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Who the hell are Oliver and Caroline?!

(73 Posts)
Hiphopopotamus Sat 29-Jun-13 00:55:32

So I've recently got into the Archers, and I thought I had reached a point where I had everyone and their families sorted. I'm listening to this weeks catch ups, and bloody Oliver and Caroline pop up. Who the hell are they?!

BoreOfWhabylon Sat 29-Jun-13 01:18:37

Caroline's been around for years and years, Oliver arrived more recently

*Caroline Sterling*, née Bone, formerly Pemberton (Sara Coward) moved to the village in 1977, aged 22, when she was hired by Sid as barmaid in the Bull. Her career took off when in 1979 Jack Woolley offered her a job at Grey Gables and she eventually became manager. Upon Jack's retirement, she and partner Oliver Sterling managed to raise funds to buy the hotel and she is now proprietor. On her arrival she soon attracted the attention of many of the male villagers — she once had an affair with Brian Aldridge, and was romantically linked with former village doctor, Matthew Thorogood, and businessman and one-time estate owner Cameron Fraser (who disappeared with £60,000 of her savings), and she was engaged to non-stipendiary minister and vet Robin Stokes. In 1995 she married the new owner of the estate, Guy Pemberton, but after only seven months of marriage he suffered a fatal heart attack and left her the Dower House and a majority share in the Bull (which she sold to Lilian Bellamy, in order to raise funds to buy Grey Gables). When Oliver Sterling moved to the village she began an affair with him and they eventually moved into Grange Farm together. They were married in June 2006.

*Oliver Sterling* (Michael Cochrane) Gentleman farmer and huntsman who bought Grange Farm from the estate. Initially he employed Ed Grundy to manage his dairy herd, but has since sold the enterprise to Ed and retired properly. He has created new cheeses with Helen Archer. Married to Caroline. In March 2008 he had problems with the herd being infected by Bovine TB.

(From Wikipedia)

Somethingyesterday Sat 29-Jun-13 01:24:50

You've done this to stop me sleeping haven't you?

Caroline (nee Bone) resident aristocrat. Related to a titled somebody whose name I forget. Got it - Lord Netherborne -I might be making that up but fairly certain. Shula's best friend, so similar age. She started life as Social Secretary at Grey Gables when Jack Wooley owned the place. Then was promoted to a management role and was really running Grey Gables by the time Jack retired.

She married the then owner of "the Estate" and was extremely happy - then suddenly widowed. (I'm not specifying dates because it could have been any time from late seventies to early nineties. Can't recall. (It's late...) She became engaged to the then Vicar but pulled out after a serious accident. She is Will Grundy's godmother.

Oliver came into Ambridge as the buyer of Grange Farm when the Grundys lost it through bankruptcy. But he's been unexpectedly lovely, particularly supportive of Ed Grundy through bad times. He now employs him as herd manager (on the very farm that Ed grew up on.)

So - Caroline and Oliver got together. Jack got Alzheimer's and Peggy decided to sell Grey Gables. Caroline sold The Dower House to Matt, to raise money to buy Grey Gables, and moved into Grange Farm. Oliver, very clumsily, proposed. Was scolded by Shula. Proposed better. Caroline and Oliver are now married.

When they bought the hotel Roy was employed as manager. But he was poached by Elizabeth and , as times were hard, Caroline refused to replace him, so has been running herself ragged ever since. Hence the argument in Thursday night.

Is that enough?

Somethingyesterday Sat 29-Jun-13 01:26:20

BofW Nooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! I've been tapping keys for AGES!!!

BoreOfWhabylon Sat 29-Jun-13 01:32:23

Yours is much better than mine though grin

Somethingyesterday Sat 29-Jun-13 01:45:33

It's frightening how much detail has faded from my memory.

BofW how long have you been listening? My parents had the Archers on as far back as I can remember, I missed chunks at school, took it up again as an undergraduate, missed chunks when out of the country pre-Internet, have listened ever since. Most of the "background info" is made up in my head, so what the SWs do is merely "suggestive" to me....

