June Spencer, who has played Peggy Woolley on The Archers for over 70 years, has officially retired from the role. The popular radio show is set to celebrate Peggy on Monday, as June’s final episode as Peggy was previously broadcast on Sunday 31 July. In the upcoming episode, Peggy’s son Tony and Tony’s wife Pat comment fondly on Peggy’s recent reminiscences and thoughts about family life. They agree she’s an extraordinary woman.
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Speaking about the show, June, 103, said: "In 1950 I helped to plant an acorn. It took root and in January 1951 it was planted out and called The Archers. Over the years it has thrived and become a splendid great tree with many branches. But now this old branch, known as Peggy, has become weak and unsafe so I decided it was high time she ‘boughed’ out, so I have duly lopped her."
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Speaking about her time on the show, editor of The Archers Jeremy Howe said: "I think working with June Spencer has been one of the greatest privileges of my many decades in drama. Her Peggy is one of the great creations of broadcasting – utterly charming, utterly ruthless, sharp as a knife and witty in spades.
June, 103, has now retired from The Archers
"To think that June has commanded the airwaves over an Archers career of over 70 years beggars belief. I have rarely worked with such an inventive, focused and technically brilliant actor, or such a lovely person. Myself and the Archers team and cast wish June a well-deserved and long retirement – and I know that if she doesn’t think the show is up to the mark, June will be letting us know. Bravo the legend that is June Spencer."
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The actress has many famous fans, including The Duchess of Cornwall, a long-standing listener who herself made a cameo appearance marking the 60th anniversary of the show. Speaking about Peggy, she said: "Peggy is a true national treasure who has been part of my life, and millions of others, for as long as I can remember."
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