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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Star of The Archers goes pig farming in Millom

A STAR of hit radio show The Archers swapped the studio for a muddy Millom field to learn the art of pig farming.

Helen Longworth mucked in with Millom farmers Jean and Tony McGowan, at High Lowscales Farm, last week, and got up close and personal with a host of middle white and saddleback pigs.

The 32-year-old plays Hannah the pig girl on the popular Radio 4 show and Miss Longworth dived head-first into her new role.

She said: “Some of the piglets are really cute. But when I was holding one up, the bigger pigs came over and were grunting at me. I suppose they are just talking to their baby. I really enjoyed the visit.”

Miss Longworth attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and has appeared in TV soaps including Emmerdale, Hollyoaks and Heartbeat. She has also entertained audiences in theatres all around the country.

She joined the cast of The Archers in November and commutes from her Lancaster home, once a month, to the show’s recording sessions in Birmingham.

She said: “It is quite a jolly job acting. I have done quite a lot of radio dramas. I love doing radio shows because it is all in the imagination really. Everyone who is listening pictures the characters in a different way. When I met the cast for the first time some of them didn’t look at all like I thought they would.

“It is good for me coming from Lancaster because I get some of the technical farming jargon and I have the Lakes on my door step. If I came from London or Manchester I wouldn’t.”

The Archers is set in the fictional village of Ambridge and is one of the most popular programmes and longest running shows on Radio 4.

High Lowscales Farm is owned by prominent Lake District hotelier, Jon Denby, who gave Miss Longworth a guided tour of the farm.

His farm hit the headlines last year when it began breeding the country’s first ever Wagyu cattle. Mr Denby said: “We feel honoured to have as Helen visit us. All the cattle we have on our farm are rare. It does a lot to promote the Lakes when celebrities do come.”

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