3 Jan 2011

Dramatic double episode for radio series

1:38 pm on 3 January 2011

BBC Radio drama The Archers has marked its 60th anniversary with a special double episode.

The storyline was shrouded in secrecy, with listeners only told in advance that it would "shake Ambridge to the core". The fictional drama unfolded during a New Year's party.

But it ended with a villager falling off the roof of a hall while trying to untie a banner.

The BBC reports the show's five million listeners also heard another character being rushed to hospital to have her baby delivered six weeks early.

Before the broadcast, series editor Vanessa Whitburn told the Sunday Times that the repercussions would be felt in the show for a decade.

Afterwards, some fans expressed relief that the rural drama had not resorted to the kinds of disasters seen in TV soaps. But others complained that they had not been "shaken to the core".