Showbiz: Archers marks 60 years with shock plot

Fans of the UK's longest running broadcast serial, The Archers, will be tuning in with intrigue this weekend as the show marks its 60th birthday with a plot twist which will reverberate around Ambridge for some time to come.

Radio bosses are keeping the surprise storyline tightly under wraps but say it will shock the village "to the core".

The programme's actual birthday is tomorrow but it will celebrate its milestone with a double episode to be aired on Sunday evening.

Listeners are expected to be kept on tenterhooks by the programme and the surprise turn of events, which will have a profound impact on the fictional rural village.

The show's five million followers have recently been awaiting the birth of Helen Archer's baby after she became pregnant by artificial insemination.

And in a fairly quiet Christmas period, they have enjoyed the festive party which saw the Archers and Carters come together, as well as hearing about Joe Grundy's plan for a new business venture - grow-your-own mistletoe.

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