Hipho I'm not certain I would persevere if I were starting now.... I hope they'll make it worth your time.

BoreOfWhabylon Sat 29-Jun-13 03:17:51

Something you remembered much more than I did, which is why I cut and pasted!

I listened as a tiny child with my grandparents (so probably got imprinted then). Then life and travels got in the way for aeons a long time. Took it up again intermittently when I returned to the the UK in the 90s. Got hooked from around the time of the Kathy rape story - which was when I found the BBC messageboard. It is much more interesting when you have the chance to point and laugh discuss with others. I know no one in RL who listens. I tend not to mention it because people think I'm odd if I do grin

PseudoBadger Sat 29-Jun-13 06:10:57

This is the problem with the nature of TA these days! You go weeks with the same characters and the others just fade. They barely even get name checked.

Bluestocking Sat 29-Jun-13 08:12:01

I thought the row on Thursday was most unconvincing. Of all the Grey Gables employees you could trust to take care of two children until their relatives arrive, Linda would have to be top of the list. Caroline should have handed over to Linda and gone out with dear old Olly Foxbreath. I imagine him dressed up for the evening in a pair of those awful red trousers that Sloaney men wear.

R4 Sat 29-Jun-13 08:24:08

I am shocked and appalled by the OP.

Not the OP's fault. Entirely the fault of the scriptwriters and their 'episodic' storylines these days. Caroline has been around for yonks, how could you not know of her existence!shock

I'm sorry that this story has been your introduction to her because I think she is fab. I don't do role models but if I did then Caroline would be it. Normally she is poise, elegance, class and professionalism personified. I do hope that she hasn't caught that nasty disease going round Ambridge called Characterconfusionitis.

Somethingyesterday Sat 29-Jun-13 08:51:53

It wasn't even weeks without C/O - they've been forgotten for months and months.

Everything about their return was artificial. (I say this having DEMANDED that the SWs bring them back...) The lunch dialogue was ridiculously formal - the characters sounded like distant business acquaintances. And the whole date night cancellation argument made them both look silly.

I hope this presages the introduction of a new manager for Grey Gables and not its closure and the disappearance of two of my favourite people.

BoreOfWhabylon Sat 29-Jun-13 11:37:28

I am wondering if the clunking dialogue heralds a new story line, wherein cracks appear in the sterling marriage and Caroline seeks comfort in the arms of Brine (they have previous for this). Brine hasn't been up to any shenanigans for a loooong time, but I'm sure there is life in the old dog yet!

Northernlurker Sat 29-Jun-13 11:41:56

Caroline's engagement to Robin the vicar was before her marriage to Guy and tragic widowing when he had a heart attack. Incidentally Guy's evil son Simon had a fling with both Shula and Debbie I think - and hit Debbie. Caroline also had a pretty serious relationship with the doctor, Matthew back in the 80s. That was going on when I started listening. She was with Shula when Daniel was born (Shula's husband Mark died in a car crash when he swerved to avoid Caroline, lying in the road after being thrown from her horse.)

Ablababla Sat 29-Jun-13 11:42:52

I've been listening for about 18 months and thought exactly the same thing! Seem to remember Grey Gables being mentioned a lot as a child but not recently.

Somethingyesterday Sat 29-Jun-13 12:33:44

* Northern* Do you remember the terrifying phone call between Caroline and Guy - when he was having the heart attack? And then her racing home and seeing him through the window? And his words as he realised what was happening? So long ago I may have imagined it all.

I definitely remember crying for a week when Mark died....

It's episodes like that Hipho that keep me going through the - mostly - thin times we've suffered lately. I don't know if you started listening AFTER Nigel's death? I can't even begin to feel light hearted about that. It was UNFORGIVEABLE and really broke the trust between SWs and the listener. Utterly, utterly ridiculous and unbelievable. I never feel now that they have a secure hold on the story.

