The editor of The Archers has praised the “creative ingenuity” and “dedication” of the programme’s cast and crew ahead of the broadcast of episodes which were recorded during the lockdown.
Jeremy Howe told the Radio Times that the makers of the BBC Radio 4 programme “binned 12 scripts and five weeks’ worth of storylines that were about to be written” over coronavirus.
Episodes of the programme that were recorded in lockdown and reflect the Covid-19 crisis are set to be broadcast from May 25.
Howe said: “I don’t think I have ever witnessed such creative ingenuity, such dedication to the spirit of ‘the show must go on’ in my working life, and the way the production team, the cast and the writers have risen to this challenge has been, frankly, humbling.
“I am thrilled by what we have produced so far. I hope the audience will be, too.”
He added that the first week of new episodes will feature “fewer characters than usual because of the sheer logistical complexity of what we’re doing”.
However he added that there are plans to involve more characters going forward.
Cast members have been recording from their homes rather than their usual studio in Birmingham.
Howe said: “I’m not sure what your picture of a home studio is – but in our world it’s a microphone on a stand, with a cable linked to a computer and everything sound-proofed by as many duvets as the actor can cocoon themselves in.
“The camaraderie of the Birmingham green room had been replaced by the rigorous isolation of lockdown.”
He added that the situation is “probably the biggest challenge the programme has ever had to face”.
The Archers had been airing archived content after it took longer than anticipated to make the new episodes.
Read the full article in the Radio Times, out now