The Archers: Stray pusscats strut

Get real, Lilian. No-one believes in this ‘platonic’ interest in Paul nonsense.  Even Jennifer, never the sharpest nail in the manicure, has seen through your flannel. As will Paul at this rate.

Rather than be judgemental, however, I would like to offer Lilian a handy guide as to how the half-brothers compare.

Matt, I can't believe you've got to wear... trainers

Availability: Matt being banged up, Paul wins hands down. While Paul can happily contrive implausible-sounding work opportunities which bring him within a gnat’s crotchet of Felpersham, Matt’s obviously not at liberty to wine and dine Lilian. Even when Matt comes out, he’ll be on a curfew. Which is kind of mystifying, isn’t it? As Paul himself has pointed out, fraud’s not really the sort of crime that’s only committed outside the home during the hours of darkness. Anyway, the only thing tying Paul down right now is a couple of kids, but they don’t seem too irksome. Less irksome than an electronic tag, in fact. Score: Matt 0, Paul 9 (includes extra point for smart observation regarding ridiculous curfew storyline). Verdict: No contest. Sorry Matt.

Sexiness: There’s obviously a familial resemblance, but I guess Paul is younger. Not that that necessarily has anything to do with sexiness. He doesn’t yet have a bedroom nickname for Lilian in the ‘Pusscat’ mould, but he does have the immense advantage of the thrill of the unknown. And the way he says ‘Lilian’ is rather phwoar-some. Score: Matt 5, Paul 8. Verdict: The younger brother strikes back. It’s the oldest rivalry in history. It’s Cain and Abel, it’s Christopher and Peter Hitchins, it’s Will and Ed Grundy.

Family involvement: Matt famously can’t stand family life. Even when he grudgingly agreed to meet his birth mother, it was only at Lilian’s shrill insistence. Later, on hearing his mother was dead, he said, ‘Oh.’ He’s not much better with Lilian’s family, regarding Jennifer, Brian, Peggy et al as necessary irritants. Hmm. Good point. Paul, meanwhile, has clearly been the good son, doting on his cold-hearted mother and spawning some sprogs of his own. He even asks after the appalling James, which Matt has definitely never done. However, I haven’t forgotten how good Matt was when Jack was at his pre-Laurel’s worst. So it’s not a complete whitewash. Score: Matt 4, Paul 9. Verdict: Gotta say, my sympathies lie with Matt here.

Voice: Though their accents are similar, Matt’s definitely got more of a manly rasp going on, and his voice is unmistakable. Paul, meanwhile, is only a tone or two different from almost all the other men in TA. He possibly is being played by all the other men in TA, in fact. Lilian won’t be calling Paul ‘Tiger’. He hasn’t got that growl thing going on. Foxy, maybe. But not Tiger. Score: Matt 8, Paul 5. Verdict: Matt’s the only Tiger in town.

Flahs? Wotchoo fink this is, effing Covent Garden?

Romance: Paul’s not even wooing Lil (yet) and has already shown himself to be a cut above in the romance stakes. While Matt adheres to the Bill Sykes school of love-talk (‘I live wiv yer, don’ I?’), Paul is a smooth operator, never missing a chance to tell Lilian how she has brightened up his life. He likes suggesting little trysts, and if he hasn’t bunged her some flowers yet, it’s only a matter of time. Score: Matt 2, Paul 7. Verdict: Paul’s got an open field here, basically.

Staying power: Pusscat and Tiger have stuck it out through many of life’s trials (including an actual trial). His messy divorce, his overly keen interest in Annabel, his committing of fraud, his losing the plot over his court case, his near murder of her on the motorway, his bail jump to Costa Rica, his incarceration. Hmm. Looks a bit one-sided now I tally it up. Lilian’s definitely owed at least one small affair. Anyway, if they can make it through all that, they can make it through the rain. Whereas Paul is a Johnny-come-lately. Who knows what sort of sticking power he’s got? Score: Matt 10, Paul 2. Verdict: Paul’s un-tested.

