What impact has coronavirus had on The Archers?

The radio series is the world's longest-running drama - but has it been affected by the pandemic?


With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continuing to cause major disruption across the world, several film, TV and radio projects have been severely affected, including some of the nation’s most loved series.


But what about the world’s longest-running drama series? The Archers has been airing on BBC Radio 4 since 1951, but there are some suggestions that it too could be hit by the virus.

Has The Archers been suspended?

The short answer is no, not yet – but there have been some changes to the usual scheduling pattern.

As opposed to the usual six episodes a week, there will only be six broadcasts per week until the end of April, with no episodes on Friday.

The official Archers twitter account posted an update from editor Jeremy Howe earlier in March, which read: “For the time being we have enough episodes of #TheArchers recorded to keep taking listeners to Ambridge as usual for the weeks ahead but like everyone else we are faced with an unprecedented situation.

We’re working on plans for beyond this given there are significant challenges and the safety and wellbeing of #TheArchers production team and cast are paramount.

“We’re sure listeners will understand this and we’ll update as plans become clearer.”

So, while there has been no end to production on the show as yet, it seems likely that this might change in the future as the situation continues to develop.

We’ll keep this page updated with any more news as and when we get it.


The Archers airs Sundays to Thursdays at 7pm on BBC Radio 4 with repeats the following day at 2pm