Archers' playwright gets political
It's 19 January, some time in the near future: climate chaos brings devastating floods to the coast of England. But when the helicopters hover into view they don't bring aid but cameras...
These may be the opening lines to a new play, but One, Nineteen created by the youngest ever Archers' scriptwriter Tim Stimpson is close to the bone.
When's he's not penning instalments of life at Ambridge, Tim has been making time for his own work. Yet this is the first of his plays to deliver such a poignant political and environmental message.
What inspired you to write the play?
I've never wanted to be a political playwright, but this has become a political play. It shows how society as we know it is not sustainable, and how we are dealing with the issue of climate change, rather than focussing on the issue itself. We have a much bigger responsibility to change the way that we live and how we report on the world.
Is this the start of a career in environmental writing?
I wrote one Archers' script where a character was lamenting the loss of his trees. We had an amazing response from listeners saying how much they appreciated us addressing the issue. But if all I wanted to do was raise awareness I would end up preaching. There is not one character in One, Nineteen that I agree with completely. It's more about the world that you create around those characters that contains your beliefs.
How are you dealing with the issue of climate change?
I've switched to a green energy supplier and insulated my home. I'd also like to install a solar heater on the roof but the technology is just too expensive at the moment. Government needs to make this sort of thing compulsory
Why support an environmental organisation?
MPs are often hankering after a small number of voters so their agendas are bland. But organisations like Friends of the Earth play a part in pooling together large numbers of supporters to call for different agendas. These organisations are also a good intermediary between scientists (who are often circumspect) and politicians (who want to be popular).