Half listening to BBC Radio 4’s PM programme this afternoon, as does every self-respecting middle-class resident of Perfidious Albion, I caught ear of Vanessa Whitburn, retiring editor of the 63-year-old aural soap opera The Archers, referring to Britain’s current springtime weather as “snow and horror”. This is English petite-bourgeois sensibility at its most precious.
For the benefit of readers in the real world, I should point out that The Archers is an everyday story of country liars, thieves, cheats, arsonists and all-round bad eggs. Its primary purpose is to confirm the programme’s largely urban demographic in a state of smug cultural and moral superiority, with the edginess providing a frisson of pleasure in listeners’ humdrum lives. Coming next week: an amphetamine lab is uncovered in the church hall.
Being forced to listen to The Archers is a form of cruel and unusual punishment, and thus ideal for dealing with unwanted house guests.
“Dum de dum de dum de dum, dum de dum de dum dum,…”