The Archers – January 2011

Naturally, this month has been dominated by the repercussions from Nigel’s death – both in Ambridge, and in real life as well. The outpouring of indignation from Archers listeners is quite incredible, with some even going so far as to demand a rewrite for Nigel to be reinstated.

I can understand some of the anger – previous Ambridge deaths have coincided with real-life, with the death of the actor playing Phil Archer, and the ill-health of the actor playing Sid Perks. Nigel’s untimely demise was specifically written in to the story, for no reason other than to shake up the village. On the other hand, it is a fictional village where everything is written anyway. Even if you have grown up listening to these characters for thirty years, that doesn’t change the fact that… well, change happens.

It’s tricky. I can see both sides. I’m not going to stop listening like many comments I have seen declare, and equally I don’t expect Nigel to be written back in.

It has been a bleak January in Ambridge, with the entire Archer clan gathering to support Elizabeth in every possible way. From organising the funeral, to covering Nigel’s work, Lower Loxley has been at the heart of the story this month, and I don’t have much else to say about it.

Elsewhere in Ambridge, Clarrie finally had her cast off her wrist, allowing her to return to work before Vicky got too comfortable in the dairy. I am glad that Vicky was there, just so that she and Susan could have the gossipy moment about why Ian gets a namecheck with Helen’s baby. We’re all wondering! It’s killing me that Helen is all goodness and light now. I’m sure being a mother changes you, but it can’t suddenly make you an angel when you’ve spent the last year being quite awful to everyone around you.

I blame everyone around her too. Ian said: “This wee man makes up for everything.” How is that possible? Well done Helen, you have brought a life into the world. All your sins are forgiven. We don’t mind that you were a complete cow before, because you figured out how to procreate.

It won’t last long, I’m sure.

The light relief this month came from Joe Grundy, who was running about hugging trees and planting mistletoe. Brenda turned 30, with Tom panicking that Vicky would put her foot in it with regards to babies and planning for the future. For a change, Vicky did nothing of the sort! Emma is still jealous that Nic is the golden daughter-in-law these days, whilst Ruth is struggling to keep things together at the farm without David there. It was a somewhat nice moment when David finally gave in and allowed Kenton to take charge of organising the wedding function at Lower Loxley. My guess is it won’t lead to much more free time for David, though.