Who DID mow down malevolent Matt from The Archers?
A pre- Christmas race for ratings... and the question on every Radio 4 listener’s lips IT COULD BE ANY ONE OF THESE ARCHER- ENEMIES . . .
THERE was a time when skulduggery at the Flower and Produce Show would keep the villagers of Ambridge gossiping for weeks.
But no longer. As fans of BBC Radio 4’s The Archers will testify, life in the fictional town has become a lot grittier lately.
Little more than a year since Helen Titchener’s murder trial, Ambridge is once again wreathed in blue and white crime tape.
A few days ago, dodgy businessman Matt Crawford was mown down by a mystery driver outside the hotel Grey Gables during the Hunt Ball. Now Middle England is gripped by the question: Who could possibly want him dead?
The answer, as Archers aficionados know at too well, is almost everybody this side of Borchester, thanks to a carefully woven plot that guarantees tension all the way to the opening of Lynda Snell’s Christmas panto.
Matt had absconded to Costa Rica in early 2015, taking with him thousands of pounds belonging to his former lover Lilian Bellamy and leaving behind the scrawled apology: ‘Sorry, Pusscat.’
But since his shock return to the show in April, he has attempted to destroy Lilian’s impending marriage to local landowner Justin, is accused of ruining the business run by horse enthusiast Shula Hebden Lloyd and her vet husband Alistair, and could now prevent the show’s gay couple, Adam and Ian, from adopting a baby following an angry car-park punch-up.
Kim Durham, who has played Matt for 20 years, says: ‘ Pretty much everybody i n Ambridge has a reason to want to bump him off. It has been very subtly and cleverly done.’
He adds: ‘Matt is an extremely selfish and deeply flawed man. He is not a safe person to be around – but it has been an absolute delight playing him.
‘He started off as a thoroughly bad lot but over the years we have rounded him out nicely.
‘I don’t know if I would have a pint with him. He is a bit like Nigel Farage – you might have one pint with him but if you had two it would get unpleasant.
‘ But he genuinely loves Lilian and there is a sort of weird vulnerability. People either love him or hate him… and a lot do both.’
Archers fans are abuzz with theories. One posted a complex statistical study online that deduced that at least 29 people could have been behind the wheel, before narrowing it down to five major suspects.
So who could possibly hate Matt enough to want him dead?
‘Everyone has reason to want to bump him off’
MARKED MAN: Matt Crawford (Kim Durham) has brought chaos to Ambridge