Archers’ News – Dead Girls Tell No Tales

Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

Ysanne Churchman playing Grace Archer: Copyright resides with the original holder, no reproduction without permission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a radio drama about the death ‘Grace Archer’, played by Ysanne Churchman (widow of Tony Pilgrim), on Radio 4 at 2.30pm on Saturday 19th September 2015. It is entitled Dead Girls Tell No Tales.

Below is the programme information:

“Dead Girls Tell No Tales

Saturday 19 September

2.30pm-3.30pm

BBC RADIO 4

Almost 60 years to the day after The Archers’ character Grace Archer was killed, Radio 4 will broadcast Dead Girls Tell No Tales featuring Ysanne Churchman, the original Grace Archer.

Written by Joanna Toye, the commemorative drama will depict life in and around The Archers’ production office and studio, culminating on the fateful night of 22 September 1955 when Grace perished in a stable fire after trying to save one of the horses.

As the drama behind the drama unfolds, listeners will be transported back to a post-war world of deference, Received Pronunciation and the Light Programme.

It is established media folklore that Grace Archer’s death was a ploy to thwart the launch night of ITV. But this 60-minute drama delves deeper into the Archers’ celebrated archives to reveal what really inspired 20 million people to tune in and left tens of thousands distraught – leaving the BBC switchboard jammed for 48 hours.

Familiar characters from the early years of the programme, including Dan and Doris Archer, Carol Grey and John Tregorran, and creator of The Archers, Godfrey Baseley, will also play a part in the special drama.

Producer/Sean O’Connor for the BBC”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2015/38/dead-girls-tell-no-tales

 

Here is a piece from BBC Breakfast trailing the radio play:

“Sixty years ago, twenty million people tuned in to hear the demise of Grace on The Archers. It made radio history. To mark the anniversary a drama called, ‘Dead Girls Tell No Tales’ reveals what happened behind the scenes at the BBC and how the public reacted to the storyline.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p032rd2l

Thanks to Annie Gumbley-Williams for letting us know about the radio drama.

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1 Comment

  • I was a trainee studio manger at BBC Broad Street at the time of Grace Archer’s immolation. (Later I spent time as ‘spot’ S.M. on The Archers, and retired as senior audio supervisor at Pebble Mill in 1992).
    My recollection of the atmosphere, particularly among technical staff, to the dramas, real and fictional, leads me to believe that ‘Dead Girls Tell No Tales’ is an incomplete and one-sided view of the happenings. Certainly the dramatically critical interview between Basely and Churchman can only be based on one individual’s perception.

    I’d be happy to share my gossip-based understanding of the goings on.

    Yours faithfully,

    Neil Murray.

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