Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Charlotte Higgins

Charlotte Higgins on The Archers: is Evil Rob channeling Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction?

Glenn Close as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction.
Glenn Close as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. Photograph: Paramount/Allstar

The spirits of Samhain have provoked chaos in Ambridge. Helen Archer has jilted her partner Lee, which she claims is nothing, nothing at all, to do with the continued mind games of her ex-husband Rob Titchener, who has returned, like Glenn Close in the final scene of Fatal Attraction, to cause havoc just when you thought he was safely on his deathbed. “He’s playing you, Alan,” hissed the vicar’s more intelligent wife, Usha. Evil Rob, you see, has found God. Or so he says. Jesus would’ve given him the benefit of the doubt, protested Alan. Jesus didn’t have to live in Ambridge, averred Usha.

Adil, the manager of Grey Gables, has lost his marbles, and his gables for that matter. As the refurbishment of the hotel span out of his control, he disappeared from his digs in Ambridge Hall ostensibly on a mini-break, but clearing the joint of all his worldly goods. Oliver and Lynda were weirdly understanding of the fake “family emergency” of which he left word in a note they found concealed in his room. Personally, I’ve never known a family emergency so grave that a WhatsApp to a colleague didn’t get sent, nor grasped the efficacy of hiding dissembling notes in drawers in B&B bedrooms. But, as in so many things, Ambridge goes its own way. It turns out that Adil is more fragile than he looks, having lost his fiancee in a hit-and-run car accident. The inhabitants of Borsetshire are so terribly prone to these tragedies. The shadowy “Owners” of Grey Gables were oddly silent on the disappearance of their most senior employee.

Horrible George Grundy seems to be on a path to some kind of redemption after his apparent immersion in radicalising misogynist material online. He has even been heard to cuddle his sister’s guinea pig. But his pal Brad, the youthful maths genius, is feeling the pull of the Great Ambridge Forcefield: the mysterious energy that prevents young people, with very rare exceptions, from attending any university other than that at Felpersham, however extravagant their academic gifts.

The Ambridge housing spreadsheet is going to have to come out again: Horrible George has moved in with his sister Poppy and father Will. Hannah the pig wrangler is sleeping on a friend’s sofa, but may yet find her way into Stella’s spare room. Paul the veterinary nurse, Lily Pargetter and Josh Archer are in a house share, where Paul’s mum Denise has come to stay. Denise, by the way, has 12 months to leave her husband, since Alistair the vet found a charm in his Halloween cake that predicts he’ll be married in a year. Denise, his unspoken true love, is the only viable candidate.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.