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The Archers

The Archers

By BBC Radio 4

An intense and gripping week of events unfolds in Ambridge. Listen to all the drama here.



Writer, Naylah Ahmed Director, Pip Swallow Editor, Jeremy Howe Josh Archer ...... Angus Imrie Pip Archer ..... Daisy Badger Lilian Bellamy ….. Sunny Ormonde Neil Carter…. Brian Hewlett Susan Carter….. Charlotte Martin Toby Fairbrother ….. Rhys Bevan Eddie Grundy ….. Trevor Harrison Clarrie Grundy ….. Heather Bell Will Grundy ….. Philip Molloy Mia Grundy ….. Molly Pipe George Grundy ..... Angus Stobie Chelsea Horrobin ….. Madeleine Leslay Jim Lloyd ….. John Rowe Jazzer McCreary ….. Ryan Kelly Lily Pargetter ….. Katie Redford Stella Pryor ….. Lucy Speed
29/09/23·13m 5s


Neil and Jazzer talk about Chelsea’s upcoming visit to Berrow Farm off the back of her interest in Lark Rise to Candleford. When she arrives she’s keen to get stuck in, but Jazzer’s protective of the pigs and teaches Chelsea some livestock etiquette. Chelsea’s sad to think of the pigs all going off to the abattoir in a few months. Jazzer cheers her up with a promise of a trip to the Bull. Jazzer’s not looking forward to the book reading tomorrow but concedes to Chelsea that if it’s for the Prof, he supposes it’s ok. He’s horrified to find out that Neil’s been reading bits of the book too – even if it is only the pig-related sections. Neil declares it interesting; Jazzer should have a look. Jazzer retorts that’s not going to happen. Pip and Stella watch the seed drill in action. It may have caused her some heartache to get it, but Stella’s having fun showing it off to Pip. They enjoy a picnic and some flirtation before Stella ventures that she wants to tell Rosie about their relationship. To her surprise Pip agrees; they’ll do it when they get home. Later in the pub Chelsea notices Pip has a glow about her. As they all chat about tomorrow’s book reading, Pip gets a message about an emergency family meeting – Josh’s band has pulled out of the harvest supper event on Saturday. They have no idea what they’re going to do.
28/09/23·13m 4s


Mia feels sorry for George as he packs for his move to The Green. George hates that everything has to be so complicated. Mia admits her own family arrangements took some getting used to, but she quite likes having two homes now. Later when helping Will she agrees to cut George some slack. She gives Will a photo frame, for his future adventures. Susan tries to buoy downcast Emma about Fallon taking the Tearoom management position that she’d hoped for herself. She’ll get where she wants to be eventually. They chat about the Lark Rise reading on Friday, agreeing it will cheer Jim up, who loves the book. Emma’s keen for Susan to do something to mark her sixtieth. Susan wants people not to believe she’s sixty, and maybe do some things that challenge her. Between them they come up with the idea of six things at sixty. Emma confides she feels she’s messed up with George. Her mum counsels all you can do with your children is try to keep them on track. When George moves out, he'll still be in the village, with his dad and Poppy to keep an eye on him. And George will be there for them too. Emma hopes so, for Will’s sake. Later George promises Emma he’ll look after his dad and Emma’s declares she’ll miss George. They hug. George worries everyone’s concern over Will is down to him. Will reassures him. He shouldn’t hang on to his recent bad behaviour. Will hopes this move is good for all of them.
27/09/23·13m 8s


Eddie buys George a drink, reminding him not to be a stranger when George moves out. When Eddie points out that Clarrie will miss having him around, George admits he’ll miss Clarrie’s dinners. George wonders if Clarrie’s worried about how his recent bad behaviour might impact on his dad when they live together. Eddie reassures him; it’s just that they don’t want Will to feel isolated. The family will be there for all of them. Paul wants to thank Chelsea for helping out with harvest supper organisation. Chelsea asks if she can do his hair, as practice. Paul politely declines. Josh tries to explain to Jim that he’s trying to take the harvest supper in a more modern direction. . Jim’s offended, pointing out that Josh isn’t organising Glastonbury. Is Jim to be shoved to the bottom of the bill? Josh says Jim and Kiki’s services won’t be required at all, further insulting Jim. He makes Josh call Kiki to tell her, leaving Kiki in floods of tears. Josh feels terrible and offers to buy Jim a drink, but Jim throws him out. Later Josh reports back to Paul and Chelsea. Chelsea’s indignant on Jim’s behalf, and leaves to check on him. She returns with confirmation that Jim is mortally offended. She notes he was reading Lark Rise to Candleford, like several others in the village. She wonders if they should all get together and read bits of it to each other, in the spirit of community. They’ll cheer Jim up if it’s the last thing they do.
26/09/23·13m 9s


