Golden Years: Phil and Jill reach 50 years of marriage in The Archers
Phil and Jill Archer celebrate 50 years of marriage in a special episode
of The Archers on BBC Radio 4 tomorrow evening (Friday).
The golden couple first met in July 1957 when Phil (Norman Painting)
caught sight of Jill (Patricia Greene) at the village fete and, clearly
enamoured, filmed her with his cine camera, despite not knowing who she
Later that month they agreed to meet for their first date at the
Only a matter of weeks into their whirlwind romance, Phil proposed to
Jill at New Street station in Birmingham. Jill needed time to think but
was soon agreeing that they should forego an engagement and marry as
soon as possible.
They married on 16 November 1957 at the church in
Fifty years on Phil and Jill's love for one another remains undimmed, as
they demonstrate during the party organised for them by their family at
Lower Loxley on the night of their anniversary.
The day is also special for the actors playing the fictitious couple in
the world's longest-running radio drama.
Norman Painting and Patricia
Greene are the only actors to have played the oldest surviving members
of the Archers family.
Norman has been in The Archers since it began as a Midlands-only broadcast
Patricia joined him in the year of Phil and Jill's marriage,
becoming Phil's second wife after his first wife Grace was killed in a
At the end of the month Phil and Jill Archer propose to celebrate their
anniversary with a trip of a lifetime, including stop offs in Hong Kong,
New Zealand, the Cook Islands and San Francisco.
And while Phil and Jill are away in sunny climes the actors who
have played them for well over a century between them will no doubt feel
a warm glow as they look back at their own astonishing achievements.
The Archers, BBC Radio 4, Monday-Friday and Sundays, 7.00-7.15pm, omnibus
on Sundays from 10am, on 92-95 FM and 198 LW