IT WAS a case of Go West Midlands when pop duo the Pet Shop Boys made a surprise appearance on Radio 4’s rural soap The Archers.
The band – Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe – arrived as last-minute headliners for the show’s music festival Loxfest after the original act dropped out. Listeners last night heard festival organiser Roy Tucker reveal the news backstage as village landlady Jolene Archer belted out a version of Dolly Parton’s song of her name.
The duo, whose hits include It’s A Sin, Go West and Heart, said: “It’s a thrill for us to enter the world of The Archers, the UK’s most famous radio drama.”
They were joined on the show by Radio 6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq who is heard organising the festivities of the fictional festival.
He said: “I’ve been a fan of The Archers off and on for more than a decade, but got hooked again about three years ago. You’d be surprised how many Archers fans there are in the music industry. Even the former stage manager at Reading Festival would come up to me and ask to borrow my pocket radio when the Archers omnibus came on.”
The Archers, which started out as an educational programme for farmers, is recorded in Birmingham and set in the fictional nearby village of Ambridge. Previous guest stars include the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Margaret and Sir Bradley Wiggins.