Back to normal in Ambridge
After a busy day on Thursday in London for the big meeting with Mark Damazer, (see his blog post about the meeting) I came into the Mailbox early on Friday morning to catch up on emails before chairing our monthly pick-ups meeting with the producers and archivist in The Archers team. This meeting does exactly what it says on the tin. We 'pick up' where the latest set of scripts leave off and decide on the broad shape of the storylines we will be covering at the next script meeting, using those longterms we were talking to Mark about yesterday as tramlines to keep us on the straight and narrow.
This meeting determines what storyline research needs to be done before the script meeting itself. Rosemary Watts, our research producer, takes copious notes at this meeting. I really don't know how she types so fast! She comes up with a research list for our agricultural editor, Graham Harvey and for herself and for our archivist. All these notes will eventually be sent to the writers and will inform what we do at our next script meeting. Due to the Christmas double-up, we are nearly storylining Easter 2010, believe it or not, and so an archive note about previous Easters in Ambridge will no doubt be very useful.
The meeting finishes at one and lunch is soup and a sandwich just in time to go to a session run by Tim Davie, Director of Audio and Music, who is visiting today. He will be giving us an overview of the state of play of everything the BBC does in Audio and his sessions do a great job of putting individual teams' work into the bigger picture for us all.
The blog week has been fun and I have enjoyed reading blog posts by so many of the talented team who make this programme happen. Thank you everyone who contributed and thanks to everyone who took the time to read the posts too. Happy Christmas!
Vanessa Whitburn is editor of The Archers
- Archers Week ran on the Radio 4 blog from 23-30 November 2009. 19 blog posts were published in all, from 17 authors. They're listed here.
- Radio 4's Archers web site is full of good stuff, like a map of Ambridge, family trees for all the big clans and a detailed who's who. There's also a 'two-minute guide' for Archers newbies.
- The Archers messageboards are among the busiest at the BBC - nicknamed Mustardland because of the distinctive yellow page backgrounds. They're a bit sceptical about Archers Week, though.
- There are two Archers podcasts: one for the daily episodes and one for the Sunday omnibus.
- Hedli Niklaus, who plays Kathy Perks in the serial, also runs the Archers fan club, Archers Addicts.
- Norman Painting, who played Archers patriarch Phil for nearly sixty years, died on 29 October 2009. The last episode he recorded aired on 22 November. Archers Editor Vanessa Whitburn paid tribute to him here on the blog and the Archers Addicts have collected listener tributes.
- The picture shows the Archers' home in Birmingham, the Mailbox. During our visit dozens of photographs were taken, many of which feature pictures of cast members (and an ironing board).
- Twitter was put to use during Archers Week. #archersweek was the hashtag and we learnt that Tim Bentinck, who plays David Archer (@timbentinck) and Keri Davies, who writes scripts (@keridavies) are both Twitterers. Follow the Radio 4 blog on Twitter.