Josh, Paul and Lily debate the dilemma of double-booking entertainment for the harvest supper. Josh is all for cancelling Jim and Kiki and keeping his preference of the Straw Crows. He can’t believe his dad interfered and didn’t trust him to book someone. Lily thinks it would be rude to cancel Jim, and Paul agrees. Josh rejects their suggestion of keeping both bookings – you can’t follow the brilliant Straw Crows with two retirees on a piano. Later Josh wonders whether Lily or Paul might tell Jim he’s not needed. Lily insists he should do it. Josh says he will, when he has time. Will calls at Rickyard with some clothes for Rosie. As Pip sees him out, Stella arrives. She apologises for her reaction yesterday – it’s really none of her business. Pip feels awful that the situation reminded Stella of her ex. Stella acknowledges it’s a lot to take on a child and Toby too. Pip agrees – and she’ll only bring Rosie on board with a relationship if she knows it’s going somewhere. Stella hesitates. Eddie spots that Clarrie’s frenetic baking for Will’s move isn’t just about providing for his family. She’s worried about him and how he’ll cope. Eddie points out it’s been four years since Will’s breakdown. As Eddie’s giving Clarrie a reassuring cuddle they’re interrupted by Will, who susses the situation. He confirms he’s grateful for all their help, but he’s ready for this move. Eddie and Clarrie agree that Will’s going to be alright.
25/09/23·13m 4s


Jazzer and Neil swap grumbles on their respective partners having their noses buried in Lark Rise To Candleford. Emma tells them not to knock it until they’ve tried it. She announces proudly she’s started her English literature course, and Neil comments it’s nice to see her smiling. Emma’s keen to talk about her mum’s upcoming sixtieth. She reckons they can’t let it pass without a big bash. Jazzer remarks that Alistair’s fed up with being the Prof’s personal taxi service. Neil suggests they lend Jim back the Riley, but Jazzer says Jim won’t hear of it. Pip’s not looking forward to telling Toby about Stella – her parents knowing is bad enough. Stella agrees it’ll be weird for a while, but they’ll all get their heads round it. She offers to help Pip tell Toby, but Pip wants to do it herself. When she does so, Toby bombards her with questions and Pip fields them awkwardly. When the penny drops with nonplussed Toby that Stella’s actually there in the cottage, he makes a hasty exit. Stella’s overheard Toby mentioning the night he spent with Pip. Stella thinks it’s a bit weird. She explains she’s been in a similar situation before, and it didn’t work out well. Stella worries Toby will always be the safe space Pip runs to. Later Toby assures Pip he’s pleased for her, and happy her relationship with Stella won’t tread on his role as Rosie’s father. He reckons Pip’s a go getter, and she needs to get Stella. Pip insists the ball’s in Stella’s court.
24/09/23·13m 14s


Emma discovers Natasha never got the email she sent. Natasha suggests Emma joins her at The Bull where she’s meeting Fallon to discuss Tearoom business. Later Fallon accepts the manager’s position. Natasha wants the Tearoom to be completely organic, and Fallon wonders if she’s considered the cost of this. Natasha’s set on it nevertheless. She produces a contract for Fallon, but Fallon’s not signing anything until they’ve hammered out the details around bonuses. Just as Fallon seeks assurance that Emma will retain her job, Emma appears. Natasha announces Emma has a job, and Emma is elated. Her bubble bursts when Natasha goes on to say that Fallon will be her boss, as manager. Devastated Emma excuses herself. Fallon goes after her and attempts to comfort her but Emma doesn’t reveal why she’s upset. Stella checks with Pip that their drink with Ruth and David is definitely still happening. They’re both nervous about it but try to convince themselves that it will be fine. In the Bull, the conversation is stilted and Pip urges her parents to stop being so weird and formal. Ruth explains they’re only acting strange because the situation feels strange. At the bar Pip points out to Stella that Ruth could be feeling this way because it’s like Pip has stolen her friend. Later, Stella forces Ruth to talk and they iron out why it feels uncomfortable. Their friendship is now different, particularly when it comes to Pip. Stella’s hopeful they’ll be fine in a few weeks. They just need to set some boundaries.
22/09/23·13m 15s


