The Archers abuse storyline set to run for another year

BBC Director General Tony Hall says it’s important the broadcaster’s programmes tackle difficult issues

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The Archers’ domestic abuse storyline has another year to run according to BBC Director General Tony Hall, who said he was proud that Helen and Rob’s story had had such an impact with listeners.

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The BBC Radio 4 series has followed the story of Helen Titchener’s abuse by her husband Rob for the past two and a half years.

It was thought Rob’s time was up on Sunday, after Helen stabbed him with a knife. But Monday’s episode revealed that Rob was still alive and that Helen had been arrested.

Hall said he didn’t personally know how the story would conclude. But he revealed there was at least another twelve months of action coming from programme editor Sean O’Connor.

“[He’s] thought very carefully about how the story is going to unfold over the next year,” Hall said at a Bafta event last night.

Hall added that it’s important the broadcaster doesn’t shy away from such topics.

“The much talked-about Archers storyline has brought about an unprecedented public focus on domestic violence in the UK. It’s important that our programmes can tackle difficult issues – and the public seem to agree.

“Our audience team’s latest data shows the programme has achieved its highest ever level of listener appreciation,” he added.

The show has seen huge support for its work with the national domestic violence helpline, which is run by Women’s Aid and Refuge. The latter thanked fans of the show for helping to raise more than £100,000.

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The Archers continues tonight at 7pm on Radio 4