to do so for years (and even generations) to come.

 

At Bridge Farm, the health of Pat and Tony's bereaved daughter Helen seems to be worsening following the suicide of her former boyfriend, gamekeeper Greg Turner, while her brother Tom concentrates on his sausages.

 

Clive Horrobin returned to haunt his big sister Susan Carter but she was brave enough to turn him in after a firebomb attack on George Barford’s house, which led to a 12-year jail sentence. And in a storyline, which echoed the experiences of families up and down the country, the transfer of Pip Archer to secondary school this term was fraught with anxiety and family disagreement.

 

Meanwhile, at the other end of the age scale, 83-year-old Jack Woolley is having problems with his memory so it looks as though his days as an entrepreneur may be over. His wife Peggy is as energetic as ever but she’s finding it harder and harder to accept the march of change, such as openly gay relationships and female vicars.

 



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Date : 01.10.2004
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