New vicar in The Archers
Radio 4's The Archers have two fresh faces in the village of Ambridge.
new vicar of St Stephen's Church, Alan Franks, and his 14-year-old
daughter Amy, are moving into the vicarage in Darrington today (Friday
is the vicar of four parishes including Ambridge.
vicar made his first appearance at the Village Fete on Sunday 20
July, where he presented a prize to Helen Archer and Greg Turner
- the winners of the wife-carrying contest. So he already has an
interesting insight into life in Ambridge!
parish of Ambridge has been awaiting the arrival of Alan, who is
a widower, and his daughter Amy for a while.
Aldridge and her mother Peggy Woolley will no doubt give them a
is played by the actor John Telfer who lives in Bristol.
was born and bred in Middlesbrough and went to the University of
York where he got a degree in Music and Theatre.
went on to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and then
worked for the Theatre Company.
has recently appeared on stage at the Old Vic in Henry IV Parts
One and Two, as the Earl of Westmoreland and Lord Mortimer.
also occasionally teaches at the Theatre School.
has appeared in numerous television serials including Without Motive
and Bergerac, and numerous radio plays and dramas for BBC Radio
3 and 4.
has been an avid Archers fan since his university days.
recorded his first scenes at the BBC Birmingham studios in June.
says: "I've been a fan of The Archers for years and it becomes
a part of your life.
think it's the greatest show in the history of soap - and that was
before I became a cast member!
I was ecstatic to actually become part of it. I was walking around
with an inane grin on my face the week after I found out I got the
the cast were so welcoming; it's like being part of a family.
the first script popped through my letter box I started reading
I'm familiar with all the characters' voices, I could hear them
all playing out in my head.
a little bit nerve-wracking - I've got a lot to live up to."
adds: "Alan speaks his mind, is socially aware and is not afraid
to be confrontational - which is a little bit like me.
funny thing about playing the vicar though is that I'm not at all
I can associate with him being a father. Alan is obviously a loving
and caring dad who has a close relationship with his daughter, Amy.
He's been her sole parent since his wife died when Amy was six.
who plays Amy, is great to work with but I didn't actually meet
her until July so Alan had been talking fondly of her and Natalia
and I hadn't even met her which was quite funny!"
actress Natalia Keery-Fisher is no newcomer to the world
left school at 15 to pursue her acting career and plays Sima in
the BBC ONE comedy series All About Me alongside Jasper Carrott.
just finished filming a second series which will be shown in the
- who was born in Bradford and lives between Leeds and London -
went back to school to finish her GCSEs and then continued with
appeared in Casualty last year and has made several Radio 4 dramas
at the Birmingham studios - where she was spotted by The Archers
says: "Amy and I are a little alike; we're both outgoing, have
a good sense of humour and are really close to our families.
I can't imagine Amy rapping and being into hip-hop music like I
was great to be offered the part and everyone's really lovely to
so exciting to be working on such a well known programme - my breakdancing
friends knew all about the soap and think it's great that I'm part
into The Archers every week day on BBC Radio 4 at 7.00pm; the episode
is repeated the following day at 2.00pm.
Archers omnibus edition goes out on Sundays at 10.00am.
if you've missed that vital episode listeners can listen again via
the BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/archers.
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