Widows on the radio

Widow listens this week

Hester in the Archers


The Archers is a radio soap opera that has been running since 1951. A few of the main characters are currently widows and last week a mysterious new widow, Hester, arrived bringing the older characters together to pore over mysteries from the past. It is a treat to hear such a high profile program being led by a group of women over sixty. You can find the omnibus version of all of last week’s episodes on BBC’s iPlayer.


In other weeks, younger widow Lizzie is a tough business woman; twice widowed and currently unlucky in love Lilian, is a cheerfully wayward influence; widowed Jolene, currently married to Kenton, is an ex-country and western singer who holds the pub together. There are also widowers in the form of the local vicar, Alan, who married Usha, and Bert, a retired farmworker whose wife Freda died in March.


Cruse on You and Yours


You and Yours is Radio 4’s main consumer affairs show. Today they had a widow, Louise Smith, sharing dreadful experiences of how she was treated by companies when she had to contact them about the death of her husband. Cruse Bereavement Care’s Chief Executive, Debbie Kerslake, spoke about the importance of companies training their customer care staff on how to be supportive towards bereaved people.


Dame Judi on Desert Island Discs


This was first broadcast a couple of weeks ago but you can still find it on iPlayer or download it as a podcast.


It’s refreshing to hear a widow talk about such a full life in both the present and the past. To hear her speak of her late husband, Michael Williams, matter-of-factly as a huge part of her life is how much loved partners should feature in conversation. If you can. Maybe the unusual bit is hearing someone being allowed to do that without being met by an awkward silence or a probing for something mournful. It’s a good listen, an appealing approach to life and a joy that it ends in candid giggles.

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