Final scores on the door: Matt 29, Paul 40. Well, the numbers never lie. Lilian, you have my complete numerical permission to have a fling. But remember, underneath that gruff exterior, Matt needs you. And, as Nancy sang of Bill, shortly before he clubbed her to death, ‘As long as he needs me, I know where I must be.’ Which in your case is sitting in the Dower House, two G&T’s down, telling your electronically tagged boyfriend that you must just pop out for a few hours. Oh dear, what a shame he’s forcibly detained at home.

Posted by Qwerty                         (See all Archers posts here)


Filed under The Archers

19 responses to “The Archers: Stray pusscats strut

  1. arialbold

    Please don’t keep putting up interesting posts on the Archers and tempting me into listening to it. I might then start enjoying it, and I really don’t like it.

    My hand has strayed across to the iPlayer omnibus more than once recently and I am worried about my willpower to resist.

    A concerned non-Ambridgean.

  2. inkface

    Very amusing. I worry about chaffing and hygiene with those electronic tags. And surely they must make sex a bit odd, unless you incorporate them into some kind of role play? What’s interesting about the Archers is that you can’t, as you would in a TV soap, really debate how fit the brothers are. As an infrequent listener, what clues have we been given about their rugged looks, or otherwise?

  3. Qwerty

    Sorry, a-bold, for making you think TA might be exciting. To be frank, for every interesting Matt/Lilian/Paul love triangle, there are a dozen staggeringly boring stories involving Alice and Christopher, Susan, Shula, and just about everyone else, in fact.

    Inky, your tag during sex comment has rendered me speechless. However, I’m more than glad to speculate about the relative dishy-ness of the menfolk. Let’s see. Matt used to have it going on when he first met Lil, but has gone to seed since. Though it’s possible he’s been working out in the prison gym. Paul’s definitely the one to watch. He’s fitter, more relaxed and wears nice suits. He’s got cute laughter lines too, whereas Matt rarely laughs.

  4. inkface

    Call me puerile, but I do so enjoy making inappropriate lewd comments about the Archers. It’s like saying poo bum willy to the queen.

  5. fanoflinda

    dear querty
    You seem to have left out a category for suitability. This has to take into account that Lilian has never yet gone out with anyone who is at all good for her (think of the lovely Scott).

    This should give Paul about 0 points as he sounds thoughtful and attentive, is unattached, not a crook etc. Whereas Matt is none of the above and apart from the uncharacteristic moments with Jack, really has few attractions (I mean, Querty, would you consider going out with someone who called you `pussycat´?) so 9 points for Matt then.

    I am emailing this from Rio de Janeiro, let it not be said that a mere exotic holiday can keep me away from the Archers and your blog.

  6. Mr B

    I’ve never seen the appeal of Matt, and couldn’t see why Lilian stayed with him, what with the general nastiness, fraudulent behaviour, escape to Costa Rica etc. But there’s something about Paul that I’m not sure about, and I now realise why. He reminds me of Owen the rapist. A bit too attentive and a little bit creepy. Don’t forget this is Lilian we’re talking about, so a decent chap will never be on the cards for her. I can’t help feeling that Paul is going to end up taking her hostage or something, and Matt will come to the rescue, his electronic tag alerting the police who nab Paul as he tries to make his escape. Just a theory.

  7. Qwerty

    fanoflinda, think the heat in Ipanema has addled your usually quicksilver brain. Matt has ‘few attractions’?? I beg to differ. He’s one of the very few men on TA with any sex appeal whatsoever. Here’s another list, then – men on TA with sex appeal: Matt, Brian, Jazzer, Adam (even though he bats for the other team), Ed. Simon who used to be married to Debbie. Think that’s it.

    Mr B, it’s weird you say that as there’s an internet rumour that Paul is played by the same actor who played Owen the Rapist. I don’t think it’s true though. I like your hostage/electronic tag theory, it’s got legs. Or ankles, rather.

    • Brian? Brian? (Voice rises in incredulity). Yes to Matt (though I know I shouldn’t), and to Jazzer and Adam. Can’t comment on Simon, but no, no, no to Brian. You’re going to have explain yourself!

