Tribute paid to Margot Boyd of The Archers
The distinguished actress Margot Boyd, who played Mrs Antrobus
for 20 years in BBC Radio 4's The Archers, died today
at the age of 94.
Margot Boyd, who was born Beryl Billings on 24 September 1913,
was brought up in Bath in Somerset.
Before making the role of
countrywoman Mrs Antrobus her own, her career had saw her work
with some of the great names of theatre and film including George
Bernard Shaw, Noel Coward, Michael Redgrave, Vivian Leigh, James
Stewart and Kenneth More.
Vanessa Whitburn, Editor of The Archers, said: "Margot Boyd joined
The Archers in 1984 as the robust Mrs Antrobus who bred Afghan
hounds and became a popular and much admired character in the
series for 20 years.
"I greatly enjoyed working with Margot, she
was always a consummate professional who had enjoyed a
distinguished theatrical and film career as well as a long career
in radio drama.
"My thoughts and best wishes are with her family
and friends at this sad time."
Margot Boyd attended RADA where she found herself in a play produced
by George Bernard Shaw whom she found "wonderful" and "very
When she left RADA she got a job in rep at Leeds
Theatre Royal, twice nightly playing a leading lady. She
recalled it never seemed to involve a part under the age of 55 but
it gave her the opportunity to play in all the productions
from the West End.
In 1984, while working for the BBC Radio Drama Company, Margot
was given a small one-off part in The Archers and made such a
success of it that she was written into the programme as a
Marjorie Antrobus lived in Waterley Cross and
gave a talk to The Over-60s club in Ambridge. Her subject was "The Colourful World of the Afghan Hound".
The talk was so well
appreciated that she was asked back to open the village fete in
July – when she gave another talk on dogs and from which she
acquired the nickname of "The Dog woman".
Marjorie was so at home
in Ambridge that she moved into Nightingale Farm in February
1988, where she lived until her move into the nursing home The
Laurels in 2002.
Marjorie was last heard on The Archers in The
Omnibus that was transmitted on 19 September 2004.
Margot Boyd always said that most of her major career moves had
been down to luck.
After working with Michael Redgrave in
Stratford in 1953, he put on Noel Coward's Waiting In The Wings
and Margot was given the leading role.
When the production moved
to Dublin, Coward – already in his late sixties – was there for
four weeks and the two became firm friends.
Her other credits include her own series Our Miss Pemberton in
the early days of television; Middlemarch; Dixon Of Dock Green
with Jack Warner; and The Forty Nine Steps with Kenneth More.
Margot Boyd died at Denville Hall, Northwood, Middlesex.
BBC Press Office