Pop legends the Pet Shop Boys have saved the day for the residents of Ambridge by stepping in at the last minute to headline the show’s inaugural music spectacular, Loxfest.
In tonight’s episode (Friday 22 August) audiences were delighted to hear that the iconic pop duo would be going west to take to Loxfest’s main stage to close the fictional festival. Organiser Roy Tucker revealed the exciting news backstage as village landlady, Jolene, with her band The Midnight Walkers, belted out their version of Dolly Parton’s song of the same name.
The Pet Shop Boys, who are long-term fans of show said: “It's a thrill for us to enter the world of The Archers, the UK's most famous radio drama.”
The special guest appearance, which was recorded at the illustrious Maida Vale Studios last month, can be heard on Monday night in The Archers usual slot on BBC Radio 4 at 7pm.
Loxfest, which kicked off tonight, has been attracting star names to the village with a little help from their friends at Radio 6 Music, in particular, presenter Steve Lamacq.
Lamacq, who can be heard compering the festivities in the programme, has been working with the producers of The Archers to help curate the festival in real life, with real up-and coming-artists. The Loxfest line-up includes Sheffield’s indie-pop duo, Slow Club and solo troubadour, Luke Sital-Singh, both of whose music can be heard in the show.
Steve Lamacq, Radio 6 Music presenter, said: “Loxfest is The Archers storyline we’ve been waiting for. As someone who spends a lot of time covering festivals for the BBC, it was one we really wanted to be involved with. So when we first heard the rumours about the festival at the start of the year we offered up our services, helping to suggest bands that might fit the bill. I’d have probably have gone down and helped them put up the security fencing if they’d asked!
“I’ve been a fan of The Archers off and on for more than a decade, but got hooked again about three years ago. You’d be surprised how many Archers fans there are in the music industry. Even the former Stage Manager at Reading Festival would come up to me and ask to borrow my pocket radio when The Archers Omnibus came on.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how the Festival goes. It’s not as easy as some people think launching a festival these days, but despite a few hitches and bad press in the run up, I’ve got high hopes for it.”