Veteran star of The Archers June Spencer has called for actors on the radio drama to be given acknowledgement for their work.
The 98-year-old, who has played Peggy Archer (later Woolley) since the soap’s first episode in 1950 and is now the sole surviving cast member from the original line-up, commented in the new issue of Radio Times that the audience doesn’t know who she is:
“We’re anonymous voices. So, although Peggy is well known, the present generations have never heard of June Spencer.”
Speaking about the poignant and acclaimed storyline that found Peggy mourning the death of her husband Jack, Spencer added: “It would be nice to be acknowledged, actually. Particularly when you have an emotional episode, such as Peggy’s goodbye to Jack. I worked a lot on the line where Peggy says, ‘Goodbye, my darling’.
“And, at the end, they read out who it’s been written by and who the editor is, but there’s no mention of the actress.”
The actress also expressed her desire to mark her 100th birthday on The Archers, revealing that working on the BBC Radio 4 drama is “a breath of life” to her. Asked if she would ever retire, Spencer said:
“I want to continue for as long as I can turn in a decent performance — I wouldn’t want to go downhill. But I’d like to turn 100 [in June 2019] and still be in The Archers. I’m afraid I can’t wait to retire until Peggy’s 100 because she’s five years younger than me.”
You can read the full interview with June Spencer in the latest issue of Radio Times (out today)