The role of sausage entrepreneur Tom Archer in long-running BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers is to be recast.
Tom Graham, who has played the part for 17 years, revealed on Twitter: “My reign as sausage king of Ambridge has come to an end and I am being deposed.”
The character has not featured on the programme for several months after emigrating to Canada but is expected to return in due course.
A BBC spokesman said: “Characters are frequently recast in The Archers.”
He added: “We never comment on future storylines.”
In his announcement, Graham made it clear that it was not his decision to leave the soap opera.
“It is with much sadness that I must announce that after 17 years of playing Tom Archer in The Archers, the show’s editor has taken the decision to recast the part,” he wrote.
“It is a great loss to me not to be able to continue giving a voice to Tom’s journey when he returns to Ambridge…. I have loved every minute of playing Tom Archer and have grown up alongside him since joining the programme in 1997.”
He thanked the listeners and signed off: “And so it is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to my time as Tom Archer. So long, and thanks for all the sausages.”
In a recent interview with The Daily Telegraph, The Archers editor Sean O’Connor said: “I think there was an issue with the younger actors, who have been recruited not from drama school but from local community drama groups.
“What I have been doing is bringing in slightly older actors to play younger characters, because they have been trained and know what they are doing.”
Source:: BBC Entertainment