The Archers’ Patricia Greene celebrates 60 years of playing Jill Archer
The actress is celebrating 60 years of being on The Archers.
The editor of popular BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers has said there will “always be stories” for the character Jill Archer, who today celebrates 60 years of being on the show.
The character of Jill, often described as the “lynchpin” of Ambridge life, has been played by actress Patricia Greene since July 25 1957.
The 60th anniversary celebration also sees Greene claim the honour of being the longest-serving continuous actor on The Archers, the BBC confirmed.
Editor Huw Kennair-Jones, who took over at the helm of the Radio 4 show last year, said as far as storylines for Jill go, “the world is her oyster”.
He told the Press Association: “I can’t give away what’s going to happen, but what I will say is, we kind of take her back to where it all began. There are always stories for Jill, she’s such an integral part of The Archers landscape.
“She’s right at the heart of it, so we’re always finding stories for her in different things.”
In recent weeks listeners have heard Jill find herself back on the premises of the job she held when she first appeared in The Archers.
Greene’s character made her debut as an assistant in a department store, demonstrating electrical products.
Jill’s first words, according to the official Archers website, were: “And now I’ll show you the fifteenth use to which this very versatile little household gadget can be put.”
It was while working in the store that Jill caught the eye of Phil Archer. The couple ended up being married in the soap for 52 years, during which time Jill became a mother of four children and grandmother – so far – of seven.
Hailing Greene’s “brilliant” acting skills, Kennair-Jones said the character has been a good mirror for the changing lives of women in Britain.
“Over 60 years there’s been a lot of change in the village – how women are seen and portrayed – and she’s been through all of that.
“Looking back at things that happened in the 1950s, that a farmer’s wife was doing, what’s interesting is it’s completely different from things in 2017. But there are things that are also the same.
“At the moment, Jill’s story is about her activism, but that’s not a completely new thing for her.
“She’s been very quietly standing up for the rights of the countryside, as well as women’s rights in a brilliant way, all the way through.”
The latest episodes of The Archers have seen Jill taking a stand against food waste and volunteering at a cafe that serves leftovers to people in need.
In a nod to her character’s past, the cafe was based in the same building that housed the department store in which Jill worked in 1957.