Clive Wood (Wayne Tucson)
You listen to the Archers for weeks, following the storylines and, when you’ve been lulled into a false sense of security, the writers slip a nasty twist into the story; presumably to keep us on our toes. Last week they were particularly sadistic as Leonie went into labour and, just when you thought he had vanished for ever, we had the return of Wayne. Talk about a pair of daggers to the heart - not even Torquemada was that cruel. On the subject of Leonie, I don’t know what the world record is for length of labour, but I sincerely hope she breaks it.
In fact, as Lynda has rushed off to be at her side (as if being in labour wasn’t painful enough) I wonder if she can stretch it out till past Christmas - if we are going to be subjected to stories about James and Leonie’s new sprog, the least the writers could do is to let us off having to listen to the run up to Lynda’s Yuletide extravaganza for one year, surely?
Jolene was having doubts about the Midnight Walkers’ appearance at Loxfest and Wayne didn’t help much by telling her (although not in so many words) that the rehearsals weren’t up to much. He reminded her that, when they were playing together, the music was driven by their passion - fortunately, Jolene managed to avoid throwing up at the memories. The problem seems to be PC Burns - there’s just no spark between them (I knew that appearing on stage in uniform was a mistake). But wait! The day that the Walkers are due to take the stage, Fallon gives PCB a good luck kiss and the man is transformed, with the Walkers putting together a killing set that goes down a storm. You can go home now Wayne; you’re no longer needed - not that you ever were.
Loxfest seemed destined to become a millstone round Elizabeth’s neck, as things went from bad to worse when she was the subject of a hostile interview on Radio Borsetshire, which majored on the desirability of having a headline act (Quaintance Smith) whose lead singer (Troy Sturn) is facing allegations of beating up his girlfriend - what sort of example does that set? Admittedly Elizabeth doesn’t say “Well, everybody should have a hobby” but she doesn’t handle it well. Even worse, she appears to be pinning the blame for all the Loxfest mishaps on Roy, as it was his idea in the first place.
Things change the day before Loxfest opens, as Roy is nowhere to be found for a while. In fact he has been up on the roof, taking photographs and Liz panics when she learns this. Roy has also cut himself quite badly and Elizabeth takes off his shirt and administers antiseptic. She then gives him one of Nigel’s old shirts to put on - I had this image of a garment with ruffles down the front and billowy sleeves with ruffed cuffs; a sort of cross between Lawrence Llewellyn-Bowen and Jason King (for our older readers). Anyway, they talk and decide to cancel Quaintance Smith, despite the financial hit that they will have to take. Roy begs her to keep the faith, as Marcus might be able to sign a new headline act (this is the day before Loxfest opens, don’t forget).
As it turns out, Marcus excels himself, as he manages to book The Pet Shop Boys for Saturday night! You certainly see more Cds from TPSBs than Quaintance Smith in music stores, so why did they not book TPSBs in the first place? Roy describes it as ‘a miracle’ and Liz says “What would I do without you?” (changed her tune). They hug each other - perhaps Roy should try and get his feet firmly under the table and ask her for some of Nigel’s underwear?
David was in “Is it all worth it?” mode about Route B last week and his mood did not improve when Lynda said she had some troubling news - someone had donated £10 K to the fund that is trying to ensure that Route C isn’t chosen. “All we need is for 1000 people to give £10 each” Lynda says brightly, but David will not be cheered up - “All our hopes are resting on a butterfly” he said, mournfully.
I have great sympathy with Ed Grundy, as he has spent 18 months living at Neil and Susan’s, which is the mental equivalent of waterboarding. Mind you, he doesn’t listen, as Emma takes him to task for coming in with muddy boots. He’s been offered work at Brookfield by Adam and he tells Emma that they might be able to save and get a place of their own. Bloody hell, Adam, how much are you paying him?
The work involves late nights and, as luck would have it, some of the cows are calving. Dad Eddie is helping out and, on Tuesday, after a particularly long day, he offers Ed their sofa to sleep on. “They won’t even know that you’re not there” Eddie tells his son. Wrong! When Ed goes round to Susan’s the following day, she has a right go at him because she had cooked him a meal. Ed pointed out that he had a calf to deliver and only had three hours’ sleep and makes himself a coffee, causing Susan to bang on about clearing up behind him and meals don‘t just cook themselves you know and the occasional ‘thank you‘ wouldn‘t come amiss. In full strop mode now, Susan throws a wobbly because of the state of her hair. To be fair, she doesn’t blame Ed for this (“It’s because of the hairnets I have to wear at work”) but he has to listen to her blathering on. Tell you what Roy, next time you have a late one, give Susan a ring about 3am to tell her that you won’t be back that night, but a cooked breakfast about 6.30 would be good.