When the script hits the fan: Why Archers fans stop listening (and why they can’t completely keep away)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


According to the BBC Archers website, “Listeners to The Archers are loyal fans but take no prisoners” (BBC, 2016). But are fans of The Archers always loyal listeners? This paper presents stories of Archers fans who stopped listening, for various lengths of time, but still considered themselves to be fans of the show.
“I listen so that you don’t have to”; “Well, I won’t be listening for a while – again!”; “I have only listened once since they murdered Nigel”. These comments come from one online Archers fan community, and are not uncommon among those who continue to have an interest in Ambridge, despite choosing not to listen regularly.

The assumption regarding members of serialised media fandoms is that they watch or listen to all of the episodes. This paper will consider the phenomenon of nonconsuming fans of The Archers: people who do not actively listen, but who read synopses of episodes, keep up to date with storylines, and participate in fan communities.

BBC. (2016). Five Things the New Editor of The Archers Needs to Know. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2XJYhZlXZrV6vjrt6MxjBQb/five-things-the-new-editor-of-the-archers-needs-to-know
Period29 Feb 2020
Event titleAcademic Archers conference 2020
Event typeConference
Conference number5
LocationReading, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • BBC
  • radio
  • fandom
  • fan behaviour
  • non-consuming fans