Main content

The 10 Archers storylines that have made you cry the most

Countless episodes in The Archers 68 year history have seen listeners weeping in their kitchens or having to pull their cars into lay-bys because they're crying so much.

But what are the top 10 episodes that have had Archers fans reaching for the tissues?

1. When John Archer died...

Pat and Tony's eldest son John was only 22 when, after a row with his dad, John went out in the tractor to fix a fence that Tony had failed to mend. He never came back. Tony found him under the Ferguson in what is generally agreed to have been one of the most harrowing moments in Ambridge history...

Tony discovers John after the accident (Feb 1998)

Tony discovers John after the accident (Feb 1998)

2. When Nic Grundy died without warning

Listeners reeled in shock when Nic Grundy was taken to A&E and died that very night. Nic had scratched herself on an item of Joe's flood-damaged belongings and had developed sepsis.

3. When Nigel fell to his death

Listeners were devastated on New Years Eve 2010 when Nigel Pargetter fell from the roof of Lower Loxley - his stately pile. He left behind his loving wife Elizabeth and the twins Lily and Freddie who were 11 at the time of his death... Many Archers fans have never gotten over it.

The moment Nigel fell to his death

Nigel decides to take down the New Year banner from the roof and loses his footing.

4. Scruff!

When Lynda's beloved dog Scruff disappeared in the Ambridge floods, a petition was started on to ensure his safe return. It was the greatest Christmas present ever when Scruff returned on Christmas Eve 2015. He passed away in July 2016, sunbathing on Lynda's infamous Resurgam stone.

"When he came home at Christmas I was a complete mess." [Karen Milner on Facebook]

Every dog has its day

Lynda's beloved dog Scruff was feared lost in the Ambridge floods.

5. Helen and Rob

After a campaign of abuse, Helen stabbed her husband Rob Titchener in the kitchen of Blossom Hill cottage. A moment that never loses its power, no matter how many times you listen to it. Hearing Helen describe in court how she had been raped by Rob was indescribably difficult. But the relief of Helen's 'not guilty' verdict had us all in tears...

The moment when…Helen makes a revelation

Helen finally makes public the extent of Rob’s abuse.

6. When Joe killed his ferrets

After years struggling to make ends meet, the Grundys were declared bankrupt and evicted from Grange Farm for a council flat in Borchester. Devastated, Joe bludgeoned his beloved ferrets with a hammer - a moment that is impossible to forget.

"Joe in the flat with the ferrets, remembering it has made me cry all over again." [Kathleen Hudson on Facebook]

"Joe and the ferrets was a killer in more ways than one." [Nicola Scott on Facebook]

7. When Mark Hebden died in a car crash

Shula's husband Mark died tragically in a road accident in February 1994 - he was swerving to avoid Shula's best friend Caroline who had been thrown from her horse. Mark would never know, but Shula would continue with IVF and give birth to their child Dan - the much longed for child that he would never hold.

"I remember Mark's death so vividly, I can remember standing in my bedroom shouting at the radio." [Cate Carey on Facebook]

8. Peggy and Jack

Listeners were moved to tears as Peggy's beloved husband Jack Woolley succumbed to Alzheimer's over the course of several heartbreaking years. After struggling to care for him at home, in spite of a stroke, Peggy finally accepted that she was not up to the task and Jack went to live at The Laurels. He passed away there in 2014 in one of The Archers' most touching scenes.

9. Phil's death

On 12 February 2010, Jill discovered Phil in his armchair, with a cup of tea by his side and Elgar's Dream of Gerontius playing, having breathed his last. The moment was made all the more poignant by the fact that Norman Painting, who had played Phil from The Archers' first episode in 1950, had passed away a few months previously.

"The death of Phil - the music (Elgar's Dream of Gerontius) completely finished me!!" [Marcie Hughes on Facebook]

10. Kirsty's miscarriage

Kirsty had mixed feelings when she discovered she was pregnant after a one-off encounter with her ex Tom. When she suffered a late miscarriage, she blamed herself, believing that her doubts could have led to her baby's death. It took her a long time to open up about her feelings.