Tag Archives: Ed

The Archers: Shaken to the core

High Priestess Whitburn says 'Let's shake it up, baby'. Photo from the Guardian.

For an update after the Big Event, click here

Since High Priestess Vanessa Whitburn announced that there would be a special sixtieth anniversary episode on January 2nd, the world has been abuzz with anticipation (it says here in this BBC press release that I’m copying this from). Ambridge will be SHAKEN TO THE CORE apparently. Well shiver me timbers and pour us another sherry Marjorie. I have managed to avoid the message board speculation, which uses the acronym SATTC to refer to this topic, in order to bring you my unadulterated (apart from the sherry) thoughts on what these possible Ambridge Shaking Events might be.  Apologies if they’re all wildly unoriginal and have been bandied about already across the internet, though I don’t know why I’m apologising because I don’t actually care. The only clues I have permitted myself are Herself’s own words that two storylines are involved: ‘one running and one new surprise.’

In Category One, the most obvious Core-Shaking Storyline currently running is Hell-en and her increasingly criminal behaviour. If ever a pregnant woman was asking to be pushed down the stairs it was this one. Possible core-shakers include:

  • Tony finally growing a pair and strangling Hell-en with that godwaful-sounding butterfly mobile. The clue is that it ‘hangs from the ceiling’ – this has been mentioned several times – so he could easily make it look like suicide.
  • Ian finally realising that Hell-en is an evil succubus and poisoning her with the much-referred to white spirit he borrowed from Robert Snell.
  • Hell-en miscarrying, though I really don’t think the writers will go down this route, for reasons too complicated and frankly dull to go into here (if you’re interested I can send you my lengthy ‘Why Hell-en’s baby will survive’ treatise, £2.99 plus p&p).
  • Hell-en going into premature labour. The baby’s health hangs in the balance for a few nail-biting weeks before the little fighter slowly gets stronger and stronger, though sadly not strong enough to cope with the ultimate horror of being parented by Hell-en.

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The Archers: Beyond an Artichoke

Waaaah! I just found out that Hell-en is my mother.

I have a strange sense of déjà vu from when Shula was preggers with the uncharming Daniel. During that time, which surely went on for considerably longer than the regulation nine months, my default position was to yell, ‘That’s just TOO MUCH SODDING INFORMATION’ at the radio. I now find myself doing exactly the same, whenever Hell-en pops up to tell us earnestly about the triple-test, the pros and cons of water birth, or the position she fancies giving birth in (I guess she feels she’s owed an interesting position, having missed out on one to conceive the sprog). At least I can shout at the radio or pop outside for a brief sob. Poor Kirsty, Hell-en’s main confidante, has no option but to listen. It’s no wonder something snapped the other day and she came over all sarky and abrasive.

‘I had to talk to the midwife about a birth plan’, simpered Hell-en. ‘Ooh, a plan’, sneered Kirsty, her voice dripping in contempt, ‘Bet you liked that!’

Hell-en laughed uncertainly, then started banging on about tests for Down’s Syndrome.

‘What would you do if the tests showed up positive?’ Kirsty asked, bluntly. ‘It’s very unlikely’, Hell-en blustered.  ‘Yes’, insisted newly stroppy Kirsty, ‘But what if it WAS?’  ‘I’d have the baby anyway of course’, smarmed Hell-en.

As this exchange took rather a long time, and seemed to be sign-posted in big purple capital letters, it made me suspect the Hell-en pregnancy storyline will be filled with uncertain test results and all the resulting issues of the day: what if your result is a bit iffy? Should you have an amniocentesis? What are the stats for younger women having babies with Down’s? Will Hell-en be more or less insufferable if her baby has a disability?

Poor us. Poor baby. And poor, poor Kirsty.

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