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The Archers: is the BBC's longest running soap truly representative of a modern day English village?
I first began listening to The Archers when my son was born in 2005. Time spent cooking and cleaning in the evening meant I quickly discovered the program and it's fair to say I love it. However, I often ask myself if the series is truly representative of modern day Britain, in particular a modern day English village.
This hub discusses why.
Everyone is white
This is the biggest issue for me when listening to the Archers. In 2015 only one person is black or of an ethnic background (Usha - a Kenyan Asian Muslim). But that's it. That's not representative of the United Kingdom in 2015. There are no Jews, no Pakistanis, no Czechs.
The writers have attempted to import a 'token foreigner' into the story in the past, such as Elona Makepeace (wife of the hapless Darrell who's part in the story was just slightly less short than Elona's) but today the story continues to play along with the white middle-England residents. Currently, the most foreign person in the Archer's story line is Jazzer Mccreary who was born in Scotland!
Only gay men are promiscious
It's Summer - it's picking time at Home Farm - so it must be time for 'token-gay-man' Adam Macy to have an affair with a gay Polish labourer (who we may or may not be introduced to) or the bi-curious boss of a Mega Dairy.
It was great that the Archers chose to include the story of a gay couple so may years ago, at a time when coming out as gay was still so difficult and unaccepted; but why is Adam the only man in the village who has regular flings? Is it only gay men who are seen as promiscuous? The closest we've had to a straight person having an affair is Rob Titchner sleeping with rather dull Helen behind he's mentally abused wife, Jess.
People rarely die
Farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United Kingdom, so how is that there are so few injuries on the various farms in Ambridge?
We had Tony recently seriously injured after being hit by a bull, and Jack Archer died of natural causes after suffering from dementia for some time and Heather-pet was killed off to get her out of the storyline, but the only person who's died in an accident anytime recently owned a hotel and uber expensive conference centre, Lower Loxley.
Queue Nigel Pargetter - hapless, scatty and a little bit dopey. A man born into a small fortune who died a terrible death after falling from a roof due to a lack of support from his brother in law, David. Even after killing him off, the boss of the show said he regretted killing Nigel off.