• THE WEEK IN AMBRIDGE 29/5/16

    Worried Pat is on the phone to Peggy, discussing the imminent birth of her grandchild. “ I should have been there,” she wails. Sensible Peggy calms her down. “Don’t worry, Pat, Helen will be fine.” Kirsty calls Pat, also worried about the birth. This sets Pat off again. Meanwhile, at Blossom Hill, the Dark Lord and Cruella can’t get any news. “This is a nightmare – my son…look what this woman has brought me to.” He wants to get his claws on the child. The Pyrex Kid interrupts, having had a bad dream “about Mum”.

    At the hospital, Helen is fretting. She’s very worried about the birth. Peggy helps calm her, too.

    Pat and Kirsty are tidying up. Pat continues to worry. “I should have known that man had manipulated her.” Kirsty feels the burden of guilt, too. Both women feel that they should have done more to protect Helen from the Evil One. Cruella sweeps in, trying to find out about the imminent birth. Cruella tries to get a rise out of Kirsty. “You and Rob share a common bond – both of you have had your life wrecked by one of Pat’s children.” Steely Kirsty stands her ground. A call comes through – Helen has been wheeled in for a c-section. Cruella flaps home on leathery wings to Blossom Hill – Rob is stewing about the lack of news.

    Helen comes round in the recovery room, watched over by Peggy. The baby has been born “absolutely perfect”. Helen doesn’t sound that keen on the spawn of Rob – born of forced marital sex. Have they checked for a ‘666’ birthmark?

    Cruella and the Dark Lord celebrate the arrival of his son. “He’s here.” Rob says this like he’s glorying in the long-awaited birth of the Anti-Christ. Rob wants to call him Gideon Robert Titchner. Our current chancellor was christened Gideon. Not Damian, then? He also wants to see the baby. How’s that going to happen?

    Peggy is still with Helen. Even at two days old, Helen still hasn’t managed to breast feed and seems distant from the Half-Dark Child. She thinks he looks like Rob. Creepy.

    The ever-toiling Tom is brought sandwiches and coffee by Kirsty. Kirsty raises the prospect of Jazzer coming back and not selling the pigs. It still doesn’t look likely. The jilted bride and the run-away groom discuss their dreadful past. Tom is very impressed by Kirsty’s magnanimous behaviour. “I didn’t appreciate what we had and I threw it away.” It’s the first proper talk they’ve had since he left her at the altar. “There’s no excuse for what I did.” It’s good that they have become close again. “We used to be such good mates.” Kirsty still thinks that Tom still had feelings for Brenda when they got together. “I loved you just as much as I loved Brenda.” “Just as much” is a pretty telling phrase, Tom. Kirsty wants to be good friends again. “You don’t know how much that would mean to me.”

    Back at the shitty hotel, Peggy and Tony are talking about Helen’s lack of mothering instinct and how beautiful the baby is. Helen hasn’t even named the Half-Dark Child, yet.

    Kirsty and Fallon discuss the Grundy party to celebrate MR and Ed’s first anniversary. It was a bit of a bash and a ‘huge crack’ has appeared at Grange Farm. Are Oliver and Caroline going to get back before the Grundy’s destroy the famhouse? The women discuss the Tom/Jazzer split and resolve to try and re-unite them.

    It’s breakfast at Brookfield. Deep Pip is excited as Hunky Mathew is coming to see her (didn’t they split up last week?) and she’s moving cows up to Adam’s for the grazing trial at Home Farm. “Look at that grass,” breathes Pip when the cattle arrive to munch on the herbal lay. Adam and Pip feel that putting 150 bovines onto open grass is a “game changer.”

    Hunky Mathew turns up for stilted tea at Brookfield. He’s staying the night, apparently. David and Ruth try and keep things going and then send them off to have a look at the spectacular cows on grass. “Those are some happy beasts,” says Mathew. Pip tries to work out why Mathew came down to see her. “I don’t think we can do our jobs and keep going. It’s the situation that’s wrong, not us.” Pip tries to counter argue and even offers to leave Brookfield for him. “You mean more to me that a stupid job.”

