Fri Feb 21, 2020 London

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Luxury and the arts From houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Upping The Archers

Matthew Steeples suggests those criticising ‘The Archers’ to have lost the plot


Those branding The Archers “more sexist than Bond” have lost the plot.


This radio soap is something loved and loathed in equal measure, yes, but in its 18,000 episodes it has covered everything from farming to gay marriage to drug crime.


Ambridge, as with Hyacinth Bucket in Keeping Up Appearances, features characters we can all relate to. Everybody knows a gossip like Susan Carter; each and every one of encounters snobs of the Jennifer Aldridge vintage and how can one not love the gin soaked brilliance of Lillian Bellamy?


To suggest that only one-third of The Archers’ audience met the test of “requiring two women to engage in dialogue about something other than a man for longer than just 30 seconds” is just ridiculous.


The Archers is, in my view, something of sheer brilliance. Its pithy and to the point 15 minute episodes bring joy to its devoted listeners – myself included – and its critics should pipe down or be sentenced to a visit from Peggy Wooley’s vicious cat, Hilda Ogden.


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1 comment on “Upping The Archers”

  1. Well said. Like millions of Ex Pats around the world, the Archers is my lifeline to the homeland. Long may it prosper and long may its characters continue to irritate and annoy. Just like Parliament, it is uniquely English.

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