As a lifelong Archers fan, our Communications Coordinator, Helen Page couldn’t wait to hear from Sunny Ormonde (aka Lilian Bellamy).
Having been introduced to ‘The Archers’ by my mother over 40 years ago and being a regular listener to the radio drama ever since, I was excited to hear actor Sunny Ormonde was to tell NWR members about her experiences of playing Lilian Bellamy.
I confess, Lilian is one of my favourite characters, and in her honour, I prepared a G&T to enjoy alongside her talk as she’s been known to enjoy a gin or two!
We heard that BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Archers’ is the world’s longest running soap and that Sunny has been a cast member for 21 years.
I agree with Sunny that audiences are interested and hooked by the combination of farming life stories and human interest drama. I’m saddened by Alice’s current story line, always frustrated by Jennifer and perplexed by Susan (and now Emma, who has so many of her mother’s traits). I am still worried for Helen, maddened by Shula and see myself (a little) in Lynda!
I am a keen gardener and enjoy the countryside, and am always interested in the farming references. With a background in business, I also enjoy hearing about the characters’ initiatives to diversify their farming interests (but less so Eddie’s efforts to make a quick buck).
I’m not familiar with radio production and enjoyed hearing from Sunny about her ‘spot person’ colleagues, who supports the actors with sound effects. Sunny was able to explain how some episodes are rerecorded to reference real-time real-life events. She explained the impact of the pandemic on recordings.
It was interesting to hear from members that Sunny did not necessarily look how they had envisaged her character Lilian. I have never pictured Lilian in in my mind’s eye, but enjoy her character as a ‘soundscape’ – an incredibly suggestive laugh, a chink of a glass and a quick quip!
The Sunny Ormonde Schedule of Talks recording will be available to NWR members soon – look out for notices in our newsletter.