Wednesday, 15 January 2014

All Change In Ambridge

“There’s something wrong here,” I said to Bob one night last week, “Tony Archer doesn’t sound quite right” Indeed he didn’t – because the actor has changed. After more than 40 years in the role, Colin Skipp has retired on health grounds, and his role has been taken over by David Troughton. [below Colin left, David right] The change was effected very quickly, and I missed the announcement, so was quite caught out by the new voice.

tony archer - skipptony archer-torughton

I suppose it is easier to change actors in a radio soap when you don’t actually see them – and in a few months time, Archers Addicts like myself will have adjusted to the new voice. David Troughton is a well known actor – son of Patrick, who played Dr Who #2, he has appeared in quite a lot of TV stuff, and comes from a family of actors, his brother Michael and son Sam are also in the business.

Colin Skipp is 74 [10 years older than the character he has played for so long] and well deserves retirement and time with his family. His mother in the soap is played by June Spencer, who is 94 [yes 94!] She was in the original pilot programme, and is still there! She took a break from the role from 1953-1962, when she and her [real] husband adopted two children. Another lady took her role for a decade, then she came back! In Ambridge, she has just been widowed for a second time by the death of husband Jack Woolley. I felt the script writers handled the problems of Alzheimer’s Disease very sensitively.

peggy and jack

magnetJust lately I have been quite busy, so I haven’t kept up with the goings on in the village as assiduously as in the past. 

But I still think this radio soap beats any of the TV ones.

The Archers is like Marmite – you either love it or hate it.



  1. Father and son both taking over a role from a previous actor - don't suppose that happens very often. You'll get used to it - us Doctor Who fans have been coping with it for years!!!!

  2. Hate Marmite but love The Archers!!

  3. I love the Archers and have been a fan, on and off for thirty years.
    I was dismayed when the re-timed the lunchtime repeats from 1.45 to 2.00pm a few years ago, which meant I could no longer listen to it in the car in my lunch hour. Now though, I have my podcasts to be able to catch up any time I like and need never miss an episode!

    I actually think that the new Tony isn't quite right - he has a distinctly northern accent, whereas the old Tony was more "middle England", but I expect I'll get used to it, like I got used to the new Clarrie not long ago.

    I agree that the demise of Jack was handled very well, also some of the earlier problems he caused for Peggy. The BBC are good at that sort of thing, on the whole.

  4. I always have Radio 4 bubbling away in the background so tune in and out of the Archers. Anybody with a Northern accent has my vote, no matter how faint northern it is.

  5. I'm afraid I slot very securely into the 'Hate' side of the equation - when I was first pregnant with my eldest and coming home from work in that totally exhausted state that early pregnancy bestows on you (how can something so tiny so completely wear you out?) I would arrive back from a very busy job to my first floor flat and head for my bedroom for a nap before thinking about making dinner. My neighbour in the flat below me was a lovely elderly lady but was extremely hard of hearing and my restorative nap was rudely interrupted so many times by the Archers tune blaring up through her ceiling that even 22 years later the sound of those opening bars still makes me feel physically sick - have never actually listened to the programme as I can't get past the signature tune


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