Give us credits, actor June Spencer urges The Archers

Last original cast member says actors should be acknowledged along with writer and editor

June Spencer, who plays Peggy Woolley in The Archers, has called for actors to be acknowledged in the credits of the Radio 4 drama.

The 98-year-old – the only surviving original cast member of the soap that began in 1951 – said she would welcome credits for cast members, particularly after poignant episodes.

The writer, director, agricultural adviser and editor – but not the actors – are credited at the end of each episode of the programme.

“It would be nice to be acknowledged, actually. Particularly when you have an emotional episode, such as Peggy’s goodbye to Jack. I worked a lot on the line where Peggy says: ‘Goodbye, my darling.’ And at the end they read out who it’s been written by and who the editor is, but there’s no mention of the actress,” she told the Radio Times.

Spencer won widespread acclaim in the 2000s for her part in a storyline that portrayed the slow submission of her character’s husband, Jack Woolley, to Alzheimer’s.

Spencer’s real-life husband, Roger, suffered from the disease for a decade before he died in 2001. Speaking to the Guardian in 2005, before Jack Woolley’s death in the show, she said performing the storyline reminded her of the connection she had with her husband.

“I feel all that old affection and caring we shared come flooding back. It’s nice to feel that again,” she said. “I see it as a perfect opportunity to ensure that the disease is talked about frequently and loudly.

“There is no doubt that I play the character of Peggy from the heart. In fact, it would be fair to say this is the most heartfelt part I have ever played.”

In the Radio Times interview, Spencer also spoke of her desire to still be on the soap when she turns 100.


Patrick Greenfield

The GuardianTramp

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