By Emily Hodgkin For Mailonline. These actresses are used to going unseen as the voices of Radio 4's The Archers but this Christmas sees them becoming more visible - literaly. Six stars of the long-running serial have posed naked in a series of racy naked calendar-style pictures to tie in with a storyline set in the fictional county of Borsetshire. Tim Firth adapted the play from his hit movie in which a Women's Institute in Yorkshire raises money for cancer research by artfully embodying a month each.
Starring in the shoot for the Christmas edition of Radio Times was fraught issues for the soap's stars, with Annabelle Dowler, who plays Kirsty, remarking: 'You'd walk down a corridor at the BBC and you'd hear conversations like, "Well, I'm not taking my clothes off unless Lynda Snell does. The women used strategically place sheet music, plates of mince pies and some tinsel to protect their modesty.
A stand-alone radio production of the Ambridge Calendar Girls will air on Sunday, December 27, with episodes before and after featuring the final dress rehearsal and then an edition located backstage during the production where everything seems to be going wrong. The saucy images of the radio actresses will appear in this festive edition of the Radio Times.
Meanwhile, one guest star for the show within a show is Sian Phillips, who played Jessie in the original stage version of Calendar Girls, and now repeats the role, by playing resident Jean Harvey, in the Snell interpretation.
Sian said: 'I wanted to do it because I'm a huge fan of the show. But I was a bit confused when offered the part. Or some other person playing Jessie? So, in the show, we still never hear Jean, but there's a running joke about her being a diva. Sian, 82, also admitted that stripping off for photos was a career first. Today is the most undressed I've ever been in a photo,' she said. Lynda's escalating theatrical ambition has been a theme on The Archers, leading the actors to speculate how this year's production could be topped.
Alison Dowling Elizabeth suggested that, in the interests of equality, the panto should be 'the Ambridge men in The Full Monty'. New Year's Day also sees the 65th anniversary edition of the show. But as listeners know, anything can happen in Ambridge, and many are still shaken by the events of the 60th anniversary episode that saw Nigel Pargetter actor Graham Seed feel to his death from a slippery roof.
Sean O'Connor said: 'I'm ruling nothing in and ruling nothing out. But it will be completely different from any show's anniversary episode ever, and defining for The Archers. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
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