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24 September 2014
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From The Ashes to The Archers


One of the biggest names in world cricket makes a thumping debut in BBC Radio 4's The Archers (Sunday 9 September, 7pm), the world's longest-running radio drama.

 

Mike Gatting was bowled over when he was given the opportunity to team up with characters from the programme that was "always part of [my] childhood".

 

The former England captain takes part in the special show recorded at Lord's cricket ground during the npower Village Cup Final on Sunday.

 

Gatting, who had an infamous run-in with umpire Shakoor Rana in 1987, is at the centre of a misunderstanding between publicans Sid (Alan Devereux) and Jolene Perks (Buffy Davis).

 

When, having been missing for an hour, Jolene spots the cricketer leading her husband to an MCC box, anxious Jolene thinks Sid is being kidnapped and immediately gives chase.

 

Listeners learn the outcome of the mix-up during the programme, broadcast just hours after being recorded.

 

The cricketing hero joins a long list of famous names who have appeared in Radio 4's The Archers, including HRH Princess Margaret, Terry Wogan, Dame Judi Dench, Alan Titchmarsh, Zandra Rhodes, Griff Rhys Jones and Chris Moyles.

 

Gatting's immediate reaction when asked to appear in The Archers was that he'd love to do it: "It's a great honour to appear in a show that forms part of everyday life. I remember my mum and dad listening to the programme when I was growing up."

 

He also joked that his acting career began when he appeared in a school production of the Pied Piper Of Hamelin.

 

Julie Beckett, senior producer of The Archers, says: "After a heroic attempt to win the cup themselves, the whole Ambridge cricket team were of course disappointed not to be taking part in today's final at Lord's.

 

"But nobody was more disappointed than Sid who, like the former England captain, was aggrieved by one or two of the umpiring decisions in the early rounds. But it's fair to say that meeting one of his all time cricketing heroes goes a long way to healing Sid's wounds."

 

The other actors enjoying the final of The npower Village Cup between Woodhouse Grange (North Yorkshire) and Findon (Sussex) are Timothy Bentinck (David Archer) and Charles Collingwood (Brian Aldridge).

 

Notes to Editors

 

For photographs of Mike Gatting with The Archers actors on Sunday 9 September at Lord's cricket ground please contact the BBC Birmingham Press Office.

 

LN

 

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Category: Radio 4
Date: 07.09.2007
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