In 2001, I co-wrote The Archers Encyclopaedia. As we edited and compressed a vast amount of information to fit the word count, the value of the archive impressed itself on me again.
What grieved me was the neglect of this potential Tutankhamun’s tomb of information. Some of its treasures do, it’s true, make it on air – everything from the reason for Shula and Usha’s latent mutual resentment, to Lynda’s previous battles over footpaths. But thousands more little gems are buried away: unless I excavated them they might simply be forgotten.
Perhaps you could have lived without knowing that Bert and Freda Fry bought their Ewbank carpet sweeper together when Argos first opened in Felpersham, but as the Howard Carter of The Archers, I feel I have a duty to bring it to your attention. Want to know the design of the floral carpet that graced St Stephen’s one year? It’s in the book, complete with a sort of ‘paint-by-numbers’ illustration of the red cow of St Modwena. Interested in the varieties of soup served at Brookfield harvest picnics? See Page 111.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
On the Writers' Guild website, Archers writer Jo Toye explains how her passion for the programme led her to write the first ever ‘Miscellany’ of the show.