Why BBC’s The Archers is too ‘woke’ for me – Bill Jamieson

Two stars of The Archers pictured in 1983: Sarah Conrad (voice of Caroline Bone) and Jack May (Nelson Gabriel) with Desi Angus, who played Jenny Stewart in BBC Radio Scotland's Kilbreck show
Two stars of The Archers pictured in 1983: Sarah Conrad (voice of Caroline Bone) and Jack May (Nelson Gabriel) with Desi Angus, who played Jenny Stewart in BBC Radio Scotland's Kilbreck show
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BBC Radio 4 programme The Archers once made for comfortable listening, but the show’s efforts to attract new listeners are too ‘woke’ and bad-tempered for Bill Jamieson.

Turned off by the hip rapper music on Desert Island Discs, the raucous mayhem of garage music and selections that would cause every known life-form to jump into the sea? Then be sure to give The Archers a miss. This once-comforting broadcast of rural life has been turned into a feuding battleground of sexes, generations and lifestyles.

Modern rural life in ‘woke’ Britain? Spare us. I reach for the ‘off’ button the minute the shouting and the arguments start.

Whatever happened to the peaceful sounds of cows mewing, birds chirruping and sheep going ‘baa’?

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Even Eccles the peacock, who returned after being replaced by Elvis, Madonna and Marilyn (all meeting untimely deaths) has now himself been run over.

This once comforting rural idyll is now overrun by the most unhappy and cantankerous people, fightin’ and feudin’ at the top of their voices.

As for the pub, forget about the quiet buzz of conversation and the tapping of dominoes – sounds all lost under a raging fusillade of lifestyle diversity and progressive twaddle.

It seems to have succumbed to a human re-wilding, with even the pub’s name being changed from The Bull to “The B at Ambridge” to encourage “a new demographic”.

A plague on the modernisers! Critics say the Archers was ever a romantic delusion, deliberately intended to calm us down and inject a daily dose of Diazepam into our daily lives.

But the latest plot twists are an assault on our senses.

Bring back the farm animals, I say, for an extended ‘slow’ broadcast of country life as we would really, truly, wish it.