The Archers is a soap opera, broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation's main spoken-word channel, Radio 4. At 60 years old it is the world's longest running radio soap opera in any format. In show business terms, it is geriatric.
It started in 1950, with collaborative input from the Ministry of Agriculture; The Archers was conceived as a means of disseminating information to farmers and smallholders to help increase productivity in the post-World War II years of rationing and food shortages, a worthy and successful aim - at the time.
The over-importance that the BBC now places on The Archers is indicated by the fact that on 11 May 2010, after an indecisive General Election, with the possibility of a hung Parliament and during urgent negotiations between parties trying to form a coalition government, the BBC cancelled two of the most popular earlier evening shows but, at approximately 19:02 The Archers was broadcast as scheduled.
Originally billed as "an everyday story of country folk", The Archers is now described on its Radio 4 web site as "contemporary drama in a rural setting". However, with its comic yokels and middle class stereotypes, it is still riddled with the class ridden attitudes that prevailed when it was new, but which are now outdated.
This lack of credibility alienates a lot of potential Radio 4 listeners, and causes many Radio 4 devotees to tune out when they hear The Archers’ nauseating Barwick Green opening theme.
We, the undersigned call on the BBC to pension off The Archers now, and replace it with new drama that will appeal to audiences who are younger than The Archers.
The Pension off The Archers Now! petition to radio 4 listeners was written by Tim Smart and is in the category Arts & Entertainment at GoPetition.