Ambridge Extra, The Archers’ spin-off, now broadcasting at 1am?!

So, I see the BBC are broadcasting the entire current series of Ambridge Extra in it’s entirety at 1am tonight (or Tuesday morning, if you will). I’m wondering what the thinking is here? I’m assuming there must be an element of playing catchup for all those people who complained about [SPOILER COMING] a certain breakup happening outside of The Archers itself. The complaint being that it looked like a cynical attempt to get people listening to DAB-only Radio 4Extra, and excluded those who either only use FM radios or simply didn’t expect the storyline to appear in Ambridge Extra, so hadn’t bothered listening. In case you’re interested, that particular breakup scene only occupies the first couple of episodes and then is weirdly forgotten or at least not discussed in much detail afterwards.

But I’m not sure replaying this at 1am pacifies those people. For a start, who will actually be listening live from 1am to 6am? So is it only been broadcast to ‘allow’ the BBC to put it back up on Listen Again / iPlayer as a massive omnibus? So now, people don’t use the internet will be excluded as well, or I at least predict this will be the direction of more complaints.

To be fair, I’ve listened to the whole current series of Ambridge Extra and it’s been a little sensationalist, cliched and hard to follow, when we don’t expect these things of these characters and their lives. Previous series have done ‘experimental’ and added something far more interesting, like series two, which used character inner monologues as well as the usual dialogue. Then again if you’re up at 1am listening to the radio anyway, you could do worse. Who knows, The Archers may find a whole new audience in truckers.

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