      • Qwerty

        Careful there, Jo-Hat, you’ll make your throat sore going up two octaves like that. Well, Brian, Brian, Brian. What can I say; I’ve always fancied him. And as Brian never justifies himself, I don’t think I will either. Oh all right then. What’s not to like? I’m sure that if fanoflinda wasn’t stuck in some rainforest somewhere she’d agree with me. He’s like, totally alpha! He’s sarky, intelligent, funny, dashing, bit of a cad, clearly knows his way around the laydeeez, and is absolutely loaded. I certainly would, anyway.

      • capslock

        Paul is Trouble and I suspect it will all end in tears and very possibly Matt up on an assault charge. But Paul is a conniver, secretive, ingratiating and not to be trusted. He feels hard done by, jealous of Matt’s ability to make a quid, and wrecklessly acting out his revenge by seducing his half-brother’s squeeze. I suspect he doesn’t give a toss about Lillian, is harbouring a very dark secret, and probaly kept his Mum locked in an attic. Lillian beware.

  8. arialbold

    As a former Archerite can I redress the balance and offer a shortlist of one for the female voicelust vote: Debbie Aldridge (she’s allowed under the rules – see my one and only Lustbox).

  9. inkface

    Nelson Gabriel had the witty, urbane voice that did it for me. I sort of see your attraction to Brian thing, in a strange Joanna Trollope novel context kind of way. But having seen the (perfectly nice but not sexy) actor who plays him, he lost his appeal. No-one is going to say Nigel are they? No. Obviously not.

    • Qwerty

      Oh yes, Nelson’s lovely voice. Sigh. What memories.

      A-bold, Debbie is no longer the only charming female by any means. Lilian is actually still quite a goer, then there’s Fallon, widely considered to be gorgeous, sexy and intelligent (and she plays the guitar and her parents own a pub! Why, she probably turns into a pizza in the morning, she’s so perfect). There’s also the oft-mentioned but never heard Sabrina Thwaite, clearly the minx supreme of the parish, and Annabel, who nearly rent Matt and Lilian asunder. Usha has quite a sexy laugh, and Jolene’s assets are often mentioned in admiring terms.

      No, no-one is going to say Nigel. Or Shula.

      • arialbold

        Wasn’t Fallon in Dynasty? And isn’t Sabrina Thwaite an anagram of “I’m a made up character voiced by a model who is a friend of the producer”?

        But for silence wasn’t Pru Forrest the queen of the non-appearance?

        You see you’re luring me into actually listening to the bloody thing again, aren’t you?

        (And do I win a blog comment prize for ending every sentence with a question mark?)

  10. arialbold

    I see your Nigel and raise you one Robert Snell.

    • Qwerty

      Robert Snell? Are you MAD? He’s rather nice. No way is he to be compared to asexual chinless Nigel P.

  11. fanoflinda

    Calm down boys and girls, we seem to be straying away from the subject here which was Lilian and Paul remember. I thought I was the one with addled brains from too much sun. Frustratingly, you cannot get Iplayer on an Ipod Touch abroad (vital information for any of you planning foreign holidays in the near future), so I couldn´t listen to the Archers by the pool as I had planned, and had to do with the synopis which does not give nearly enough detail.
    I do worry about your ´´got to be mean to keep them keen´´ taste in men Querty. I knew you had a soft spot for Brian (it has been mentioned in former postings) but Matt??? I just think second hand car salesman when I hear his voice. Give me Ian any day, we are clearly never going to be fighting over the same man… Sorry I am straying now, the sun is getting to me after all, better go and have another dip in that pool..

  12. fanoflinda

    Which is Ok if you have access to a computer but not much good if you are trying to access the Archers on your iPod stand alone…

    Did everyone else guess that Lillian and Paul were going to chicken out at the last moment?

    My friends think that the L/P story is a way of writing Matt out of the Archers, but I think he may end up killing Paul or something much more exciting and have L. visiting him in prison forever.

    What do you think, Querty?