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The Archers’ 70th anniversary episode airs

The Archers’ 70th anniversary episode airs and sees character arrested over suspected human trafficking

  • Radio 4 celebrates the 70th anniversary of the world’s longest running drama 
  • Listeners were teased episode would see Ambridge facing a ‘life-changing crisis’
  • The New Year’s Day plot was a closely guarded secret until its 7pm broadcast 

The Archers marked its 70th anniversary last night with a storyline which saw a popular character arrested over suspected human trafficking offences.

Episode 19,343 saw Kirsty Miller, played by Annabelle Dowler, held by police while, elsewhere, stalwart Lynda Snell announced she would get an MBE.

As Radio 4 celebrated the anniversary of the world’s longest-running drama throughout the day, listeners were teased that yesterday’s episode would see Ambridge facing a ‘life-changing crisis’ and one in which ‘one resident makes a special announcement’.

Episode 19,343 saw Kirsty Miller, played by Annabelle Dowler (pictured) held by police while, elsewhere, stalwart Lynda Snell announced she would get an MBE

The New Year’s Day plot was a closely guarded secret until its 7pm broadcast.

But the action fell short of the show’s 60th anniversary when Nigel Pargetter fell off a roof and died.

The arrest of Kirsty Miller on last night’s programme follows a long-running storyline about modern slavery.

In a more upbeat plot, Lynda Snell, whom Carole Boyd has played since 1986, said she was to receive an MBE after being nominated by the community.

Her overbearing but well-meaning character was this year involved in an explosion – linked with the modern slavery storyline – which gave her ‘serious injuries’ and nearly claimed her life.

The pilot episode of The Archers was broadcast on the Midlands Home Service on May 29, 1950, going nationwide on January 1, 1951.

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