Donald MacInnes: Peggy Woolley has my admiration after sticking with The Archers for so long

 

I must congratulate veteran Archers star June Spencer, who has been awarded a lifetime achievement statuette at the BBC Audio Drama Awards.

Never having listened to The Archers, all I can do is report (hopefully accurately) that the 94-year-old actress plays Peggy Woolley and has been part of the Radio 4 soap since it was first launched back in 1951, when dinosaurs bestrode the Earth.

Peggy received her accolade from BBC director general Tony Hall at a ceremony in Broadcasting House in London last Sunday.

The one down-side was the fact that the ceremony was hosted by Lenny Henry, a comedian who was funny six or maybe seven times in the eighties and who now advertises budget motorway hotels.

Whose idea was that? Lenny Henry? Seriously? Surely June deserved better. Surely her years of service to the dung-themed radio show deserved a host she admired; if not that, then one she had actually heard of. Off the top of my head, I would suggest Paul Hollywood. The silver-maned flour arranger is massive with the grey pound, and the twinkley-eyed charmer not only looks the part but also knows his way around a dropped scone – the importance of which to ladies of an advanced age cannot really be overstated. Then there is Aled Jones. Or your man Titchmarsh? Or Giles Brandreth? Surely any one of these would have been better than Lenny Henry?

However, in spite of the disappointing choice of master of ceremonies, I'm sure Ms Spencer had a wonderful day and good luck to her for the next 50 years. Personally, I couldn't stick with the same job for 63 years. I get bored halfway through buttering toast, so I can't imagine myself going to the same place of work for all those decades.

Last year, the Centre for Health and Sciences published a table showing the average length of time people in various countries spend in their job. Top of the list was Greece, with the typical worker spending a terrifying 13 years in the same job. What this says about the psyche of Greek people in unclear. The most transient workers in the industrialised world are apparently found in the United States, with the average American worker staying in the same job for just four years. Britain comes second bottom of the table, with its workers only changing jobs every 8.25 years.

Personally, although doing the same job for nigh-on a decade scares me, it's the repetition involved in getting to work which really makes me shudder. What we do (especially in this line of work) changes every day, so the job is never quite the same. What doesn't change, though, is the daily commute. Thank heaven for Honda, then, which made my scooter, meaning I needn't use London's rage-inducing public transport. I'll bet Peggy Woolley would have packed in The Archers in about 1954 if she had to get to work on the Tube.

Twitter.com/DonaldAMacInnes

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

    £350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

    Chief Financial Officer

    120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...

    IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

    £24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?