TV Cream

Radio 4: The Programmes

Archers, The

Eddie Grundy 'mixing' his albumINHERITED from an earlier age of radio (first heard on The Home Service in 1950), but the nauseatingly jolly strains of Barwick Green infested most if not all Cream-era childhoods, plus it was heavily bigged up (albeit ironically) by the likes of John Peel and The Goodies, so in it goes. Saga Of Everyday Country Folk joined in the throes of unlikely Swinging Sixties bandwagon-jumping, with a commune of hippies causing Village Green-based consternation, whizzed through daring coverage of single parentdom, discovery of evolutionarily crucial tropical debris, phone box vandalism, a rock festival, newsroom intrigue, catastrophic effects of Thatcherism, and Walter Gabriel saying something incoherent, all of it bolstered by the most predictable ‘unlikely’ celebrity cameos ever and mostly caught by chance in a ‘guilty pleasure’-stylee while you were waiting for something else to come on the radio.



  1. Glenn Aylett

    July 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    It has a fanbase equally as devoted as that which watches Coronation St, but to me the theme music is the best thing and seems to smack of a more innocent age.

  2. Marconi

    February 7, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    After hearing pop-aristocrat Stephen Fry fawning over it, one tries to listen and engage, but one inevitably falls asleep.

  3. Barbersmith

    March 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Turned from agreeable Sunday-morning listening to utter garbage with astonishing rapidity.

  4. Jaysee

    December 23, 2015 at 7:02 am

    You are so right, Barbersmith, but having found the Archers again via the internet after many years in the antipodes I listen, cringe a bit, and listen some more.

  5. Joanne Gray

    April 1, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    A fake episode of the Archers can be heard in one of the scenes in pre-Middle Earth Peter Jackson comedy gore fest Braindead, so I’m thinking it’s popular with ex-pats in the colonies?

  6. Glenn Aylett

    December 7, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    It pioneered the soap omnibus well over a decade before Eastenders and was the first five day a week soap decades before ITV thought of showing Emmerdale five days a week. Of course, Archers fans would never watch such programmes and would consider their show a continuing drama than a soap opera.

  7. richardpd

    December 7, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    I like the version of Barwick Green used for the omnibus edition.

    My Dad used to be an avid listener but gave up after too many unbelievable plot-lines & missing a months worth while on a long holiday.

    Crossroads was 5 episodes a week at first, but later cut down to 4 then 3 episodes to try & shore up the quality.

    • Glenn Aylett

      December 8, 2019 at 11:25 am

      Crossroads and quality, not something to be said in the same sentence, but the programme was honest trash and had some ridiculous plotlines like a cleaner being mistaken for a Russian spy. To me, The Archers is like the old version of Emmerdale done on the radio and equally boring.

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