Listeners less than thrilled by Archers plot

Millions of Archers fans tuned into the BBC Radio 4 drama last night after being promised a storyline that would "shake Ambridge to the core".

Hours before the show was aired, frantic speculation over what dramatic twist the 60th anniversary double episode would take included one of the characters in the fictional rural village going on a shooting spree or even an alien invasion.

However, many of the five million strong army of Archers veterans were left disappointed after the much-hyped and tightly-guarded storyline emerged as Nigel Pargetter falling off a roof - possibly to his death.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Scottish Archers fan Ian McKinlay was among those underwhelmed by last night's anniversary edition.

The retired driving instructor from Edinburgh, who has been listening to The Archers since 1955, said he was slightly disappointed by the storyline.

He added: "They mentioned needing to get the banner off the roof, as well as mentioning the wind was getting up, and I guessed the ending from that, so it was quite predictable."

Disgruntled listeners shared their disappointment on Twitter; one wrote: "Very many congratulations to the BBC spin doctors - so much hype, so little real drama, so what!"

• Fans:'I don't feel shaken to core, just let down'

• What didn't happen…

Another wrote: "Did the Radio 4 announcer really just ask if we are 'still reeling from the The Archers'? Nothing happened."

Feverish speculation was sparked when the editor of the radio soap promised listeners a special diamond jubilee episode that would "shake Ambridge to the core".

In an earlier interview series, editor Vanessa Whitburn said the repercussions would be felt in the show for a decade - but ruled out terrorists, earthquakes and Martians.

She said: "What will happen on Sunday evening will have a profound impact on Ambridge and central characters, and it will go on and on.

"It will still be affecting Ambridge in ten years' time."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Before the broadcast, the BBC made sure the fate of the fictional rural village and its inhabitants was kept under wraps.

The strategy of secrecy was in direct contrast to TV soaps, which often release details of storylines in advance. The 50th anniversary Coronation Street episode featured a disaster that killed off key characters, fuelling speculation that The Archers would try a similar storyline.

Related topics: