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June Spencer retires from The Archers aged 103 after 71 years: ‘I’ve been trying to leave for a year’


June Spencer, the last original cast member of BBC Radio 4 programme The Archers, is retiring at age 103.

Spencer, who has played matriarch Peggy Woolley (formerly Archer) since 1951, has already recorded her last episodes for the much-loved drama, which were broadcast on July 31, the Telegraph reports.

She told the paper her exit has been a long time coming.

“I’ve been trying to retire for at least a year,” she said.

“They didn’t want to lose her character. Every time I tried to stop they gave me more episodes.”

Peggy was often viewed as a traditionalist, a conservative character in the long-running drama charting the ups and downs of life in fictional Ambridge.

Among Peggy’s many fans is the Duchess of Cornwall, who last year invited Spencer and her co-stars to Clarence House for a reception marking the show’s 70th anniversary.

In a statement in The Telegraph, Camilla called Peggy “a true national treasure who has been part of my life, and millions of others, for as long as I can remember”.

Although Peggy has not yet been written out of the show, Spencer has her own ideas on how best to manage her character’s exit.

She said: “The simplest thing is if (Peggy has) a fall or something and goes into The Laurels (the fictional care home in Ambridge.

“She can languish for years there.”

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