I don't want to criticise (but I'm going to), but don't you think we have had some pretty unbelievable and uninspiring story lines lately? On the unbelievable front, we have Tony's pathetic performance as a would-be matchmaker for daughter Helen when inviting Patrick round.
I know Tony is as subtle as a brick through a window, but his performance was totally over the top - nobody could be as thick and as obvious as that. Why doesn't he hang a sign round Helen's neck saying "Man – any man – Wanted"?
Equally unbelievable was Matt's vision of the future, in which Lillian starred only as a business partner. OK, so Matt is not the most considerate of men and not one to proclaim his love from the rooftops, but surely even he must have been aware of the increasingly-frosty tone adopted by Lillian as he droned on? Come on Archers writers, give us some credit – there's no need to be quite so unsubtle.
This brings us on to recent, underwhelming story lines. I have avoided writing about 'Ambridge has got talent', because it patently hasn't (although Jazzer was OK). The best thing about this story is that it didn't go on as long as the perennial "Oh God, it's the Christmas show again and how will we encourage people to become involved?" Why bother? Let's face it, Linda bullies so many people into taking part that there can't really be enough left over to make up an audience. But we get ahead of ourselves and the Christmas show is (sadly) a probable horror to come later in the year.
Another storyline that made you want to bang your head against something hard was Jim's Roman-themed house warming party. Who cares? And is it even the remotest bit likely that anyone – even someone as boring and self-centred as Jim – would think that a recitation of Cicero is just the thing to get a party started? Again, credibility is stretched way beyond breaking point.
There seems to be a horrible inevitability in the Lillian/Paul storyline, as it moves, supertanker like, to either a probable consummation or heartbreak. Lillian is going to spend the night at a work's do at an hotel. Separate rooms, of course. Yeah right – what's the betting that the reservation has been mixed up and there's only one room? It would be ironic if Matt gets out with his tag and then is swiftly returned to chokey because he practised some GBH on Paul.
Then there's the Pip/Jude quad bike accident saga. I had hoped that after Pip's trip to casualty the consultant would say "She's OK Mr. Archer, but I'm afraid the trauma suffered means she will never speak again". Sadly it didn't happen. Meanwhile, Jude is even more persona non grata at Brookfield.
Now here's a storyline that I'd like to see; Pip and Jude and Alice and Christopher decide to demonstrate their love for each other by holding a double wedding. Can you imagine the delight of David and Brian while walking their daughters down the aisle? It would be a test of acting ability too – father-of-the-bride speeches made entirely through gritted teeth…