In these times of economic hardship, with stock-markets making regular wall-of-death plummets and unemployment levels making regular, uh, Eiffel Tower climbs, one can’t help but wonder: how do people in The Archers manage for money? Storylines that ring true in financial terms are rarer than hens’ teeth, which Hayley can tell you are pretty rare. This is why I fainted several months ago when Lillian and Matt actually mentioned a figure when discussing house prices; normally The Archers are on the far right of coy when it comes to talking cash.
How are Eddie and Clarrie managing for instance, now Clarrie’s resigned from the dairy? (How clearly you can hear in Pat’s voice her despair that it was Clarrie rather than Susan who’d brought the lergy to Bridge Farm. Her impatience with Susan isn’t thinly disguised so much as out, proud and having a good old day trip.) Anyway, when E&C lost the farm back in the day they were barely clinging on, and Clarrie’s many jobs surely only pay tuppence ha’ppeny. Eddie’s patios and casual work aren’t going to keep the fox from the bin, and nor are Will-yum’s patronising handouts. ‘Oooh Will-yum! That’s too much.’ HOW MUCH IS IT, I cry in vain. From Clarrie’s gasp-levels I estimate maybe £200? But could be anything from a tenner to a grand. Will-yum’s swimming in loot from some legacy so I don’t need to worry about how he copes on his doubtless minimum wage gamekeeper’s salary and Nic’s pin money from the Bull. Talking of the Bull, anyone remember that a few short months ago the pub was on the verge of a precipice, with Jolene planning to sell up, and a campaign to support it and t-shirts and everything? But since Jolene’s been shagging Kenton all that worry seems to have faded away. We’re supposed to imagine that the punters have been brought back by Jolene’s happy post-coital glow. No wonder Kenton’s so blinking smug.