Fallon makes a decision, and there’s first day nerves for Freddie.
21/09/23·13m 16s


Josh tells Pip excitedly that his mate’s band, The Straw Crows, are booked to play at the Harvest Supper. He’s been in touch with the violinist. Josh is aware of something going on between Pip and their parents. Pip admits they’ve had words and explains that she and Stella are dating, and she thinks David and Ruth are being weird about it. Fallon’s full of ideas about growing her upcycling and catering businesses. Harrison is confident in her but admits he’s worried about money. Later, Harrison returns to apologise for his attitude earlier. Fallon points out that she supported him when he went part time and she’d like that to be reciprocal. He wants them to think it through before committing. He doesn’t think the catering and upcycling incomes will be enough, at least in the short term. Ruth accepts that she handled talking to Pip about Stella badly. She and David discuss why they don’t feel completely happy about this new relationship. They’re joined by Pip, and Ruth apologises for the way she reacted on Monday. She hopes they can start again. Over a tea break, Ruth, David and Pip clear the air. They invite Stella and Pip for dinner but Pip’s not ready for a formal, family dinner, especially if Jill’s there. Josh joins them and confirms that Harvest Supper arrangements are all in hand. Ruth suggests dinner with Stella at The Bull instead. They settle on just a drink, on the condition that David and Ruth won’t be embarrassing.
20/09/23·13m 9s


Freddie’s glum after another job rejection comes through. Elizabeth says they’re recruiting at Grey Gables, and he could always have work at Lower Loxley but Freddie’s not keen on either. He can’t really see himself back at Grey Gables. Elizabeth looks at his CV. Later, Elizabeth admits to Vince that Freddie’s CV is all over the place. Vince remarks it’s a true reflection of Freddie who doesn’t know what he wants. He suggests offering a job to Freddie again. Elizabeth is grateful to Vince for giving her son a second chance. Freddie snaps up Vince’s offer of a job. Vince warns him that he will have to experience all aspects of an abattoir. It’s hard graft and it isn’t for everyone. Freddie assures Vince and Elizabeth that he’s up for it and thanks Vince profusely. Vince thinks Freddie will be a good worker and Freddie promises not to muck it up. Emma’s touched that George has waited for her to finish work so they can walk home together, but then realises it’s cupboard love. Emma chides George for not starting his packing yet. She doesn’t want him to leave it all to Will who also has Poppy to think about. Emma tells George about what’s planned for the Tearoom. He doesn’t think Fallon turning down the manager job will impact Tom and Natasha, they’ll just find someone else. He encourages his mum to apply for the job. Emma’s worried what Fallon would think but George thinks she’d understand. With George’s positivity, Emma is emboldened to apply.
19/09/23·13m 11s


Fallon’s feeling positive. She’s created a survey for customers. She wants to be on the front foot for when the charging station café opens next summer. Emma tries to get Pip to fill in the survey but she’s distracted by a text message. By the time Tom and Natasha arrive to have a word with Fallon, they’ve gathered some useful feedback from other customers. Fallon’s incredulity grows as Natasha and Tom go through their plans for the Tea Room. They assure her it’s not personal and they hope she’ll consider the manager’s position. Emma is as stunned as Fallon. Emma encourages Fallon to go her own way and not work for the Archers. Fallon is galvanised – she won’t be gratefully accepting Tom and Natasha’s manager job. Emma’s been accepted on to her English Literature course. Fallon reports that Jolene has enjoyed Lark Rise to Candleford on Emma’s recommendation. Emma can imagine it being based on Ambridge hundreds of years ago. Pip tells Ruth that Stella rang her last night. They agree it’s time to talk. Pip explains she hasn’t been ready to tell Ruth and that their new relationship took both Pip and Stella by surprise. Pip challenges Ruth’s response. She thought her mum would be happy for her once she was over the shock but Ruth says it’s not as simple as that. Pip and Ruth talk openly leading to Ruth saying she doesn’t think Stella is right for Pip. Pip puts on a brave face and tells her mum she doesn’t need her approval.
18/09/23·13m 10s