Somethingyesterday Sat 29-Jun-13 12:51:35

Sorry! Obviously you started listening more recently - or you would have come across them before.

The problem is that the SWs never really seem to know what to do with Oliver - outside his brilliant relationship with Ed Grundy. So most of his interaction with Caroline (and indeed with other Ambridge residents) borders on the comic and pointless.

I've often wondered what they're going to do regarding Oliver and Caroline's conflicting loyalties to different Grundy brothers. I've waited for this potentially fabulous story to explode for at least a decade. Perhaps I missed it?

Brillig Sat 29-Jun-13 18:43:06

I have a bit of a soft spot for Oliver although he's so ridiculously posh. The actor who plays him (Michael Cochrane) is brilliant.

There was a fluffy comedy about a doomed pantomime on TV at Christmas with John Bishop - in fact I think he wrote it as well - and MC was in it as the pantomime dame. He spent the whole thing in a gigantic neon dress, a fright wig, and huge falsies. V amusing to hear Oliver Sterling's voice booming out from behind the disguise grin

IndridCold Sun 30-Jun-13 18:26:27

grin at the awful red trousers! Why do posh men like them so much? Oliver would definitely be the type though. He also has a tie pin with a fox's head on it - I know this to be true.

Ponks Mon 01-Jul-13 15:17:47

Anyone know if Oliver & Caroline are still fostering children on & off? (I have been an irregular listener since the awful throw-Nigel-off-the-roof-for-some-publicity debacle.

Bluestocking Mon 01-Jul-13 15:39:35

Posh men and red trousers are one of life’s enduring mysteries but I can vouch for the fact that the preference starts when they are young. I work at a university which is famous for its posh students and as soon as there’s a glimmer of sunshine, the boys are all out in red shorts and those Havaianas.

IndridCold Mon 01-Jul-13 16:15:20

I think they abandoned the fostering when they bought Grey Gables due to SWs getting bored lack of time.

Bluestocking I think the taste for red trousers is handed down from father to son. On older men the colour has sometimes faded to almost a flesh tone, which gives the disturbing impression of trouserlessness when glimpsed fleetingly out of the corner of your eye.

JessieMcJessie Wed 03-Jul-13 06:08:31

The Brine/Caroline affair is a key bit of Archers history. So it made me chuckle tonight when Brine agreed just a teeny touch too wholehearteldly with Jenny's statement that someone as classy and elegant as Caroline was the ideal "Swishing" hostess. (I also laughed out loud at JD's relegation of Susan to cloakroom attendant. )

Agree that Olly and Caroline's conflicting loyalties to the Grundy brothers is a storyline that ought to be explored. I also like the scenes in which Caroline has to be all boss-like towards Linda, you don't get many authentic workplace moments in TA (tho Susan teaching Vicky how to make yoghurt was a good one)

Fiderer Wed 03-Jul-13 07:19:05

There was an episode of Morse where he goes to the Randolph Hotel and "Caroline" is on reception. Made me grin

Somethingyesterday Wed 03-Jul-13 08:19:53

JMcJ flowers

- although hmm to you don't get many authentic workplace moments.

I've tried this sentence with the emphasis on authentic and then on workplace and then on authentic workplace....

Still can't make it work. Please clarify. (Possibly with full, annotated references to Chris's accident, Brookfield stock movement, Eddie's patio laying and other relevant instances. (Marks will be deducted for any tactless reference to Lonely Cow.)

JessieMcJessie Thu 04-Jul-13 10:31:39

What I meant was "instances of people acting like real people do in real jobs in real life". I suppose I forgot that farms are workplaces, but I have no idea how normal farmers behave and communicate. Perhaps I should have said "non-farm workplaces".

It's all "ooh, Brenda make me a cup of coffee" and "ooh Roy, what WILL we do if the Plastics Conference people cancel?" and just strikes me that all the characters in TA have too much personal friendship/history to act towards each other like real bosses and employees do. I suppose that the ridiculous Brine/Rob dairy staffing weight throwing around yesterday was an attempt...

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