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Bye bye Norman

I like pork pies. I prefer the ones with less crust, more jelly and more meat. Branston's good too and that sweet chilli dip and Stilton though I don't think I've tasted Stilton for over four years now. I could go on, Maggie says I do. The nub though is that I manage perfectly well without Bombay mix and even Llagavulin. When they do come my way I enjoy them even more. If I were somewhere else the list might include Napolitanas, queso Manchego and chopitos.

Back in 1984 I got a new job and found myself going to meetings and visiting youth clubs. The habitual meeting time was 7.30. The 7pm Radio 4 News; Brighton Bombings and Tommy Cooper's last gag, on the car radio as I drove across the fens or into Cambridge. Then Dum-ti-dum-ti-dum-ti-dum dum-ti diddily dum - an everyday story of country folk - the Archers.

I still listen. I download the podcasts and usually listen over breakfast. Last Friday Phil Archer, the man who was at the heart of the story for so many years, died. Tonight they buried him.

Norman Painting, the actor who played Phil, died last October. The story didn't get a mention in El Pais, or on Corazon or on the Telediarios so I missed it. I couldn't let it pass a second time.


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