Congratulations are due to the RSPB marketing department. They may have had some funny ideas recently, and it’s entirely possible that they have become a bloated, flabby appendage given the run of the nation’s favourite charity. But they’ve pulled off a minor coup. Getting the Big Garden Bird Watch (sorry #biggardenbirdwatch) mentioned in a segment of The Archers is a marvellous idea.
Without wishing to generalise, I would imagine the demographic of The Archers are exactly the sort of people who would take part in the Big Garden Thingumybob (in other words, it probably has a higher listener-with-an-actual-garden ratio than Eastenders). And given the frankly occasionally rabid social media presence of Ambridge-ites, there’s a self-propagating quality to this smart piece of marketing.
But where can we go from here? Is this the start of a fad of conservation issues seeping into soaps? I think there’s still mileage in this for The Archers. Rob Titchner is almost certainly a climate change denier. But what about other soaps? Could the London Wildlife Trust get a gig rewilding Albert Square? The Corrie cast discussing the failure of the Paris UN summit? The Dingles trying to secure Higher Level Stewardship? Personally, I would pay good money to see the Canal and River Trust beginning a concerted campaign of Canada Goose egg-pricking outside The Dog in the Pond.
So is it time the RPSB started employing a scriptwriter to pitch storylines? They seem to have everything else.