Now call me cynical.........I haven't heard it yet but........I have a prediction about the Ambridge Extra which is due to go to air on BBC Radio 4 Extra this morning. Now the Archers, for those that don't know, is “an everyday story of country folk” charting the lives of a variety of characters in the fictitious village of Ambridge. Whilst it is not in anyway a true reflection of country life, they do go to some lengths to have strong farming story lines and point up some of the challenges that people in rural locations face.
However, what it doesn't have is a cast of characters that are reflective of a London Centric Metropolitan demographic. This has clealry always rankled with the London Centric Metropolitan powers that be at Auntie and they have tried to introduce characters and story lines that are more in keeping with their dinner party friends. This has generally been met with a resounding raspberry from the programmes loyal followers who have endured this to make it the longest ruining radio soap in the world.
The recent 50th anniversary “shocking” death of Nigel Pargetter was, in some people view an effort to make the characters less “posh”. The programme has become increasingly “yoof” focussed with increasing emphasis on younger characters and their rather trite stories which has done it no favours – but it is still just about bearable
Well I will take bets on the fact that the Archers Extra is going to be a stealth attack on the show by the metropolitan snoots in the upper reaches of Auntie. The show will, I predict, unremittingly “yoof”, peppered with a much more”diverse” group of characters and will be the long game to make the main show that way to. The promise to focus on the minor characters lives that don't get the attention in the main show will - I suggest - be exclusively under 25.
Now I wonder if there will be incidental music too? :o)