Entertainment & Arts

Terminally-ill Archers actress wants her character to survive

Sara Coward
Image caption Sara Coward says she has 'been very lucky'

Archers actress Sara Coward, who is terminally ill, says she hopes the BBC radio soap does not write her character out of the programme.

Coward, 68, was given three months to live in September after she was diagnosed with an inoperable cancer.

"I would prefer it to be over quickly," the actress told Radio Times, when speaking about her illness.

"I don't know what they're going to do with the character [Caroline Sterling] but I hope they don't write her out."

She added: "I'd like them to find someone else to play her. In fact I know the very person; Michael Cochrane's wife Belinda Carroll would be perfect."

'Much maligned'

Cochrane plays Coward's husband on the long-running Radio 4 programme.

Coward has played Caroline for nearly 40 years but said she has "no interest in being remembered".

The actress is philosophical about her illness.

"I have a lovely array of friends, and a rescue lurcher called Sati, who I adore. I've been very lucky, and it doesn't worry me that my life is coming to an end."

On The Archers website, Coward spoke of her feelings about the character she first played in 1979: "I'm very fond of Caroline. She hasn't had an easy life, in spite of her privileged upbringing, and has been much maligned. 'The bicycle of Ambridge' - really! The poor girl was only trying to find the right man; she just happened to search in some pretty peculiar places."

The character has spent the last few months living in Italy while Coward has been ill.

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