“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.
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.
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.