It is with deep sadness that I have to report that Norman Painting has died. Norman was - and will always be, for millions of people - Phil Archer in 'The Archers' radio serial. 'The Archers' has been going continuously since 1950 and Norman was in the original pilot episode.
I started listening to 'The Archers' in the '80s and have been an on-off addict to the Sunday morning omnibus programme ever since. Phil Archer, as you'd expect from his name, has been central to the show forever. In the last few years he's been more in the background as his son David takes the lead for the Archer family in the small farming village of Ambridge. Very few of us live in the idyl of Ambridge but we can escape there once a week in the omnibus.
Farewell Norman, and thanks.