David Blunkett bemoans disappearing characters on The Archers

The former Home Secretary is a lifelong listener of the BBC Radio 4 soap

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The Independent Culture

David Blunkett has complained that characters are disappearing from The Archers at such a rate that Ambridge will soon become a ghost village.

The former Home Secretary, a lifelong listener of the BBC Radio 4 agricultural soap, wrote in the Radio Times: “Under new management – new editor, new writers – I fear that The Archers is on the verge of becoming the disappearing soap. Coronation Street and EastEnders must be rubbing their hands. The cast of The Archers seem to have an invisibility cloak ”

Mr Blunkett argued: “The dominant family in the village of Ambridge is the Archers – or at least they were. For, one by one, the family, by death or disgrace, and finally the threat of a new road, have found themselves dismissed from the plot.”

He cited characters ranging from Tom Archer, banished to Canada to Roy’s sister Brenda, who “took herself off to Russia”. Accidents were a favoured ploy of the scriptwriters to remove a character from the drama.

Mr Blunkett said: “I fear for the central family of The Archers, David and Ruth Archer, who farm the historic land carefully nurtured by grandfather Dan and David’s parents, Phil and Jill. Are David, Ruth and Jill on the edge of being definitively written out?...The Archers – RIP.”