Written by Simon Cole
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Sunday, 19 December 2010

image for The Archers down the line
Is this the BBC's new microphone?

Vanessa Whitburn, the editor of The Archers, has complained to BBC bosses that budget cuts mean far too many scenes have to be on the phone.

"It's starting to show," she says.

By setting a scene with several characters on their mobiles it is possible to do the recording 'down the line', and avoid the costs of bring the actors into the studio.

"We can get away with it sometimes," Whitburn says, "by having the characters go abroad and then speaking on Skype. That is a different sound from a mobile phone, and does not sound so bad. However next week listeners will hear most of the pantomime on Peggy Woolley's computer."

"We have done our best," Whitburn goes on. "The storyline is that Peggy gives Nigel Pargeter a Blackberry phone for Christmas. Not knowing how to work it properly, it is locked onto Peggy's Skype address and she is able to hear the whole show live."

However a whistle-blower on the Archers has revealed that Whitburn could not work out how to do a conference call on Skype, so the actors had to be brought in at the last minute and the effect was achieved by them speaking into catering size Nescafe tins.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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