Celia is Paul Morgan's ex-wife
|Fact title||Fact data|
|Played by:||Anita Dobson|
|Divorced from:||Paul Morgan|
In her marriage, she found Paul very controlling and the divorce was an acrimonious one.
What I do with my life is none of your business, PaulCelia Redwood
When he tried to interfere in her plans to remarry, she gave him short shrift, and the children took her side.
Paul Morgan (Ex-husband)
Anita talks about joining The Archers’ team and on the thrills of acting for radio.
The Archers has a great historyAnita Dobson
How did it feel to get a part in The Archers?
"I’d just finished a stint at the RSC [in The Merry Wives of Windsor in Stratford] and I wanted something exciting to follow it - then The Archers came in and I said yes! I’ll do that.
"When I got the part people I’ve known for a long time came out as hardened fans. A close friend I’ve known for years is addicted to The Archers and I never knew." Anita adds that she feels as if she’s now been accepted into their secret club of Archers fans.
"I love radio"
"I’ve been working in radio on and off for most of my career. There’s a restfulness about it. It’s more focused on the voice so you don’t have to worry about extraneous things like sound effects as there’s someone there to look after that. Radio means you can play parts that aren’t based on your looks or your age. It’s a lot of fun. You can do tremendous things – play more diverse characters – that you wouldn’t get to do in theatre or TV."
Anita is probably best known for playing Angie Watts in Eastenders back in the late 1980s. She has since starred in TV, stage and radio productions as diverse as The Last Detective, Dr Who and Strictly Come Dancing on TV, and on stage in Hamlet, Pygmalion and Chicago.
Anita appeared in Silver Street, which was recorded for the BBC Asian Network in BBC Birmingham. "Silver Street was a very happy time for me. I was sad when it closed so I was thrilled to be coming back home to Birmingham to be in The Archers. It’s similar in that there is a nucleus of regulars, a lovely atmosphere, a great bunch of people – fantastic ingredients."
When it comes to working on The Archers, Anita admitted that she was impressed. "I loved everybody - from the young lad who’s been in it for 16 years [Tom Graham who plays Tom Archer] and then Peggy who’s been around since the beginning. Peggy looks stunning and is fit as a flea! I was very impressed with them all. The Archers has a great history and as an outsider you come in and are part of that. It’s all there – and you can listen, observe and respond."
Anita worked most closely with Michael Fenton Stephens who plays Paul Morgan. "We got on so well. We’d be chatting in the green room during recording. Celia and Paul’s relationship is one that’s become dysfunctional and it was wonderful to go into the studio and be horrible to each other."
A haven of peace
Anita admits that she doesn’t usually have time to keep up with regular TV or radio programmes. "When I’m not working I’m trying to catch up with life at home. But I love the idea of it. It’s part of the institution of family life. We lead such busy lives today that Sundays are in danger of becoming just another day of the week. It reminds me of how life used to be – family life on a Sunday with mum listening to The Archers and dad watching the football. It represents a haven of peace..."
Anita on Celia
"Celia’s lovely. She and Paul have obviously had – for her – an unhappy relationship and she’s had to respond to that. She’s become quite tough around him. I think she’s realised that she has to stand up to him."
Anita admits that she has some sympathy for Paul. "Even people who aren’t pleasant to deal with – it’s often because they’re unhappy and something’s still not resolved for them. Now that I’m getting on in life I’m more tolerant of that. For me, Anita, I can see that there are often a lot of issues on both sides and you can’t put the blame squarely on one person. In my own life I’ve seen relationships that haven’t worked out. Sometimes relationships are toxic, acidic. It’s rather sad.
"Paul can be very charming. He’s very good at wooing. But as he falls deeper in love he gets possessive. But it could come right for him and Lilian - if they truly love each other she’ll make that journey. There’s always hope. I’m an optimistic person! That’s what’s so great about being part of the story – I walk in and there are all these possibilities."
List of current characters and actors
- Abbie Tucker
- Adam Macy Played by Andrew Wincott
- Alan Franks Played by John Telfer
- Alice Carter Played by Hollie Chapman
- Alistair Lloyd Played by Michael Lumsden
- Amy Franks Played by Jennifer Daley
- Andrew Eagleton Played by John Flitcroft
- Annabelle Schrivener Played by Julia Hills
- Anthea Jennings Played by Joanna Brookes
- Becky Holden Silent character
- Ben Archer Played by Thomas Lester
- Bert Fry Played by Eric Allan
- Bert Horrobin Played by Martyn Read
- Bethany Tucker
- Brenda Tucker Played by Amy Shindler
- Brian Aldridge Played by Charles Collingwood
- Caroline Sterling Played by Sara Coward
- Celia Redwood Played by Anita Dobson
- Charlie Morgan Played by Ben Caplan
- Christine Barford Played by Lesley Saweard
- Christopher Carter Played by Will Sanderson-Thwaite
- Clarrie Grundy Played by Heather Bell
- Clive Horrobin Played by Alex Jones
- Coriander Snell Played by Alexandra Lilley
- Dan Hebden Lloyd Played by Will Howard
- Darrell Makepeace Played by Dan Hagley
- David Archer Played by Timothy Bentinck
- Debbie Aldridge Played by Tamsin Greig
- Derek Fletcher Silent character
- Donna Horrobin Played by Alison Belbin
- Ed Grundy Played by Barry Farrimond
- Eddie Grundy Played by Trevor Harrison
- Edgar Titcombe Silent character
- Elizabeth Pargetter Played by Alison Dowling
- Ellen Rogers Played by Rosemary Leach
- Elona Makepeace Played by Eri Shuka
- Emma Grundy Played by Emerald O'Hanrahan
- Fallon Rogers Played by Joanna Van Kampen
- Freda Fry Silent character
- Freddie Pargetter Played by Jack Firth
- George Grundy Played by Rui Thacker
- Grace Morgan Played by Jenny Johns
- Graham Ryder Played by Malcolm McKee
- Hayley Tucker Played by Lorraine Coady
- Hazel Woolley Played by Annette Badland
- Heather Pritchard Played by Joyce Gibbs
- Helen Archer Played by Louiza Patikas
- Henry Archer