21 Facts About The Archers


Partly established with the aim towards educating farmers following World War II, The Archers soon became a popular source of entertainment for the population at large, attracting nine million listeners by 1953.

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The Archers is set in the fictional village of Ambridge in the fictional county of Borsetshire, in England.

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Unlike some soap operas, episodes of The Archers portray events taking place on the date of broadcast, allowing many topical subjects to be included.

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The Archers actors are not held on retainers and usually work on episodes for a few days a month.

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The Archers kept his role secret from his patients, for fear of losing their respect, until his retirement from medicine in March 2017.

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Originally produced with collaborative input from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, The Archers was conceived as a means of disseminating information to farmers and smallholders to help increase productivity in the Postwar era of rationing and food shortages.

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The Archers originally centred on the lives of three farmers; Dan Archer, farming efficiently with little cash, Walter Gabriel, farming inefficiently with little cash, and George Fairbrother, a wealthy businessman farming at a loss for tax purposes.

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The short tenure of two successive The Archers editors led to concerns of a trend of radio drama editing being seen as "training ground" for higher-paid positions in TV.

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The Archers effectively swapped roles with Jeremy Howe when she succeeded him as the BBC's commissioning editor for drama and fiction and he started as editor of the Archers in late August 2018.

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One of the most controversial The Archers episodes was broadcast on 22 September 1955, coinciding with the launch of the UK's first commercial television station.

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The Archers is cited in Guinness World Records as the longest-serving actor in a single soap opera.

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The Archers reached its 60th anniversary on 1 January 2011 and to mark this achievement, a special half-hour episode was broadcast on Sunday, 2 January, on BBC Radio 4 from 7pm.

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The Archers has been broadcast in countries outside the UK, in particular in New Zealand from inception until September 1982, when Radio New Zealand decided not to continue purchasing episodes.

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Theme tune of The Archers is called "Barwick Green" and is a maypole dance from the suite My Native Heath, written in 1924 by the Yorkshire composer Arthur Wood.

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The Sunday omnibus broadcast of The Archers starts with a more rustic, accordion-arranged rendition by The Yetties.

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The theme for BBC Radio 4 Extra's The Archers spinoff, Ambridge Extra, is a version arranged by Bellowhead.

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The Archers then went on to show how similar it is to "Montagues and Capulets" – "Dance of the Knights" – from Romeo and Juliet by Sergei Prokofiev, claiming that this was a result of Russian spies going through the BBC's rubbish bins looking for the scripts.

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The Archers Addicts was the official body, run by members of the cast.

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The Archers Anarchists was formed sometime later, objecting to the "castist" assumptions propagated by the BBC, and claiming that the characters are real.

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Academic The Archers, founded in 2016, is a community of fans who share an academic approach to the programme.

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The Archers was the model for the Russian radio soap opera Dom 7, Podyezd 4, on which the former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, once made a cameo appearance.

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