    The next morning, Ruth is milking and Hunky Mathew comes to say goodbye. He shoots off very quickly when she tries to pry about him and Pip. He heads off to the Home Farm Herbal Lay to see Pip. “There’s nothing else I can do,” says Pip regarding the end of their relationship. They have one last kiss and Mathew leaves. “Bye, Pip.” “Bye, Mathew.”

    Jazzer is visited at home by Fallon. “I’m not such good company at the moment.” Jazzer is moping about, doing nothing. She asks him out for lunch.

    Rex comes to see Josh for a moan about Toby, swanning off filming. “He thinks he’s George Lucas.” Ruth tells him, in not so many words, that Pip is free for a date… He then heads off see Pip and moans on about Toby and the arrival of this year’s goslings. How romantic. Rex asks her to the cinema. He’s dangerously close to the Friend Zone. “You’re such a good friend.” Told you.

    Fallon buys Jazzer lunch at the Bull in exchange for information about his relationship with Tom. Jazzer is still grumpy about the sacking and seems dug-in and stubborn about any form of reconciliation.

    Lillian is munching scrambled eggs in the Megakitchen. Lillian and Jennifer are heading to Cheltenham to buy frocks for the anniversary party. Evil Brian is heading off to the Aldridge/Millennium Wood to clear out the elves as all the visitors are disturbing the pheasants. Meanwhile at the Bull, in a lovely piece of timing, Kenton has had taken a delivery of five boxes of Elvish T-shirts for flogging at the bar and the Single Wicket. Just as the little woodland folk are to be crushed under the iron boot of Brian and his lackey Will Grundy.

    On the frock buying spree, Lillian digs for info about Justin’s marriage. “They don’t seem to spend much time with each other. He’s such good company and great fun.” Careful, Lillian.

    Back at the Bull, Kenton makes further enquires to Jolene about Wayne’s new (fictitious) girlfriend, created to keep Kenton happy. In an inspired piece of on-the-spot improvisation, Jolene christens her ‘Beverly Drains’ – a particularly distasteful porn star sort of name. Kenton is suspicious. Really? Wayne appears to be on the phone to her every time Kenton’s in the kitchen. Jolene quickly calls Wayne to end his relationship with la Belle Drains.

    Lillian and Jennifer arrive back at Home Farm, loaded with expensive bags. Whilst Jennifer takes the bags upstairs, Brian tells Lillian that he’s booked a five star hotel in Venice for a week as an anniversary party.

    It’s Helen’s last day at hospital before her transfer back to the Mother and Baby Unit. Peggy comes to visit. Peggy tries to get her to hold the Half-Dark Child. Helen raises her voice to stop her. She hasn’t even picked up the child this morning – the midwife fed him.

    Kirsty and Tom re-open the shop, finally. Kirsty does her part to help to engineer the Tom/Jazzer reconciliation. Tom feeds the pigs, and Jazzer turns up, sent up by Fallon. They both realise how stupid they’ve been and they even hug. “We’re a pair, aren’t we?” It’s lovely to have the friends back together and the pigs are saved.

    After they leave hospital, Tony notices that Peggy is upset. “She shouted at me, Tony.” Peggy tells Tony about Helen not wanting to pick up the Half-Dark Child, even though Peggy feels that “He’s more of an Archer than a Titchener.”

    Later, Tony and Peggy say goodbye to Helen and the baby. Helen seems to have calmed down and even holds the child. Helen has decided on a name and is calling the baby “John Anthony Archer” after her brother and her dad, but she wants him to be known as “Jack” after her grandfather. This sounds a bit better that “Gideon Robert Titchener”. May the best name win…

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The Week In Ambridge

The Week In Ambridge

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I am a new listener to The Archers - my Mother started me at birth, so I have only been listening for 46 years. Apologies if I get things wrong.

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