The Archers is to tackle the topic of historic child abuse, as an elderly character reveals he was a victim of a family friend in the latest campaign-driven storyline from the Radio 4 soap.
The long-running BBC drama has embarked on a controversial new plot, after character Jim Lloyd, played by actor John Rowe, disclosed he had been abused as an eight-year-old boy.
In an emotional episode aired on Friday, a sobbing Jim finally told his son about the “terrible secret”, kept for a lifetime, after recognising his now wheelchair-bound abuser at a party.
Describing how the neighbour and family friend, trusted by his parents, had sexually assaulted him as a schoolboy, he told how he had “fought as hard as I could” in a harrowing scene that unveiled the long-running trauma he had experienced.
Jeremy Howe, editor of The Archer, said: “By exploring historic sexual abuse in The Archers we are hopeful it will help others who have had similar experiences to speak out. We know how important it is to tell a story as difficult as this accurately and truthfully.