Belfast Telegraph

Archers plot leaves fans waiting

Fans of BBC Radio 4's The Archers, which celebrated its 60th anniversary on Sunday, will need to wait until the next episode for the knife-edge twist promoters have been promising.

Set in the fictional village of Ambridge, in the fictional county of Borsetshire, in the real English Midlands, the popular show about every day country folk is followed by around five million listeners.

Sunday's episode, which was promoted as having "a shocking storyline", ended with the character Nigel Pargetter, who owns and manages the stately home Lower Loxley Hall, being blown off a roof after losing his footing while attempting to remove a New Year banner.

Earlier on, shop manager and cheese maker Helen Archer gave birth to a baby birth by emergency caesarean section after she was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.

Dozens of listeners posted comments on the show's website message board afterwards, speculating whether the show was the cliff-hanger it was promised to be.

One listener posted: "That was pants".

A very disappointed viewer wrote: "I thought it was supposed to 'shake Ambridge to the very core'? I have to say I am truly disappointed. It was obvious it was going to be either Lizzy or Nigel who got hurt for days now... and once Nigel started prancing around on the roof like a goon I stopped listening. I've been waiting for that episode for ages, and I am desperately gutted!"

Editor Vanessa Whitburn has urged listeners to stay with the programme, maintaining the town of Ambridge will never be the same again following Monday's episode.

Refusing to say if Nigel lives or dies, she said: "All will be revealed in the (next) episode, when events will have a profound impact on Ambridge and central characters and it will go on affecting them in 10 years' time."

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