A rare collection of memorabilia from the world's longest-running radio drama, The Archers, is set to sell on September 7 in Wolverhampton, UK.
Over 16,700 episodes have aired since the show's first appearance on the airwaves back in 1950. Now a British institution with over 5m listeners, it stands as the world's longest-running soap opera in any format.
Featuring in the auction is a series of 10 original scripts from the very first episodes of the show, including five from the pilot series and five from the first episodes of its official broadcast. The scripts are enhanced by black and red pencil notations and amendments from the cast, which shed light of the development of the show's most famous characters.
"These scripts are a piece of true broadcasting history and what I feel makes them especially interesting are the annotations - there are even phonetic notes in the margin to ensure that actors used the local vernacular - like switching 'yes' for 'aye'," commented auctioneer Dave Eglington.
Also featuring is a signed photo card from all of the series' earliest characters. Estimates have not yet been released by the auction house, but the scripts will be hoping to beat the £6,875 achieved by a script from episode 1 back in July 2011.
Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering a handwritten and signed script from that other long-running British series, Dad's Army.