Freddie gives Elizabeth and Vince gifts from Portugal. Elizabeth is pleased to hear his summer around Europe has been a success. Later, Freddie comes clean to Vince that the summer was a disaster. He didn’t manage to get any DJ bookings and he used his credit card for the whole trip. Vince advises to be honest with Elizabeth. Brookfield burgers are selling well at the Flower and Produce Show. David’s hopeful it’ll turn into a confirmed supply contract with Grey Gables. Ruth cringes when she spots Stella. Stella doesn’t know that Usha’s told Ruth she saw Pip and Stella kissing. David agrees they need to talk to Pip as soon as they can. Stella comes to David and Ruth’s aid when they struggle to get Hector the bull to move. Elizabeth recounts the spectacle to Freddie and she consoles him about the DJ-ing not working out. Freddie admits it was so hard to get any work he briefly considered dealing drugs again. But he assures him mum he’d never return to that. He regrets turning down Vince’s previous job offer as he’s now struggling to get any work. David, Ruth and Stella sigh with relief once Hector is back home. Ruth can’t help but turn the conversation to Pip and makes it clear that they know about Stella’s relationship with their daughter. Ruth recalls Stella talking about texting an amazing woman and assumes Stella was dating Pip at the same time. Stella tries to explain but Ruth won’t listen. She’ll speak to Pip directly tomorrow.
17/09/23·13m 12s


Pip’s more convinced that Rosie didn’t see her and Stella kiss. She tells Stella that Ruth thinks her girlfriend is Lottie. They share a kiss and are interrupted by a knock on the door. It’s Usha to collect Jennifer’s tea urn for the Flower and Produce Show. Usha gabbles before quickly departing. Pip knows that Usha never gabbles and is sure she saw them kissing. Jim and Helen bump into one another at the GP surgery. Jim explains he’s there to get a mole checked after a stranger who visited the shop recommended he do so. He expresses his sympathy for everything Helen has been through recently. Helen talks to a locum doctor about her history of an eating disorder and how she’s been feeling recently. The doctor notes Helen’s BMI is low. She gives her some information and suggests they talk again in a couple of weeks. The doctor walks Helen out and calls in Jim. He immediately recognises her as the woman who came into the shop for lunch. She is Dr Malik. As they set up for the Flower and Produce Show, Ruth is desperate to talk to Usha about Pip’s new relationship. Does Pip telling David first suggest she’s wary of what Ruth’s reaction would be? Usha points out it’s only because Ruth and Stella are friends. Ruth corrects Usha – Pip’s girlfriend isn’t Stella, it’s Lottie. Usha says she saw Pip and Usha earlier and they are obviously a couple. Shocked Ruth is stumped as to why they haven’t just told her.
15/09/23·13m 7s


When Lottie suggests setting up Pip with someone she knows, Pip comes clean about her new relationship status. Pip’s relieved to share her news with a friend and explains that her mum knows she’s with a woman but doesn’t yet know it’s Stella. Ruth calls and invites Madison and Lottie over to Brookfield for dinner that evening. Ruth, Pip and Lottie chat over the meal. Pip recommends that Lottie bring Madison along to the Flower and Produce Show even though she and Rosie will be away. Ruth praises Usha’s work on the event. Lottie wants to attend her ex-boyfriend’s engagement party and wonders what to wear. Pip tells her she’ll look great in anything and that she’s beautiful. She seeks agreement from her mum. While Ruth’s out of the room, Lottie flags to Pip that Ruth thinks Lottie is Pip’s girlfriend – she could see sudden realisation on Ruth’s face. Pip says she will explain but not right away. Lottie can see the funny side. Things are tense between Helen and Lee while there’s still no news from the solicitor on Rob’s appeal. Lee’s trying to be nice but Helen doesn’t want to be treated like she’ll break. Lee tells Helen he rang a helpline for eating disorders to get some advice. He wants to do the right thing but doesn’t know what that is. They reconnect as they reflect on the last few months and share a hug. They’ve missed one another. Helen finally gets a call from Dominic – Rob’s application has been denied. It’s over!
14/09/23·13m 11s


