Updated 10th January: Ooh Leon! You’re even more of a rotter than we thought… poor Annette is preggers. Here’s more on Annette and Hell-en
It’s an unwritten rule in the Archers – or maybe it is written, I believe their storyline conferences are pretty strict – that any new man who comes into the programme will turn out to be a love rat. Oh, all right, I can already hear you yelling men’s names as though we were at a Chippendales gig. Fine, Ian isn’t a rotter – but he is gay. I’m talking about straight men. Okay, Oliver isn’t a rotter. But he is an older chap. Yes, yes, Greg wasn’t a rotter, but he wasn’t very good-looking and he topped himself when he realised this.
Let me start again. Any young, handsome, non-suicidal straight man who is written into the Archers will either have a cheating heart, or be a psychopath, and that’s that.
Remember Simon Pemberton? Even Shula barely remembers him, though they had an affair and… sorry, just went into a reverie about how much more action Shula gets than me, even though she is loads more annoying. It’s so unfair. Anyway, nary a few episodes had passed before Simon was thumping Shula (though, in some ways, you could see his point), and provoking her into using one of the very few rude words ever heard in Ambridge. My next blog will cover this topic: ‘Those rare occasions when Archers folk have been in such extremis they have turned to our four-letter friends for expressive relief’.
And what about the other Simon, Simon Thingy (memory’s shot to pieces today), who married Debbie in a burst of sexy Canadian accent, only to bugger off at the first opportunity with a student almost half his age? And going back further, what about that first class swine Cameron Fraser, who got Lizzie up the duff then disappeared with a twirl of his evil moustache? And only a year or so ago, what about poor Kathy taking pity on Owen, only to be, well, we all know what happened to her.
So I’m not entirely surprised that Leon, the too-good-to-be-true barman, with his laconic Australian turn of phrase and excessive interest in the ladies, is already cheating on Helen. Ian predicted it would be so, and he’s the closest we have to a seer in the Borsetshire district. I know I’m not Hell-en’s biggest fan – if I were a man I wouldn’t go within a fifty-mile radius of her, fearing toxic contamination – but hey, Leon, you nailed your whatsits to the mast. You’ve led her on. You’ve given her to understand that she is your girlfriend. So to go round to her flat when you know she’s out, and sweet-talk her naïve and needy flatmate into bed is the act of a cad.
I’m not completely exonerating Annette. I know she’s young, only eighteen, or twenty, or fourteen, or something, but there were several points at which I thought she might have said, ‘Hang on a minute! You shouldn’t be kissing me, Leon, because you’re going out with my irritating flat-mate who nonetheless has been pretty decent to me, taking me in when I had nowhere else to go and generally looking out for me, even if she does go on about the washing up rather a lot.’ It would have been the correct thing to do. Instead of which, she just sank into his arms with a horrible sighing noise. And all we could hear after that was an echo in our heads of Ian yelling, ‘Told you so!’
I might not be able to listen for the next few weeks. Hell-en’s continuing belief in Leon, Annette’s increasing guilt, Leon’s slide towards an unbelievable storyline in which he is chucked unceremoniously out of Ambridge, never to be seen again… I don’t know if I can bear the pain.
Posted by Qwerty