The Archers: Episode of the Year

So this is why we listen to the Archers. Why we stick with it through thick and thin. Why it’s worth our huge investment of time and sanity. Because very occasionally – rather less than once in a blue moon – there is a superb episode that sparkles like a well-polished beer mug hanging in the Bull. Not that the glasses are that clean at the moment, what with Fallon up to her eyes and Jolene trailing round the village like that mad caped bint in the Scottish Widows advert.


Alice and Christopher’s triumphant return from America to announce their quickie Vegas marriage was the episode of the year. From Jenny’s appalled ‘I’m related to a Horrobin!’ to Brian’s, ‘Well darling, you’ll just have to think of it as her starter marriage’, there was so much to enjoy. From Susan whooping for joy and getting hammered on Cava, to Neil shyly offering to give the newly-weds the handsome gift of, er, a peal of church bells (thanks Neil but I’d rather have a set of steak knives), every perfectly delivered line was a thing of joy forever.

This is why we’re with the Archers for the long haul. We know these people as well as we know our real friends (sorry, I know they’re real, I mean our non-Ambridge friends). When something out of the ordinary happens, as it does so rarely in Borsetshire as in life, we want them to behave as we know they would do, from our long and sometimes dreary study of their personalities. There’s nothing more frustrating than following a series in which people behave out of character simply to serve some ridiculous plot-twist.

This episode  was sheer class and rang true in every particular (apart from what Alice and Christopher see in each other, other than both being as boring as a wet weekend in Penny Hasset). Susan’s chavvy excitement at marrying into the Aldridges, Jennifer’s horrified snobbish wail of despair, and Brian reacting with urbane upperclass calm, pointing out that at least they’d saved on the cost of the wedding. Ooh it were marvellous.

After all these turgid weeks of Brenda, Kate, Kathy, Jude, bees, graffiti, New Zealand campers and the appalling village fete, when some of us were ready to hang  up our radios, how blessed we are. Yes, it’s manipulative: like a Vegas fruit machine that mostly sneers at you but very occasionally pays up with three strawberries, the Archers sucks you in and keeps you hanging around on the off-chance that a jackpot will come up. Last night, thank goodness, it did.

Posted by Qwerty. Listen to this episode here though be quick.

Read more posts about the Archers here.


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6 responses to “The Archers: Episode of the Year

  1. inkface

    I loved the detail about the Vegas wedding chapel they chose having (relatively) clean carpets. It was smell-o-radio at that point for me.

  2. Fanoflinda

    Dear querty I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist writing a piece on this one. So nice to know that the Archers writers don’t shy away from the realities of the great class divide.

    Have to say Christopher and Alice are a more likely couple than Neil and Shula. It’s all relative.
    The next episode when Susan tries to give Jenny a hug and Peggy reminds Jenny of their roots is also wonderful.

  3. DrTrickCyclist

    Blimey! Neil and Shuaargh. Bet they were a cheery duo.

    FOL you are right that the Archers does have some form in the area of shenanigans across class boundaries. Those Archer/Aldridge girls do like a bit of rough once every 25 years or so.

  4. itsnanatime

    Blimey! Nigel! it should have been Helen, but they have already dealt with John’s death so too much to deal with daughter popping her clogs. Thought it might have been the ‘cain and Able story line of the Grundy boys , but no, poor old Nigerl, one can only assume that he has had more tantisling offers elsewhere so needs to move obn, albeit from the roof top of his stately home.

  5. seetay

    Why, out of the myriad of expendable characters do we have to choose the ‘nicest guy on the block’? I can only hope that previous bloggers are right and that he has a better offer out there somewhere. I truly regret the departure of dear Nigel.

  6. F M Fan

    Why does the Archers keep killing its residents. Hardly any one is allowed to just move away somewhere quieter. Nigel was a great character,he should not have been killed,it would be rather chalenging to bring him back .