Is The Archers sending anyone else into a borderline-panic-attack state recently? Seriously, this shit should come with a trigger warning.
In fact, trigger warning. This post contains reference to eating disorders and domestic and sexual abuse. Sigh.
Catching up on Friday’s episode of The Archers, I was physically shaking. The Rob and Helen storyline is car-crash radio at it’s best/worst. It just gets more and more disturbing, yet I can’t look away. Actually, I might have to, it’s not good for my mental health.
So, in order to excise some of this trauma, I thought I’d share my anger/grief/fear with y’all. I’ve been on Twitter, so I know I’m not the only one with #RobRage. Please enjoy this rant/romp through some of the highlights of Rob Titchener’s most hateful moments. (put the kettle on and settle in, we’ll be here for a while).
NB. My time line may be a bit murky, the rage has addled my brain.
1. The time he was a cheat
It was all pretty run of the mill stuff at first, Lothario lover seduces lonely single-mum into a forbidden romance. Nothing we haven’t seen before (yes, Brian Alridge, I’m talking about you). But then he left his wife and shacked up with Helen and they all lived happily ever after… Oh, wait.
Does anyone else have the feeling that Rob identified Helen as a more malleable, vulnerable candidate for ‘marital bliss’?
2. The time he flooded Ambridge (and got away with it)
Okay, maybe not single handedly, but we all know it’s true. Rob blocked some drain or something (I don’t know the science) to stop Berrow Farm being flooded, which means the whole of Ambridge got flooded a whole lot worse.
So, basically, Rob killed Freda Fry. Yes, that’s right, I said it.
And, incidentally, the only witness disappeared. Interesting.
3. The time he was a cheat again
Jess turns up at Helen’s door saying she and Rob had a night of passion. Rob makes out that Jess is unhinged, blames her for their marriage’s break up… Hmm, could this be a precursor to something?
4. The time he fiddled the books (and got away with it)
Charlie Thomas picks up on some irregularities, Rob gets arsey and resigns. No smoke without fire, Titchener.
5. The time he got away with cheating, too
Does anyone else think he somehow fiddled that paternity test? I wouldn’t put it past him. Whatever, he defo did the nasty with Jess while he was with Helen. 100%
6. The time he gave Helen a ‘makeover’
This one is hard to pin down, all we know is that a series of ‘innocent’ comments have left gorgeous Helen dressing in high-necked maroon dresses and doing her hair like a 50’s school mam. All the while she meekly acquiesces and we scream ‘you’re gorgeous Helen, dress how you want!’
7. The time(s) he said ‘good girl’
Arg. Bleurgh etc. Every time he subtly bends Helen to his will he seems to finish it off by saying “Good girl.”
Excuse me while I vomit.
8. The time he got Helen into hunting
Staunch, anti-hunt activist Helen was somehow guilt-tripped into believing she was being judgemental and unfair. Off she goes on a ‘not-a-real-hunt’, only to see a fox caught by dogs all the same. But does she put her foot down? Of course she doesn’t. She’s under his spell by now.
9. The time he got Henry into hunting
It wasn’t enough to twist Helen’s arm, Rob starts getting Henry involved. In fact, this whole “why don’t we ask Henry” tactic is working out again and again for Rob – a great way to overrule Helen whilst looking like the good-guy.
Oh. the. rage.
10. The time he punched a protestor (and got away with it)
So there’s a guy monitoring the hunt with his camera, making sure they are, you know, not actually hunting foxes, and Rob attacks him. Then, somehow, through his pressurising ways, gets Shula to testify that he wasn’t at fault.
Is anyone else still waiting for Shula to mention this to another human being??? Come on Shula, we need you!
11. The time he made the Ambridge farm shop into ikea-for-organic-food #bland
It’s a testament to Rob’s powers of persuasion that he got the entire Archers clan on-board with his plans to make the shop a bland, soulless, white-washed nonsense.
I mean, it’s not much in the Rob scheme of things, but still.
12. The time when…
Then there was that time, the time when it all got horribly serious, you know which one I mean. Helen had insisted she didn’t want another child until the shop was up and running, and then there was that episode when they got ‘a bit tipsy’ and he said nice, loving things and then he, well, he raped her didn’t he? I mean there’s no other way to say it.
I have no humour to offer on number 12, you’ll be glad to hear.
