Sunday, 6 December 2009

Alternative Archers

Sion Probert (Wayne Tucson)

Have you noticed the influx of new characters into Ambridge? Add to this the fact that children in the village are growing up all the time and you suddenly find that the number of annoying characters has multiplied alarmingly, seemingly overnight.

Of course, there have always been characters that make you scream and foam at the mouth (Susan, Lynda, Ruth) but the numbers are increasing. I have often wished that I had editorial control over the storylines, then I realised that I had! OK, the stories wouldn't be broadcast, but I could get all the moans off my chest.

For example, take the case of Wayne; have you ever felt so annoyed as when Fallon took him back to the Bull? "Throw him out Sid!" I yelled at the radio, but Saint Sid put up with having his wife's ex (and a total lush) lurking around the place, cosying up to Fallon and saying "I never meant to hurt you darlin' " and "I'm so proud of my little girl". So why did he walk out when she was little?

Why was he not locked in the cellar and sadly (ha!) discovered when it was too late? At least he would have expired surrounded by things that he had loved for most of his life.

It was one of the worst moments of my life when it became obvious that Wayne was going to get over his illness and be restored to health. Then when he got the gig playing his blues records at the Bull once a week, I broke down and wept – would we never be rid of the man?

At the same time, Jim Lloyd (Alistair's father) made another appearance on the scene. It was bad enough when he just used to pop down for the odd weekend, but when he decided to settle in Ambridge permanently and moved into Blossom Hill Cottage, it was all getting too much – there needed to be a story to remove them both from our favourite village. And now there is:

Jim approaches Wayne in the Bull:

J: Wonderful session tonight Wayne; there's nothing like two hours of Blues to really cheer everybody up.

W: Well thank you Jim, it's nice to be appreciated. As you know I don't want to be no trouble, as long as I've got my music and I can see my little girl every now and then…

J: Yes, yes. Tell you what, I've had a good idea – you know I go over the channel to stock up on cigarettes for Lillian…

W: Yes. Have you got over the trouble with British Customs?

J: What, you mean are they convinced that three million fags are for personal consumption only?

W: Yeah, especially as you go over and stock up three times a week…

J: Oh yes, we got over that problem by me showing them an X-ray of Lillian's lungs and they were convinced. But that isn't what I wanted to talk to you about. I thought that you might want the chance to browse round the legendary record market in Calais.

W (awestruck): You don't – you don't mean the world famous "Le market des disques bleus"?

J: That's the fella. I thought it was a market dedicated to French cigarettes. But apparently they sell old records.

W: It's the Holy Grail of bluesology – I've always wanted to go. It's my dream to pick up a copy of the rare duet between Howling Wolf and Snoop Doggy Dog. If anyone has it, it will be there.

J: Capital! Well, would you like to join me on my next trip? You can nip off to the market while I'm overseeing the fork lift loading Lillian's fags.

W: I don't know, I don't want to be too far away from my little girl, my darlin'…

J: Come on, we'll be back before nightfall.

W: Well….OK then.

J: Splendid! I'll pick you up in the Riley at 9am – I've booked us in on the 11am sailing of the Herald of Free Enterprise.

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