A collection of rare memorabilia from British radio soap opera The Archers has sold at a Wolverhampton, UK auction today (September 7).
The show is the world's longest running soap opera in any format, boasting over 16,800 episodes that span more than six decades. With over 5 million listeners, it is also one of the most listened to spoken word shows on BBC radio.
Among the highest selling lots from the collection were two sets of scripts for the character Harry Oaks, which each sold for £1,400 ($2,242). The first lot comprised five scripts that were believed to have been for the pilot episodes, which were first aired in 1950.
Following were a further five scripts for the same character in an original BBC envelope, which were for the first official instalments of the soap in 1951. Both lots featured annotations from the actors in red and black pencil, which provide insight into the development of some of the show's earliest characters.
Also featuring among the collection was a set of original galley proofs and a printed copy of The Archers stage play.
Among the auction's most interesting lots was a unique signed copy of Doris Archer's Diary - a book containing extracts from 21 years of the show - which was signed by all members of the cast and presented to Jeremy Whitticase, who at age three was the youngest actor ever to appear in the show.
In total, the collection realised £4,345 ($6,960), excluding buyer's premium.
Paul Fraser Collectibles has a fantastic item from another British institution, Dad's Army. Our handwritten and autographed script is signed by the TV show's writers and is taken from the very first episode.