The Archers

A blast of restorative air: comedian Mark Steel. Photo: In Pictures Ltd./ Corbis/ Getty Images

The attempt to bring back topicality to Ambridge has been far too effective

2 February 2019 9:00 am

It’s becoming clear that the travails afflicting all the major players in The Archers, Radio 4’s flagship drama, are intended…

Michelle Obama during the 2008 Democrat primaries. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Is Michelle Obama a secret Archers fan?

24 November 2018 9:00 am

I wonder what Michelle Obama, the former First Lady who remade that role in her own image, would make of…

The Maze Prison in 2006. Photo: REX/ Shutterstock

What are the writers of The Archers trying to achieve with the Freddie Pargetter story?

27 October 2018 9:00 am

‘I’m not here to rehabilitate,’ says Pamela, who teaches creative writing to prisoners in Northern Ireland. She doesn’t think of…

‘Sorted’ has always had connotations of menace

17 February 2018 9:00 am

My heart leapt up on Newport station, an unusual place for that to happen, when I heard a recorded announcement:…

The real bloody legacy of Partition

5 August 2017 9:00 am

As Europe remembers Passchendaele, India and Pakistan recall Partition, just 70 years ago, when Britain so hastily abandoned its Indian…

Digital is taking away one of the treasured aspects of radio: its serendipity

31 December 2016 9:00 am

It’s been a turbulent year, and not just in the outside world. Inside radio, digital is changing not just when…

An abuse of The Archers

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Why is everyone reacting to the Helen and Rob storyline as though they were real people?

I fear it's curtains for The Archers if the editor continues to chase ratings so desperately

10 September 2016 9:00 am

Such a hoo-ha about The Archers this week as Helen faces trial by jury — and, much worse, has to…

Why Elena Ferrante doesn’t work on radio

6 August 2016 9:00 am

It’s a brave dramatist who would seek to adapt for radio the hit novels of the Italian writer Elena Ferrante.…

The Archers v the cricket: which was the more dramatic?

9 April 2016 9:00 am

It was a toss-up on Sunday between the atmosphere in the Radio Five Live Sports Extra studio in Kolkata for…

Spectator letters: The EU was never designed to be a democracy

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Democracy or bureaucracy Sir: Professor Garton Ash makes a scholarly appeal for us all to be content with government from…

Why Archers fans are raising funds to save Helen

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Archers listeners are so obsessed with the soap’s domestic abuse storyline that they have set up a real-life charity appeal

Is Radio 4 encouraging us to overshare?

13 February 2016 9:00 am

Much ado about Radio 4’s latest venture into the new smart world of aural selfies. Reaction Time, on Thursday mornings,…

How The Archers tried to derail the launch of ITV

26 September 2015 8:00 am

Two significant anniversaries, each very different but both reflecting the BBC’s mission and the reasons for its continued success. From…

Why wasn’t there more about the other faiths over Easter on the BBC?

11 April 2015 9:00 am

There was no shortage of Easter music and talks across the BBC networks with a sunrise service on Radio 4…

Radio is the best way to mug up on the classics

21 March 2015 9:00 am

If ever I found myself at a pretentious literary party obliged to play David Lodge’s ‘Humiliation’ game and to confess…

What it’s really like to live in India today - stressful

14 March 2015 9:00 am

After a month cooped up in a Scottish castle, no internet, no TV, and no radio, watching hectic snowflakes billowing…

Why Serial is the future of radio

3 January 2015 9:00 am

The fuss may now be over, the last episode of Serial revealed. But if the global success of WBEZ Chicago’s…

Test cricket and the Archers are both in deep trouble

1 November 2014 9:00 am

Lions and weasels The Archers and Test cricket: words you rarely find in the same sentence and more’s the pity…

A compendium to match Radio 4: boring, but somehow gripping

11 October 2014 9:00 am

When you think about it, Radio 4 is mostly a pile of old toss. Money Box qualifies as an anaesthetic,…

Warhol’s ‘time capsules’ contain everything from toenails to previously unseen paintings worth millions

13 September 2014 9:00 am

‘I don’t know what I think,’ says Lenny Henry, echoing what many of us who were listening were probably also…

Ambridge recovers its sense of humour — finally

23 August 2014 9:00 am

‘Isn’t that charming!’ Carol declares at the height of the great Home Farm cocktail party, after being subjected to Jennifer’s…

The Archers hit a new low by letting Tom dump Kirsty at the altar

3 May 2014 9:00 am

Did you hear those bloodcurdling screams from Kirsty? Those long-drawn-out wails that echoed horrifically through the ancient walls of St…

BBC radio gets Easter right

19 April 2014 9:00 am

Given the decline of Christian belief in the UK, it’s surprising to discover there’s quite so much about the Easter…

Two women, ages 94 and 83, completely own The Archers

25 January 2014 9:00 am

You might think the main storyline in The Archers is all about Helen’s affair with dastardly Rob. (What does she…