Archers bad boy coming to fete

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Monks Eleigh’s village fete has caused quite a stir this year.

The fete is being opened by actor Timothy Watson, who plays the infamous Rob Titchener in The Archers.

There was even speculation that the organisers were having to lay on extra security as the Rob and Helen domestic abuse story unfolds.

It has been one of the most talked about story lines in any show for years, with Watson’s character now a figure of hate.

But Watson, whose cousin lives in the village, is coming as himself not Rob and will be presenting a traditional family day out to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday, so no extra security will be needed.

Watson will be joined by Martha Kearney, presenter of Radio 4’s World at One and numerous BBC documentaries, who has a home in Suffolk.

Monks Eleigh’s annual fete, which raises funds for the upkeep of the village’s medieval church, will feature homemade teas, family sports and themed children’s competitions to make a crown, bake a cake and paint a picture.

Visitors will also be invited to enter their pooches into a dog fancy dress competition judged by such fashion grandees as Judy Rumbold, former fashion editor of The Guardian, Heath Brown, former fashion director of The Times and Professor Ian Griffiths the acclaimed creative director of the famous Italian fashion house MaxMara – all of whom live in Suffolk and are mad about dogs.

Fete committee member Nicola Gooch said: “Martha is usually heard interviewing world leaders rather than seen judging dog shows and Timothy’s brilliant portrayal of Rob Titchener in The Archers has had an astounding affect in raising national awareness of coercive control.

“Even Suffolk domestic abuse charities have reported an increase in enquiries as The Archers’ story has developed. But both Timothy and Martha are great fun in real life and we are thrilled they are putting their serious jobs aside for the day to join our fete.”

The domestic abuse charities Women’s Aid, which runs safe houses for women and children in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, and Refuge will have stalls at the fete.

There will be live music from award–winning musician Paolo Morena.

Monks Eleigh Fete and Dog Show will be held from 1 to 6pm on Saturday 4 June, on Church Hill, Monks Eleigh IP7 7JL.