It's been running continuously since 1951, comes in 12 and a half minute episodes and was originally billed as "an everyday story of country folk". It's sandwiched between bursts of the unforgettable Barwick Green theme (dum de dum de dum de dum; dum de dum de dum dum).
The Archers is a national institution. BBC Birmingham, where it's produced, recently held an Archers weekend, so that fans could find out more about the series. As part of it, at an event in the Archers recording studio, an audience heard from two actors, a writer and a producer on the series about their jobs and a wealth of interesting details about the how the series is made.
This BBC Academy podcast presents highlights from the event, where you'll hear about
- how the Archers is written
- the invention of the character of Rob
- how Lilian and Justin's bedroom scenes are recorded
- how the child actor playing Henry never knew about the disturbing scene between Rob and Helen that he was part of
Taking part were actors Sunny Ormonde and Simon Williams, writer Tim Stimpson and producer Kim Greengrass.