Rippingale marks link with radio programme The Archers

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A village will celebrate its connections with a radio soap opera during a special day tomorrow.

The Bull pub in Rippingale will host The Archers day from midday to celebrate it being the birthplace of the popular Radio 4 programme.

There will be a special menu with dishes which have a link to the show, an illustrated presentation by Rippingale resident Jim Latham and an exhibition.

The presentation will include video clips with Norman Painting, who played Phil Archer for nearly 60 years, telling behind-the-scenes stories.

Mr Latham and his colleague John Warman say they have proof that Rippingale was the model for the fictional village of Ambridge and that central characters in the radio drama were based on real-life locals.

There has been speculation that Inkberrow in Worcestershire was the model for Ambridge but Mr Latham and Mr Warman said that Inkberrow was the home of BBC editor Godfrey Baseley, who later used it for photos of the cast in farming settings.

It is said that Mr Baseley visited Rippingale to make a programme called Farm Visit and a transcript of the show proves that Baseley interviewed Henry Burtt, who farmed in the area, and his son Stephen.

Mr Latham said it showed “without any doubt” that the main characters were based on Burtt and what they talked about became plotlines for The Archers.

To find out more about the day visit www.rippingalevillage.co.uk or to book a meal call 01778 440054.