The Archers announces plans to address the coronavirus in future episodes

Susannah Alexander

From Digital Spy

The coronavirus pandemic has already played havoc with our favourite soaps, and radio series The Archers is now also making changes to its schedule as a result.

The soap, which has been running since 1951 and is broadcast on BBC Radio 4, has so far been airing as normal and the BBC has confirmed through its media centre that enough episodes have been recorded to keep things going as usual until the end of April.

But the production team have been busy working on plans for beyond April and have announced some slight changes to the soap's format going forward.

Photo credit: Gary Moyes - BBC

From Monday, May 4, there will be four episodes per week which will be broadcast from Monday to Thursday at the usual time of 7pm.

And although storylines will continue, instead of multiple characters interacting with each other as normal, fans will be hearing from fewer characters in each episode and these will be sharing their private thoughts.

The BBC also confirmed that the production team are no longer recording episodes in the usual way. Instead, the cast will soon be using 'home studios' and will be connected to directors and crew in this way.

Editor of The Archers Jeremy Howe has promised that fans will still be able to enjoy their regular Ambridge fix, saying: "For nearly 70 years Ambridge has been a haven for our audience, and so it continues to be.

Photo credit: kjekol - Getty Images

"Whilst Coronavirus might be coming to Borsetshire, listeners can still expect The Archers to be an escape, and the residents to be bickering and as playful and witty as ever. We want this new approach to The Archers to still be a picture of the way we live now in rural England that it has always been.

"However, these are unprecedented times and the team has worked tirelessly to make sure we can continue to visit Ambridge. I am enormously grateful to the production team, the cast and the crew for all their magnificent efforts and creativity.

"The Archers will sound different and will be simpler, but I think keeping the show running and giving us all an opportunity to hear from beloved characters will be a treat loyal listeners will want and need."

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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