Pat gets teary while discussing Flower and Produce preparations with Usha. The event reminds her of Jennifer. With the reappearance of Helen’s eating disorder, Pat really feels the absence of her sister-in-law. Usha comforts her. Helen momentarily joins them and afterwards Pat worries that Helen overheard them talking. Usha assures her that Helen wouldn’t have heard. Helen’s pleasantly surprised to hear from Ian that Grey Gables wants to make a regular cheese order. Ian suggests going to the pub to celebrate. Over their drinks, Helen apologises for rigging the cheese competition. Ian tells her to forget about it – she’s been through a lot and deserves a break. Helen’s still waiting to hear from her solicitor about Rob’s appeal. She’s on edge every time the phone rings. Paul’s unimpressed with Josh’s birthday plan – a drink at The Bull with a few relatives. After Paul presses him to do something bigger, Josh agrees that Paul can invite those who are coming to the pub to see a mate’s band in Felpersham. Once at the venue, Josh is glad Paul forced him to go. He really likes the music as well as the girl playing the violin. Paul encourages him to approach her but Josh doesn’t want to make a fool of himself. When they get home Paul suggests Josh books the band for the Harvest Supper – then he could ask out the violin player. Josh is initially unsure but then goes ahead and messages his friend in the band.
13/09/23·13m 15s


As they score their sheep, Ruth asks David if he thinks Pip’s OK. She’s noticed she’s a bit on edge. David puts Pip’s behaviour down to just being busy. Ruth wonders if Pip has had a row with the woman she’s involved with. Later, after thinking back to Friday at the pub, Ruth wonders if Pip’s new girlfriend is Stella. David isn’t convinced and suggests that Stella is simply supporting Pip. They wonder instead if it could be a mum Pip has met at the school gates. Natasha outlines her and Tom’s proposal for the Tearoom. In order to cash in on Grey Gables making Ambridge more of a destination she thinks it needs to be more aspirational. When Helen’s hesitant about chasing confirmation of Grey Gables using Bridge Farm cheese, Natasha tells her she shouldn’t feel like she’s hassling – it’s just business. Natasha suggests that Fallon and Emma both become Bridge Farm employees rather being independent. Natasha’s confident she can break this news to Fallon. Helen and Pat mull over Natasha’s proposal. Pat understands that change has to happen to not get stuck in the past. Helen doesn’t think Fallon will be happy about it but first they need to know if the proposal is realistic. Pat asks about Helen’s GP appointment. Helen says she plans to cancel it as her usual GP is away and she thinks Pat and Lee are enough support for her. Pat pleads for Helen to get professional help and Helen agrees to go the appointment on Friday.
12/09/23·13m 5s


Helen collects Lee from the airport. He’s full of enthusiasm for California. His spirits quickly sink as Helen fills him in on what happened in his absence. Lee is angry that Helen didn’t tell him over the phone at the time. She explains she wanted to protect him. While stuck in traffic, Helen apologises to Lee, admitting withholding information from him was a mistake. Lee offers Helen an American sweet but she refuses and admits she’s lost her appetite recently. When she realises Pat hasn’t spoken to Lee, Helen says there is something else she needs to tell him. Jim recommends Lark Rise to Candleford to David, but David’s too busy to fit in time to read. He’s feeling overwhelmed by the extra things they’ve taken on. When Jim hears they’re in need of entertainment for the Harvest Supper, he recommends his piano teacher who has an excellent repertoire. On his way out of the shop, David almost knocks over a woman who’s coming in. She confidently warns him to not rush about otherwise he could cause an injury. Jim’s impressed by the woman who just says she’s a bossy type. Jim lends her cutlery and a plate so she can eat the lunch things she’s bought. Later, as he’s closing up, Jim overhears her leaving a cross voicemail. She reveals it’s for her brother to whom she is like a second mother. She returns the plate and cutlery and also advises that Jim goes to the GP to have a mole on his hand checked.
11/09/23·12m 57s


