Archers fan event invaded by Nazis and pornography

By Colin Paterson
Entertainment correspondent

  • Published
The Archers
Image caption,
The BBC Radio 4 soap depicts life in rural England

An online video chat for fans of BBC Radio 4 series The Archers had to be abandoned after being bombarded with pornography and Nazi swastikas.

The Dumteedum podcast, named after the refrain of the soap opera's theme tune, discusses all aspects of the programme.

And to cheer up listeners during lockdown, host Roifield Brown organised a Zoom call, which included a surprise appearance by actor Terry Molloy.

But as it turned out, that was not the only surprise.

"A gentleman who was at least 60 decided to pleasure himself in front of the massed ranks of Dumteedumers on Zoom," said Brown, on the latest edition of the unofficial fan-run podcast, which for the past six years has enabled enthusiasts to discuss the latest goings on in the fictional village of Ambridge.

"There was all manner of pornography thrown up and Nazi swastikas and I was called the N-word repeatedly."

All of this was witnessed by Molloy, who plays Mike Tucker in the world's longest-running drama series, and who had been happily answering fans' questions.

Image caption,
Terry Malloy, who plays Mike Tucker, saw the whole sorry scene unfold

The BBC, who declined to comment on the incident, recently revealed The Archers would have its first coronavirus-related storyline in early May and feature fewer interacting characters "sharing more of their private thoughts with the listener".

The videoconferencing app Zoom has come under increased scrutiny as its popularity has risen during the pandemic and last week a representative told BBC News it "takes its users' privacy, security and trust extremely seriously".

'Teachable moment'

Brown said the mistake they made was to put a link to the meeting all over social media, meaning anyone who saw it could join in.

"It was a teachable moment - as our American cousins would say," he said.

"Number one: there are sad people out there with nothing better to do with their time than just to ruin things for other people.

"And then there is: don't go plastering your Zoom link all over Twitter."

He is undeterred, however, and they will try the meet again this Friday night, with better security.

Those who want to take part will have to send a direct message to secure the password.

It is unclear though if Terry Molloy will be back.

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