The Archers: I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky

SPOILER ALERT! Contains speculation about future plot twist that actually you have probably also guessed, as I have, because it’s not exactly been foreshadowed in particularly subtle a fashion.

What I love about the Archers is the way they can so easily wrong-foot me.  I’d just settled in for the duration, expecting nothing more from the next few weeks than a boring string of episodes about Cloive being dull-ly menacing, the Bridge Farm rebranding, and Linda’s death-where-is-thy-sting Christmas show. Then they sprang a Kylie/Sharon/John reversal on me and it got all interesting again.

For those of you who had better things to do than listen to the Archers when you were young, here’s a quick primer on these unfamiliar characters. Back in the day, a young slapper named Sharon with a cracking West Country burr lived in a caravan in Ambridge. She was the type who called people ‘Moi bird, moi duck, moi lover,’ when she was just buying fags down the shop. Her small daughter was called Kylie (pronounced ‘Koylie’), which dates it. I must have missed the episode in which this child was revealed to have been fathered by Cloive (pronounced ‘Cloive’).  Who knows, perhaps I one time went clubbing instead of sitting under a duvet with a transistor radio pressed to my ear.

Anyway, Sharon had long-eschewed Cloive and was having an unpopular affair in her caravan with John Archer, son of Pat and Tony, who some years later had a series of misadventures, nearly married Hayley, then slipped underneath a large Massey Ferguson and thus never had to hear his sister Helen whinge again. Are you still with me? Any road up, long before John got tractored, Sharon had packed up her lovely accent and her daughter and disappeared, much to my chagrin, as she was – remains to this day – the only character I could reliably imitate. When in my cups I can sometimes do Joe Grundy saying ‘afternoon,’ but there’s little call for it, I’ll be honest with you.

So imagine my delight when, after all these years, Susan rang Sharon last week to tell her that Ivy had snuffed it. Ivy being Cloive’s ma, she was thus Koylie’s grannie, not that she’d had much (anything?) to do with her. I had a quiet little wake all by myself when I realised they’d got some Equity Card-punching  nonentity to play Sharon, rather than the real Sharon, and her accent WASN’T RIGHT so no-one would be impressed at the accuracy of my take-off this time round. Not that they were last time now I think on. But I soon got over it when Koylie popped up, being all grown-up now, a student, how time flies etc, and having a good old shout at Cloive at the funeral for being the crappest dad this side of Felpersham.

And then, to runneth my cup right over, Pat started asking pointed questions about the age of Koylie’s younger brother and I realised with heart-stopping delight that this must mean JOHN FATHERED A BABY WHICH NO-ONE KNEW ABOUT! Or Pat’s barking up the wrong tree, but either way we’ll still have all the scrummy DNA testing/family arguments/ Pat and Tony having awkward meetings with Sharon! I CAN’T WAIT! BRING! IT! ON! And get the real Sharon back while you’re at it.

Posted by Qwerty

12 Comments

Filed under Radio, The Archers

12 responses to “The Archers: I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky

  1. Velocity Girl

    Oh Qwerty, what’s it to be – Civil Partnership or a Beneficiary in my Will? Am presently more than willing to do either.

  2. Oh fab, I had strayed from the fold, I have to say, and it was only your posts and the occasional look at the Ambridge Diary in the Radio Times that were keeping me au courant with The Archers at all, then I barely knowingly turned on the omnibus the other morning, and now you tell me this! I shall take up my lapsed faith forthwith.

    Just a small thing: not a large Massey Ferguson, but Tony’s vintage Fergy, quite a small piece of agricultural plant really. These details are important.

    Here’s slurry to your anorak!

    • inkface

      The tractor correction tickled me pink. My dad had a little tractor. He loved it to bits. No brakes. He had to drive it into a tree to stop it.

  3. Qwerty

    How kind, Velocity Girl! Beneficiary of the Will please; I already have enough wives.

    Thanks for the correction Lucy – I will change it as soon as I’ve got this slurry off my anorak. Keep listening! I think it’s gonna get good. Or as good as the Archers ever gets, eg quite bearable.

  4. arialbold

    Love the use of “tractored” as a verb. Hope one day to see it in a coroner’s report.

    Your blog as ever almost tempting enough not to actively switch off R4 at 7.02 pm and go and do something less boring instead.

    Especially as the Sharon/John-in-the-caravan era was about the time I last listened to Archers with anything other than rising nausea and panic to hit the off button.

  5. Jen

    The sainted John! He and Tom are (to me) entirely interchangeable. Another grandchild for dear Pat. How delightful. Daughter of the sainted John, eh?

    On second thoughts…I can’t summon up any enthusiasm for this plotline. Now, another of Brian’s brats?! That’d be perhaps too obvious but rather more exciting.

    Or Jack Woolley fathers a child by one of the nurses? That wretchedly sanctimonious Eastern European (Oh, Pegggggy) woman who dedicates her ineffably dull life to Jack.

  6. BigBossyBoots

    Wow! Half-listening to half of the ‘Archers’ omnibus as usual, I was trying to work out why I felt I should understand more than I was. This is significant, I kept telling myself, especially Pat’s sudden and mysterious interest in Kylie’s younger brother… But Sharon’s voice transplant and the fact that I’d also forgotten that Tom wasn’t John threw me off the trail. By the way, did Emma live in the same caravan? (She DID live in a caravan, didn’t she? I really must pay more attention…)

  7. Fanoflinda

    Just spent the last half an hour trying to explain to Mr Fanoflinda who John and Sharon were, and it was all here ready to read out over dinner (with appropriately bad West country accent). Moral: head for Querty before ever explaining Archer plot lines..

  8. Cassie

    As I remember it, in the caravan days Sharon’s squeeze (after she relentlessly chased him down) was some god like scanadavian student working for Patn’tone called Sven, or Thor, or Torkvil (or something like that). John was mooning round her like a love sick puppy (too young for her then), being useful in her eyes only as babysitter to young Koylie. Pat was most miffed at this exploitation of her firstborn’s crush.

    When she came back a few years on (with – according to Hayley – a worryingly socially withdrawn Koylie in tow), she finally got it on with the now hunkily grown up sausage baronet, John, leading to his breakup with Hayley. Which led in turn to a pre-occupied John falling under the wheels of the little grey Fergie, when Hayley didn’t immediately forgive him on presentation of an engagement ring. Much fury directed at Sharon all round.

    If Sharon wants nothing to do with the family evermore, it is scarcely to be wondered at, irrespective of her son’s paternity. Good luck with that one, Pat.

    • Cassie

      Oh, and Cloive and Sharon were introduced as an ‘item’ in Ambridge when Sharon was ‘expecting’. Having been cast out by their respective families they were allowed to shack up together by the then vicar (Robin? the previous/ next one?) at the then vicarage, much to local outrage. Clive abandoned poor Sharon shortly before/ after the birth, and as even trendy vicars have their limits as to what they can get away with in the eyes of prurient parishioners, she had to find somewhere else to live. Enter Pat and the disused caravan…..

      No, it wasn’t connected to the one Emma & Ed occupied. I think by then Sharon’s rackerty old caravan must have entirely decayed into the Bridge farm loam. Emmur’s belonged to Neil and Susan, and had been bought specifically to house the Carters while they self built Pig Ark View. Once the house was completed, the idea was to sell it on, but then Mrs Grundy jnr left her husband for his brother, and took up residence in her family’s caravan as an outraged Neeyul wouldn’t have them in the house.

  9. Archelina

    I must admit I find it difficult to believe that John Archer ever did anything as dynamic as unwittingly father a child. Death by tractor was his most exciting contribution to the show, as I recall.

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