When Pip pops into Brookfield, Ruth suggests she changes her plan of a picnic with Stella and Rosie and joins them for lunch. Pip turns the offer down but then worries to Stella – she’s paranoid they gave away their new relationship on Friday. Pip would hate Ruth to find out before they tell her, but at the same time isn’t ready to tell her mum. Stella makes clear what makes it tricky is that Ruth is Pip’s mum and Stella’s friend. They’re not concerned about Ruth’s attitude to them being in a gay relationship. Over lunch at Brookfield, Paul is stunned to learn that it’s Josh’s birthday this week. He can’t believe Josh hasn’t told him already. Josh insists to Paul and his parents that he has no plans to mark the occasion. Later, as they drive home, Josh complains about Paul showing him up by being the perfect guest. Paul asks Josh why he’s so miserable and Josh admits he’s not looking forward to turning twenty-six. Paul insists that Josh makes a plan and invites people to celebrate. Back from their picnic, Pip panics that Rosie saw her and Stella kissing. Stella’s sure that Rosie’s eyes were closed before she kissed Pip, but Pip’s not so sure. Stella encourages her to try to find out from Rosie what she saw. Pip says she’s never considered how she would talk to her daughter about her meeting someone; she’d just cross that bridge when she came to it. Maybe you’re now at that bridge, replies Stella.
10/09/23·12m 57s


Ruth observes Pip’s making a lot of effort with her make-up for a night at the Bull. She wonders if Pip’s mystery woman’s going to be there. Pip distracts her with more obfuscation. While Ruth’s at the bar Pip thanks Stella for agreeing to come out. She knows it’s awkward. Stella’s just glad to be there. Pip jokes that they should get drunk and tell Ruth the truth about them. She drinks too quickly and almost gives the game away as she declares herself excited and in love – with life. Stella suggests Pip has a sandwich to soak up the alcohol. George teases Brad for drinking apple juice. George reckons Fallon still looks at him sometimes and wonders, which amuses Brad. Fallon and Harrison look pretty happy to him. George then spots two girls. He suggests they go and talk to them. Brad asserts he’s with Mia so he’s not interested; George should go and talk to the one he likes. George brags about his experience. He could advise Brad if Brad told him how far he’s got with Mia. Brad refuses to divulge anything, leaving George guessing. While George talks to one of the girls Brad calls Mia. He wishes he’d blown George out, and he could be with Mia. George returns, reporting the girl he liked was more interested in Brad. George told her Brad was single. Brad’s appalled. Mia arrives and hears Brad saying she’s the best thing that’s happened to him. She reciprocates, to George’s disgust. Brad reckons Mia should stay over at his tonight.
08/09/23·13m 16s


Pat faces an uphill struggle, and there’s sad news at Brookfield.
07/09/23·13m 15s


Mia and Brad meet on a corridor in college. They share a brief kiss and pledge to coordinate some free time together. George calls Brad and accuses him of avoiding George. He asks him to the pub on Friday. Brad agrees, but later Mia asks to see him on Friday too. It’s the only night they’re both free. Brad says he’ll cancel George. He broaches this with George, who accuses him of ditching their arrangement for Mia. Everyone’s giving him a hard time, and he needs a mate at the moment. Since the video he made of Helen, he’s trying to be more respectful. He knows he went too far. So is Brad still going to say no to one night at the pub with him? Chelsea reckons she’d be happy down the pub with family and a few mates for her birthday. She wonders if she’s got boring. Tracy assures her she hasn’t. Chelsea declares she’d like to start driving again. Susan calls round and spots a book of hers propping up the kitchen table. It must have got into the car boot stuff by mistake. It’s Lark Rise to Candleford and she’d like it back. Tracy says she can’t have it until Jazzer’s fixed the table leg, but Susan insists it’s precious to her. They get into a sisterly row. Later with the table fixed, Chelsea’s engrossed in the book. Tracy suggests she might read something easier, but Chelsea wants a challenge. Tracy suggests they both read it – then they’d meet the challenge together.
06/09/23·13m 0s


Pat’s looking after Henry, who’s less than forthcoming about his school day. As they chat Henry receives a text. He assures Pat it’s just a mate – he’s blocked Rob and will never be in touch with him again. Pat assures Henry she trusts him. But his mum doesn’t, counters Henry. He feels bad about the trouble he’s caused, and goes over some of the things Helen said to him in her anger. Pat explains Helen spoke out of turn because she was under pressure. She adores Henry. Henry acknowledges this. Helen returns and is pleased to see Henry happier. She admits she hasn’t told Lee about the incident with Henry and Rob. She’ll tell him when he’s back from America. Pat’s doubtful, but Helen asserts there’s no need to involve Lee until he’s back. Pat concedes that Helen needs to do what she thinks is best. Pat reports her conversation with Henry, and Helen chats with him. She apologises for her harsh words. Henry says he’d never seen her so angry. Helen explains she just wants to keep him, and Jack, safe. Henry gets it, and they hug, bonding over a video game. Unhappy Sykesy tells Ben that Jill’s been to see him and bawled him out for being ungrateful and upsetting Ben. Ben can’t understand how she knew about the situation, but it occurs to Sykesy that he might have told her himself. Contrite, he offers Ben a cheque. Ben thanks him but explains he can’t accept it. Sykesy doesn’t like rules, and tries to give Ben the cheque. But to Ben’s horror he falls and hurts himself.
05/09/23·13m 9s


