The Archers is not just ‘entertainment’ – this week’s abuse storyline has done a public service

The series has proved time and time again it’s not afraid to tackle tough issues in a way that has a far greater impact with the audience than TV soaps

Janet Street-Porter
Saturday 06 July 2019 10:03
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John Rowe plays Jim Lloyd in ‘The Archers’
John Rowe plays Jim Lloyd in ‘The Archers’

BBC Radio 4’s The Archers is much more than just a cosy story of country folk. The long-running radio drama can meander through dreary patches with some frankly irritating characters, but every now and then it scores a huge bullseye.

The series has proved time and time again it’s not afraid to tackle tough issues in a way that has a far greater impact with the audience than TV soaps, because stories are told through the intimate medium of radio.

When the character of Helen was the victim of controlling behaviour at the hands of her husband Rob, the slow build-up to the explosive conclusion became a major talking point. As a result, domestic abuse helplines received thousands of calls from people recognising the behaviour.

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