The Archers – Behind the Scenes Pt 1

The Archers – Behind the Scenes Pt 1

you you mind if I help myself to another coffee oh don't know why I'm awash with the stuff The Archers is the world's longest-running radio show with more than 15,000 episodes broadcast despite being a rural flavor show The Archers is recorded in the heart of the UK's second largest city Birmingham country Channel TV was invited to a behind-the-scenes look at one of Britain's favorite institutions for show editor Vanessa Whitburn it's been an interesting journey to get to the top started with radio as a radio drama producer I mean I did a lot of TM theater stuff at university and and did some theater work before I joined the BBC and then came as a studio manager which is a an old title for a technician really that they trained you in you know did in those days and microphones and had put everything up and I worked on radio drama as a spot SM and then really sort of progressed up through but always wanted to be a producer of drama eventually knocked on the door to the extent that they couldn't say no so became a producer radio drama spent a while directing the archers as part of the team under William Smith Hearst he was the editor of time went off to produce Brookside channel 4 did some TV worked back at Pebble Mill aim TV and then the editorship of the program came up it's a program I love live with since the age of about 11 my grandparents listened to it regularly and therefore I was kind of forced fed it by going to lunch with them and they would put this on and I'd have to be quiet and so obviously I heard it and that was fun ah and so when the editorship of the program came up I thought great you know go for it so I did and got it I've been here since 1991 amazingly but the important thing about the scene is Caroline coming up with the miraculous solutions problem that we've been going through focaccia yes dear me yes it's all falling to bits all right my job is to run the script meeting which which meets monthly with about 10 writers and some of the production team so I ran a meeting of about 15 to 16 people and we choreograph the story lines I suppose although we get storylines from everybody and all kinds of influences in the end I structure the storylines decide what should happen what shouldn't conduct it really and then script edit case marketing studio to direct one of the lovely things about radio is that the producers and editors do actually do the whole thing unlike TV and theater so that's great but really just have an overview of the whole the whole show okay shall we rehearse yep and I'll stay in here Michael okay cup of tea Mike oh hello smoking hey it mmm-hmm I'll put heads down here should I yeah okay yeah yeah he's with the last one now yeah then we'll les it to him wash down the bail how is Haley I'll work fine physically I still get upset over losing one the green oh yeah I came into the program in 1973 and I've played Mike ever since I've sort of been my tucker man and boy as it were as it were how are things between the boys I haven't like to ask not good they're avoided each other I reckon they're supposed to be mates I mean Haley so wanted to be in their own place when they baby claim it do in two months not much chance of that now I mean it would have been a stretcher and financially minder oh I just wish I was sort of practical I could do to help I mean I think the archers has had this immense popularity over the years basically because it has always very accurately reflected the reality of life and living in a rural community whatever decade it happens to be in you know you get people say oh this all spicy now isn't it you know you see hair on there you know Jennifer Aldridge had an illegitimate child back in the 60s you know that was pretty spicy then you know it's always kept up with current trends of what's happening and they've very accurately fed in things that are happening in farming community and also as I say the realities of a village life in whatever decade were in you could divide the house up any way you like Roy and Haley and one half and you and the other why not I never thought Caroline you're a flaming genius Vanessa Whitburn came to see a play I was doing I was playing Lady Macbeth at a theater in Southampton she saw the play he liked me apparently and offered me a job on the arches and I turned it down because I said I didn't want to be in a soap opera about sheep and she ran me up a home very sweetly and decided that she would try and get me to the program so she maybe three promises she said first we promise that um you'll have fun that was great next we promise that the money is better than you think it is because you get instant repeats on it and that was great third she said absolutely promises a total maximum of three months work which was a complete lie because that was love night 1979 I grew up this into the archers unwillingly because my grandmother lived with us in the last years of her life and was addicted to the archers and the morning service and she had them both on a very very loud because she was deaf and the children in the house just loves that music she had the arches in the evening the repeat the next day and the Omnibus so I was forced into the archers when I was a child and look it's come back to bite me later on yeah I'm Kate oats I'm one of the producers of the arches and this around me here is Ambridge and so this is where we shattered everybody's illusions and the studio is actually set into three sections and where we perform scene where the actors at the scene is dependent on where the scenes set in Ambridge so for example this area that we're in here at the is called the live area you can see the floor wooden floor and the treatment on the walls here that basically creates a very sort of echoey acoustic so if we have a scene that's set in a milking parlor say a church hall a leisure center for example this is the kind of place that going to use and then you can see we've kind of got all sorts of bits and pieces around is he really the screens that we've got here can be wheeled to make a smaller more enclosed area for example if a scene setting stable block and you know we can use this and get that kind of closer sound so basically everything that you see around you here the doors that we can wheel around you know the different mics and so on or create that kind of different atmosphere I'll take you through into the soft area via the doorbells everyone in amber does doorbell here we've got the stables and I think with blossom he'll cottages on here somewhere so yes we have to remember who's everybody is because we have a very dedicated Lister ship who who know the difference between the lodges doorbell and home farm so we keep on our toes this is the soft area the soft area is basically where we set any kind of domestic scene and so anything that is in a softly fringed area like a living room a kitchen the ball all of that kind of stuff happens in here and as you can see we kind of have again the screens which can set up any sort of domestic layout really and that gives us a great sort of asset in terms of mobility and we can have Schule for example in the kitchen making a cup of tea we can be in there with her and then we can follow her through what she walks into the living room and throws it all over Alastair in a bit of peak and so I should take this into the kitchen this is an extension of the soft area and I mean basically everything that you see around you is is everything that we need to create that sort of very domestic environment we've got the Brookfield augur there and you know things like it just things like the sink through you know the regular cooker all that sort of thing and our support effects person who at the moment is called how I mean he will part of his job is to be in this environment and making those sounds basically rattling the teacups doing the washing up you know that kind of thing to create that sort of atmosphere and that kind of you know very domestic setting so what are you doing now just getting ready for the next episode and moving mics around guys so what do you did I their spot effects on the arches just do what's called Foley then kind of yeah say and and these are these are all part of the paraphernalia of production oh yeah that's the ball bar that's this one

21 Replies to “The Archers – Behind the Scenes Pt 1”

  1. Yes thanks for mentioning  about Jennifer Aldridge having an iligitimate child which was  is Adam. Now in the script nobody mentions anything about the father which was Paddy Redman  who was the dairyman at Brookfield.  Wouldn't he like to know about his son?

  2. If people had to pay to listen to that shit instead of being forced to pay for it with TV licenses it would have disappeared years ago! Liberal crap!

  3. Don't worry, they'll appeal to the US people soon when they'll introduce Sterling Archer about to have an affair with Clarrie Grundy and Mallory Archer chasing Jazzer.

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