Actress Heather Bell will be back in Ambridge from February as she returns to the role of Clarrie Grundy, a part she created back in 1979. She will take over from Rosalind Adams, who is leaving the Radio 4 drama after 25 years:
“I am really excited to be returning to Ambridge, catching up with old friends - will we even recognise each other after all these years? - and working with such a great team again,” says Bell. “At the same time, I’m quite terrified about stepping back into Rosalind’s big shoes and living up to the task of making sure I stay true to Clarrie for all those discerning Archers listeners.
“Clarrie has always been a fun part to play, and even though as people we are totally different, I perhaps feel closer to her now that I am a grandmother myself, so I'm looking forward to meeting my radio grandchildren, my sons of course, and I can't wait to work with those two talented daughters-in-law”.
Listeners will be able to hear the actress’s return on Sunday 10 February with her reappearance coinciding with Clarrie's son Will’s 30th birthday celebrations.
The Archers’s editor Vanessa Whitburn said today: “We are delighted that Heather will be returning to Ambridge with all her skill and enthusiasm for the part. We were set the challenge of finding an actress who could continue with the great work that Rosalind Adams has done down the years, ensuring Clarrie retains her special place in listeners’ affections, and we are incredibly lucky to have tempted Heather back.”
The character of Clarrie has been a mainstay of the series since the late 1970s, with her most recent major storyline being back in 2011 when she became the unwitting carrier of E coli. This landed several people in hospital and brought her employers at the Bridge Farm dairy close to financial ruin.