Scripts from earliest Archers episodes up for auction more than 60 years after they were first broadcast
Sensational storylines have seen thousands of listeners switch off from the Archers.
And for those who long for the quieter days of Ambridge, scripts from the very first episodes have come up for sale.
The pilot episodes show the famous character of Doris Archer was to be played by Nan Marriott Watson, rather than Gwen Berryman who made the part her own.
The scripts for the first five episodes originally belonged to Harry Oakes, who played Dan Archer, the patriarch of the farming family who live in fictional Ambridge.
Throughout the scripts amendments have been made, such as changing ‘yes’ for ‘aye’, to make the characters sound more rural.
Originally described as ‘an everyday story of country folk’, the Archers is now billed as ‘contemporary drama in a rural setting’.
The first episode of The Archers - broadcast on January 1, 1951 - begins on New Year’s Eve.
The opening line was by Dan Archer who said: ‘And a happy New Year to all!’ His wife Doris responded with: ‘A very happy New Year, Dan.’ During the episode, Dan’s son Philip shares a kiss with a nearby farmer’s daughter, Grace, as he drives her home from a party and they discuss his job interview for the next day.
The episode ends with Philip being angry at brother Jack for not returning his car, which makes him late for his job interview.
The storyline of the pilot episode - broadcast as a test run in the Midlands only - involves Dan and Doris Archer and their three children, Jack, Christine, and Philip, an apprentice mechanic.
It begins by talking about how Dan’s cow, Daffodil, is ready to calve, and introduces the audience to Philip, who is keen to get his father’s investment in a business idea.
Christine is also keen for some money as she is planning a trip to Switzerland with her friends during the school holidays.
Jack’s wife, Peggy, is keen to learn farming techniques so she can help her husband around the farm, but they argue over a discussion about white fly destroying the tomatoes.
Jack says: ‘You look after the home and the kids, I’ll run the holding, that’s my job.’
The show ends with Peggy asking Doris to look after the babies for two days while she finds a job and appearing to leave Jack.
The typed scripts belong to a private collector and are estimated to sell for between £2,000 and £4,000 when they go under the hammer at Cuttlestones auctioneers in Wolverhampton on September 7.
Earlier this month it emerged that a string of sensational storylines may have caused ratings to slump - as new figures reveal they audiences have dropped by 400,000 year on year.
The drop came after some complained the show had ‘sexed up’ storylines, branding the newer plots ‘ridiculous’, ‘unrealistic’ and accusing the broadcaster of dumbing down.
The programme’s acting editor John Yorke, a former executive producer of television soap EastEnders, had promised to make the plotlines ‘darker and bigger’.
The serial has already been convulsed by recent dramatic stories, including a hit-and-run that left one character in a coma, witness intimidation, and a horrific arson attack dubbed ‘Farmaggedon’.