Will we ever see Rob in Ambridge again? It's the question that's been plaguing listeners to The Archers ever since Rob Titchener scarpered to the United States earlier this year.
Now, actors Louiza Patikas, who plays Helen in the BBC Radio 4 drama, and Timothy Watson (Rob) have revealed what they think the future holds for Helen's abuser – and it's safe to say both of them believe we haven't heard the last of him.
“He’s stateside," Watson said of Rob at the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival. "It’s not entirely clear, but my guess is he’s doing the same job in America. It’s a very specific place to go to in America, a part of the States where these large-scale dairies are much more commonplace than in the UK. That’s my guess, it’s that he’s there. What he’s getting up to of course…”
Patikas meanwhile said her character Helen believes Rob is gone for good – but she doesn't necessarily agree with her character.
From left to right: BFI & Radio Times Television Festival host Gillian Reynolds, actors Timothy Watson and Louiza Patikas, and former Archers editor Sean O'Connor
When asked whether Helen believes Rob is gone for good, Patikas said, “Yes. She has to.”
However, she added, “Don’t get me wrong, as an actress I very much hope Timothy [Watson] comes back.”
Former editor of The Archers Sean O'Connor can speak freely about the future now that he has left the Radio 4 series to take up the role of executive producer on EastEnders.
The Archers originally planned for Helen to stab Rob on Easter Sunday
O'Connor explained that although he could have killed Rob off, he instead deliberately left his story open in order so that other writers could pick up the story in later years.
"The reason for not killing Rob is The Archers is a brilliant show which can tell stories over decades, not over months," he said. "It’s the only show that does it.
"When Corrie did dementia, Mike Baldwin got dementia in January and was dead by June. When The Archers did dementia, it took place over ten years, and that’s the difference.
"What’s brilliant about leaving a legacy for the future is that [Helen's sons] Henry and Jack are clearly going to be very troubled, and Helen and Rob will be united as long as those kids exist. If I were there in 20 years’ time, I’d have an absolute field day with Henry."