Mike Hatton

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It was the Radio 4’s 26-week dramatisation of <em>The Lord of the Rings</em> in <strong>1981</strong> that introduced me to The Archers. Both were broadcast on Sunday mornings and gradually my listening pleasure widened from Middle Earth to take in the occasional Desert Island and also the county of Borsetshire. <strong>I remember Eddie Grundy marrying Clarrie Larkin in 1981</strong>. The first big storyline that got me hooked was the death of Polly Perks in 1982. I usually listened to the Sunday morning omnibus edition back then, but university life between 1984 and 1988 meant that I often missed episodes. Around about 1988, after leaving university, I bought a hi-fi unit that had a timer-recording function which meant I could record episodes if I was going to be out. I'm trying to remember when I got my first internet connection. It was probably around 1996 via a 14.4K modem. I soon upgraded to a 28.8K modem (now I was in the fast lane!) and then a 56K modem and finally broadband. When did Listen Again begin? That heralded the start of never having to miss an episode which has continued to this day. Now I listen to the daily podcasts on either my iPhone, iPad or MacBook. Re-reading all that makes it sound like something of an obsession. Maybe it is, but it has gradually evolved over the years. Technological changes have definitely made regular listening much easier. My favourite character is <strong>Joe Grundy</strong> because I love the way he refers to everyone by their forename and surname all the time. <blockquote>"Fancy a pint, Joe?" "That's very generous of you, David Archer."</blockquote>
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