There's No Place Like Home: How to listen to The Archers Revisited this week
There's no place like home, as the good people of Ambridge well know. This week, we’ll listen in to moments that tested each of the family farms. The Grundys will bid farewell to Grange Farm, Helen will hear a life-changing verdict, and Brian will make an earth-shattering confession. At Brookfield, the Archers makes a difficult decision for the good of their farm and we’ll hear the flood that affected all of Ambridge.
These episodes from the past 20 years will be broadcast on Radio 4 at the usual time of 7pm on Sundays to Thursdays (with repeats the following day at 2pm), and an omnibus each Sunday at 10am. After broadcast, each episode will be available here on the website and on the BBC Sounds App.
Sunday: Brookfield in Lockdown
Brookfield is under lockdown due to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth. In 2001 there was a national outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. Brookfield farm had been badly hit by the disease in 1956 and David Archer is keen that the farm doesn’t suffer the same kind of tragic losses that it did when his grandfather, Dan, was in charge. David and Ruth make the difficult decision to seal off Brookfield for six weeks. This programme was originally broadcast on 21st March 2001. Listen to the episode here.
Monday: Brian Confesses to Jennifer
When Brian Aldridge’s step-daughter, Debbie, confronted Brian over his affair with the much younger Siobhan Hathaway, he knew the game was up and that he had to confess to wife Jennifer. The episodes leading up to Brian's admission to Jennifer were heard by 4.75 million listeners, and if you missed it the first time around, you can read more about this volatile period in their relationship here. This episode was originally broadcast on 15th December 2002. Listen to the episode here.
Tuesday: The Grundys' eviction from Grange Farm
The Grundys were tenant farmers at Grange farm but their landlords, Borchester Land, wanted them out. When they were no longer able to pay their rent, BL took the opportunity to evict them. All the Grundys, except Will, had to move to a small council flat which hit the family very hard. In Tuesday's episode, first broadcast on 26th April 2000, the day of the Grundys’ eviction from Grange Farm has arrived. Listen here to find out what happens.
Wednesday: Floods Hit Ambridge
As residents of the village gather in St. Stephen’s on a March evening to listen to a talk, news arrives that the River Am has burst its banks and several houses are under water. Soon much of the village is under threat and rescue parties are organised to bring people trapped in their homes to safety, but as the waters rise Lynda is refusing to leave Ambridge Hall until she can find her dog Scruff. This episode was originally broadcast on 3rd March 2015 and you can listen here.
Thursday: Helen Wins Custody of Her Boys
Years of coercive control left Helen desperate to escape from her abusive husband, Rob Titchener. Fearing for her life and the safety of her son Henry and her unborn baby, Helen made plans to leave. Rob intercepted her and offered her an ultimatum. The only way he would ever let her go would be if she killed herself. Rob then threatened Henry which was the last straw for Helen: she took the knife Rob had placed in her hands and stabbed him. This domestic abuse storyline led to an outpouring of support from listeners, who showed their solidarity with Helen and real life victims of domestic abuse. In this episode, first broadcast on 16th September 2016, it's the day of the family court hearing where Helen is to discover whether she has won custody of her two boys, Henry and Jack. Click here to listen to Thursday's episode.