by Graham Harvey - £18.99 Unbound (2023)
hardback ISBN 13: 9781800182653 | ISBN 10: 1800182651
'As hilarious, charming, eccentric, informative, addictive and delightful as the show itself' STEPHEN FRY
Much-loved radio drama The Archers has been at the heart of British life for over seventy years, and the momentous events and changes of this time have all found a place in Ambridge. For more than three decades, scriptwriter Graham Harvey was the man behind the show’s farming storylines, writing over 600 episodes and crafting some of its most memorable moments: the Great Flood, the trashing of Brian’s GM crop, the loss of the Grundy family farm.
In this book Graham interweaves personal memories of these moments with extracts from the scripts he created, offering behind-the-scenes details of how key characters and plotlines were developed, keeping pace with the real changes taking place in village and farm life. He also explores the part the show played in setting Britain on its disastrous transition from small-scale, sustainable farming to industrial agriculture. Could it now help guide the nation back to the nature-friendly, planet-saving methods we so desperately need?
Underneath The Archers relates a personal drama, too: how Graham uncovered his father’s dark, wartime secret, the trauma which was to blight their family life. The insecurities of his youth gave Graham a deep attachment to the fictional community he was creating. The reassurance he found was in a love for England: its land, its soil, its farming culture – a love that found its perfect expression in the world of Ambridge and its inhabitants.
(Price & availability last checked: November 2023)
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In booklists: Environmental Memoirs and Biographies, Farms and Farming, Radio, In categories: History & Biography, Environment & Animal Rights, Food & Cooking, Media & Culture, Music & Performing Arts,