“Archers addicts” are up in arms
BBC Radio 4’s The Archers is an institution and its devoted following object to those who mess with it at their peril.
First, in February, Nigel Smith, the interactive editor for the official website for The Archers, announced that their message board would be closing down. This was a hub for listeners and with some 120,000 of them logging in each week, many complained that the decision was an “insult to their most loyal customers”.
Now, a favourite character in the show, Clarrie Grundy, has become yet another bone of contention. Originally played by Heather Bell, from 1979 to 1988, the role was transferred to Fiona Mathieson and then Rosalind Adams. Ms Bell has recently reclaimed her position as the long-suffering of Eddie and mother to Will and Ed and though welcomed by some the change has attracted criticism such as:
“Please return Clarrie, it’s not the same – she is trying to sound like the other one, and it does not work”.
Frankly, though, what’s more worrying is that the “new” Clarrie has a twang of Pam Ayres about her. We can assure the BBC, that’s truly what’ll have the listeners tuning out.
Matthew – to clarify about 120,000 users log on to The Archers website each week. Fewer than a thousand commented on the message each week.