Archers welcomes top actress

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Veteran actress Eleanor Bron has joined the cast of radio soap The Archers – as the character of Carol Tregorran returned to the show last night after 34 years away.

The 76-year-old, who has appeared in British cinema classics such as Alfie, Help! and Women In Love, was heard by Radio 4 listeners heading back to Ambridge to attend the funeral of her on-air husband, John Tregorran.

The character debuted in The Archers 50 years ago and she was dining at Grey Gables on the night Grace Archer was killed in a fire, one of the show’s most famous storylines as it was broadcast the night ITV launched in an effort to overshadow the channel.

A successful and stylish businesswoman, originally portrayed by Anne Cullen, she quickly becoming popular with listeners and remained in the core cast until 1980.

Bron said of her new role: “I was thrilled when my agent called. I have been around long enough that The Archers is part of my history. It’s such a valuable part of the narrative of British life.”