Long running BBC Radio 4 soap-opera 'The Archers' has come under fire after introducing a new, albeit accurate, dimension to the show.
In the latest batch of episodes, the characters all had to adhere to current coronavirus restrictions, meaning the villagers of Ambridge had to wear masks during the broadcast.
Residents of Brookfield Farm and its surroundings were rendered 'unintelligible' to listeners. Even more so than usual.
'Taking a thick Borsetshire accent and then muffling it with a mask is a recipe for misunderstanding,' said top radio critic Dustin Reedsnap.
One Twitter user described the accents as 'so unclear, they might as well be from Newcastle!'
The writing team said that realism was always their main aim, and it's part of the reason why the long running soap has been on air since 1951. At least, we think that's what they said. It was difficult to tell with all that mumbling.
'There comes a point when reality really needs to take a back seat to clarity,' Reedsnap continued. 'I have no idea if it's Pip Archer or Alice Aldridge talking!' he said, just to make it look like he'd listened to the show before.
It remains to be seen if the backlash carries any weight on future episodes. The BBC declined to comment.