Susan greets smiling Mia in the shop, who’s come in to buy breakfast for Brad. Spotting Mia also has a flask of coffee with her, she delves for information on their relationship. Stella overhears and scolds Susan good naturedly for her interrogation. When Mia’s gone Stella remarks on how happy she looked. Susan agrees wistfully. There’s nothing like being in love. Later Stella and Pip chat about when they first met, and how far they’ve come. Stella admits to being jealous of Mia’s ‘in love’ feeling. She’d like to take back her recent harsh words to Pip and admits she was wrong to make Pip feel so bad. Stella wonders if they could hang out more and see what happens. Pip would love to see what happens and thanks Stella for giving her a chance. Stella’s just grateful Pip hasn’t told her to get lost. Ben admits to his mum that the residents at The Laurels don’t yet know he’s leaving. Ruth reckons he needs to get on with it, today. Sykesy takes the news badly. He’s cross that Ben didn’t tell him earlier, and accuses him of picking things up and dropping them when he gets bored. Later Ben reports Sykesy’s angry reaction to Ruth. Ruth reassures him but Ben feels bad; no-one comes to see Sykesy and he needed Ben. Ruth worries to Pip that Ben’s still quite vulnerable. Ruth also wonders to Pip whether she’s offended Stella, who she’s finding quite distant. Could Pip do some digging? Sure, no problem, replies Pip.
04/09/23·13m 15s


Pat’s brought a beef bourguignon over to Helen’s, and finds Natasha there keeping an eye on Jack while Helen’s out running. Natasha asks Pat how she thinks Helen’s doing. Pat’s not sure – she’s had an awful few months and the amount of running she’s doing is worrying. Helen confides to Pat later that she feels she’s handled everything badly, and scared Henry. Pat reassures her, and offers to take Jack and Henry for a couple of hours. Helen’s grateful. She suggests Pat takes the bourguignon back with her for the boys. She’s not hungry. Pat insists she keep it. Natasha returns later to retrieve a forgotten toy, and Helen offers her the bourguignon. It would be doing her a favour. Natasha accepts. Brad and Mia have the house to themselves, and Brad’s lined up a selection of films. Mia wants a day off from heavy stuff and wants to watch something cheesy and ‘wish fulfilment’. They make their choice and enjoy the film, sharing some banter and flirtatious compliments. Mia doesn’t want the summer to end. She suggests they go to Brad’s room. Later Brad’s keen to establish that Mia has no regrets. On the contrary, says Mia, she should talk to her dad, and Will, about staying over one night. Brad agrees he’ll talk to his mum, admitting she might worry about contraception. Neither of them are keen to broach this with their parents yet, so they agree to leave those conversations for a bit. There’s no rush.
03/09/23·13m 15s


Oliver asks Lynda to manage a grand ball as part of the relaunch of Grey Gables. Lynda lists the extensive requirements of such a project, which only serves to strengthen Oliver’s case that she’s the woman for the job. Lynda accepts, subject to a non-negotiable fee. She presses Adil for more details of the redesigned site. Adil tries to slow her down as she races ahead with grand plans for the event. He assures her all is in hand when she observes Grey Gables is looking a little bare and shoddy. When Lynda’s gone Oliver shares that a contractor has mentioned delays. Adil’s dismissive – big projects often proceed this way. When Adil queries Lynda’s fee, Oliver asks if there’s a problem with finances. He has a lot invested in the project being a success. Pip and Stella agree last night was fun; they’d like to do it again. Ruth arrives unexpectedly and Pip begs Stella to hide outside. Ruth wonders if she’s interrupted something – the door isn’t usually locked. Pip denies this and changes the subject. Ruth wants her opinion about a cow with mastitis. Pip says she’ll be over once she’s dressed and tidied up and hurries her mum away. Later Pip calls at home farm to try and smooth things with Stella, who’s short with her. She believes hiding her from Ruth was wrong on many levels. Pip denies hiding her; she just thought the situation might be awkward for everyone. Which is why’s it’s best to stop things here, retorts Stella. It’s not going to end well otherwise.
01/09/23·12m 59s


