The longest-running daily serial in the world shows no signs of slowing down, as The Archers will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in the New Year.
The drama has been airing on BBC Radio 4 since 1951 and, though coronavirus slowed production down earlier in the year, it’s still going strong.
The anniversary episode will be number 19,343 of the series, and it will reveal a huge secret about the explosion that rocked Ambridge – and nearly killed Lynda Snell – earlier this year.
If you’ll recall, the explosion took place during renovations at the Grey Gables country hotel, and the 70th anniversary episode is set to reveal the incident’s link to a disturbing case of modern slavery.
Speaking of the anniversary episode, editor Jeremy Howe said: “Almost daily and in real-time, The Archers has tracked life in the village of Ambridge across seventy years and over 19,000 and more episodes. No work of fiction or drama can truly compare to that.
“As I look back on this incredible legacy, I am looking forward to the next 70 years of The Archers. What an honour to be the editor at such a moment in the life of an extraordinary programme.”
The anniversary will be marked by celebratory programming on Radio 4 ahead of the episode airing, including a special edition of With Great Pleasure at Christmas on Christmas Day. During anniversary week, the transmission pattern will change with episodes broadcast at 7pm from Tuesday 29th December to Friday 1st January.
The Archers 70th anniversary episode will air on BBC Radio 4 on 1st January 2021 at 7pm. For inspiration on what to watch next, check out our TV Guide.