The Helen Titchener storyline could run for the next 30 years, the show’s outgoing editor has said, as he revealed killing her abusive husband would have been an easy way out.
Sean O’Connor, who joined The Archers in 2013 and oversaw the long-running storyline, revealed writers were initially going to kill Rob off but instead decided to take the dirtier route.
The decision was made to ensure the couple, who have a newborn baby, were still inextricably linked – perhaps for as long as the next three decades.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme following Helen’s not guilty verdict, O’Connor admitted the story has still got a long way to go.
When we first started thinking about the story we were going to kill Rob and he was going to die, he said. The legal advisers said if you do that it will be much cleaner, it will be much quicker, you’ll definitely get Helen off.
So we deliberately decided to use the dirtier route and not let him die, and now they are umbilically linked together forever, as long as they have those children together, so I think there are another 20, 30 years in the story.
O’Connor’s comments came as fans expressed their delight at Helen being cleared of attempted murder and wounding with intent after stabbing Rob twice in the stomach back in April.
#FreeHelen is not over I reckon #thearchers The meeting with Rob after the verdict had…sinister undertones. There will be more!
@BBCTheArchers but perhaps there's therapy and the custody battle to go through first.
Most astonishing part of last night's #thearchers: Rob hitting on Helen post-trial!
It also came after also hints that it is not all over for Rob and Helen as he threatened her in the final moments of the episode, hissing in her ear that she will never escape him.
Listeners had been captivated by the storyline, which saw Rob become increasingly controlling and manipulative as he told his wife what to wear and cook.
In a series of shocking episodes over the course of nearly three years, he also persuaded Helen to stop driving and forced her to stop seeing her friends and family.
Saving the @BBCTheArchers for the commute has resulted in me arriving at my desk an emotional wreck – but HELEN IS FREE!!!! #FreeHelen
Catching up on #thearchers on the train – crying my eyes out!
Let's take a stand & stamp out domestic violence & insure real Helen's receive help don't suffer in silence speak out Xx #TheArchers
In court, Helen revealed publicly for the first time that she had been raped over and over again by Rob. Her defence lawyer persuaded the jury the mother-of-two had stabbed Rob after fearing for her five-year-old son Henry’s life.
Fans and domestic violence charities last night praised the brave storyline. The Archers was still trending on Twitter this morning, while a fundraising page, set up to support victims of domestic abuse and named after Helen, reached £157,000.
O’Connor also revealed Helen was never going to have been found guilty. In purely practical terms, the story had been on for three years and I think we have had six months of legal debate, he told the radio show.
If we wanted to go to an appeal, which would be an extra year, I think the audience would get fed up. We wanted to end the story on a high note, when they were still really behind Helen instead of really bored of her.
The storyline will continue on Wednesday with a family court hearing.
News Source TelegraphNews