Mia and Brad are pulling ragwort at the rewilding site. Brad relates the events of the wedding. He caught the bouquet. Mia declares she doesn’t believe in marriage. Brad hastily agrees with her. Later Rex reports he’s struggling to convince one of a group of boy scouts to say goodbye to the worms – he’s inspecting them and won’t leave. Brad observes being in a group can be hard sometimes. Mia suggests he has a go at encouraging the boy. Brad succeeds, and grateful Rex doesn’t know what they’d have done without him. Mia thinks Brad was brilliant. She suggests they do something together and they settle on watching a film. Mia wonders if things will be different once term starts – it's been a great summer. She tells Brad he’s special. Pip reports to Rex that Rosie’s having a good time in Cornwall with Toby. Rex beats about the bush before telling Pip she needs to tread carefully with Toby. He’s all over the place at the moment and Rex doesn’t want to see his brother messed around. Pip makes it clear everything that needs to be said to Toby, has been. Pip apologises to Stella for her recent behaviour and hopes they can be more than friends. Stella’s flattered, but asserts Pip needs to find someone else to explore things with. She’s been in this situation before and can’t do it again. Pip persists, and asks Stella on a date. Stella’s evasive, but surprises Pip later at Rickyard. Pip suggests she joins her for something to eat, and Stella accepts.
31/08/23·13m 16s


Toby enjoys helping Ruth collect honey from Jill’s hives and Ruth invites him for dinner with the family later in the week. Will tells George that both he and Emma are very concerned that George thought it was ok to post the video of Helen’s outburst. George knows what Rob did to Helen, so he must understand why she freaked out about George helping Henry to meet Rob. Will’s looked up some of the influencers George has been watching. He can see the appeal of all the money, flash cars and girlfriends, but it’s not the real world. George counters he doesn’t agree with everything that the influencers say, but he likes the stuff about it not being a crime to be a man. Will says if he’d put his anger and bruised ego above everything else when Emma chose Ed over him, he’d not only have still lost Emma, but probably George and his family too. Unrepentant George says he’s not going to grovel to Helen. Later Emma explains to George that a lot of what he’s said recently shows how he feels about women in general. And the other person who thinks like that is Rob Titchener. When George admits he saw how Rob was with Henry, Emma wonders why George would want to be a misogynist like him. Emma and George reconcile, but Emma points out that she’s not the only person he’s hurt. Later George goes round to apologise to Helen, but Helen can’t forget about what George did and asks him to leave.
23/08/23·13m 10s

Bonus Episode: When Helen met Rob – the story so far

In April 2016 Helen Archer was arrested for stabbing her husband Rob Titchener during a row. One of the most closely followed trials in British radio drama history saw calls to domestic abuse helplines increase by 17%. This bonus catch-up edition charts the romance and the emerging coercive control, including Rob’s physical abuse of Helen, through to Helen taking her life in her own hands and stabbing Rob, and the insidious impact of Rob’s return on the family at Bridge Farm. If you are suffering domestic abuse or violence, a list of organisations that can provide help and support in the UK is available at Helen Archer ….. Louiza Patikas Rob Titchener ….. Timothy Watson Kirsty Miller ….. Annabelle Dowler Tony Archer ….. David Troughton Pat Archer ….. Patricia Gallimore Tom Archer ..... William Troughton Johnny Phillips ….. Tom Gibbons Anna Tregorran ….. Isobel Middleton Lee Bryce ….. Ryan Early Jury foreman ….. Nigel Havers Narrator: Annabelle Dowler Written and produced by Mel Ward The Archers Editor is Jeremy Howe A BBC Audio Drama Birmingham production
16/06/23·20m 43s

Making Mince Pies with Jill Archer

Join Jill in the kitchen at Brookfield as she makes a batch of her much loved mince pies
09/12/19·12m 50s
Heart UK