13. The time he won Pat over
We were all rooting for Pat ‘down-with-the-patriarchy’ Archer to catch on to Rob’s misogynistic ways. And there was a moment there when we really thought she would. But then, just when Helen needed her sharp-minded mother most, she’s won over. *weeps into keyboard*
14. The time he was a homophobe
Having being called out by Adam for cheating at cricket, he proceeded to tell him to leave it to the “real men”. Dick.
15. The time he dissed the Grundys
Not wanting Henry to associate with Ed and Emma’s kids?? They may not have much, Rob Titchener, but the Grundys have more heart and soul in their little fingers than you have in you entire being – so there!
You get the feeling Rob and Katie Hopkins would get on well. Which says it all really.
16. The time he was a homophobe, again
If Charlie Thomas isn’t going to give him a good reference, he’ll reveal his ‘dirty little secret’.
Sorry, Rob, the 1950s called, they want their backwards ideology back.
17. The time he tried to wreck a wedding
Rob Tichener’s forte seems to be for making ‘off the cuff’ remarks that fuck everything up. He’s not the bad guy, he thought you already knew your partner had cheated on you several times. Didn’t you?
Then he turns up at the wedding to watch it crash and burn. But it doesn’t. IN YOUR FACE ROB!
18. The time he turned Ian against Helen
Well, this was basically the same time.
Is anyone else angry with Ian for not marching over a telling Helen what an utter knob Rob is and that she’s better off without him? Have you not noticed your best friend’s turning into a shadow of her former self?
19. The time he called Scotch eggs ‘peasant food’
What a dick.
20. The time he started in on Henry
Okay, this is where my wit starts to falter again. Because, slowly but surely, Rob is driving a wedge between Henry and his mother. And that is not ok. It’s NOT OKAY!
And he got a legal guardianship thingy. We do not like this development.
21. The time he insulted Bridge Farm produce, again
Okay, you might be a tyrannical, abusive husband who willingly manipulates everyone around you, but no one insults Tom Archer’s sausages!
22. The time we knew he hated Kirsty
Kirsty knows Helen, and Kirsty knows Rob. She knows. SHE KNOWS PEOPLE! We’re all rooting for her.
23. The time he used just the right verbs…
“You’re really filling out”, “you’re blooming”. Oops, he bought a size too big, oops he bought a size too small.
This nasty piece of work knows just how to provoke an eating disorder relapse.
24. The time(s) he blamed it all on Helen
Somehow, it’s all her fault. Her mental health difficulties, Henry’s behaviour, their financial situation, even him hitting her; it’s her fault. She’s a mess, she’s falling apart, what will become of them?
God, I want to throat punch this man. Several times.
25. The time he got his mum involved
Was anyone else lulled into a false sense of security for a few days? For a minute there I thought his mum might actually be a nice person. Oh how wrong I was. Her name is Ursula for fuck sake, how did I not see this coming?
We hate her too, don’t we?
Just piss of back to your own bloody farm, you sea witch.
26. The time when he secretly planned prep school
Surely, if he goes ahead with this plan, someone in Ambridge will say something?? Pat and Tony won’t let them ship Henry off to boarding school at the age of 6, will they?????
27. The time he pathologised Helen
So, everyone now thinks Helen is mad. And she probably is a bit. As someone who is vulnerable to the odd mental health episode myself, I can’t imagine how I’d cope with this kind of corrosive abuse.
Our only hope is that a psychiatrist might pick up on the signs that EVERY FUCKER ELSE has missed. Except Kirsty. #TeamKirstyForLife
28. The time we realised he was, sort of, real…
Okay so Rob and Helen aren’t real, they are characters played by actors (one of whom has been hounded off social media by abuse, poor man). But they sort of are. This story line shows how anyone – however empowered or educated – can become a victim of debilitating domestic abuse, and how from the outside a partner can seem like a hero when they are, in fact, the villain of the piece.
Sorry to do the ole switcheroo on you, Dear Reader, but it’s true. As much as we all may have enjoyed shouting at the radio for a while, the creeping ‘ick’ feeling has mounted into something deeper.
Paul Trueman, an Archers fan and all-round good person set up a Just Giving page to illustrate just this – that there are plenty of real Helens out there who need our help. So if you’ve relished the rage in this post, how about popping along and giving a fiver to Refuge? The amazing, heart-warming news in all this is that Archers fans have already donated a hefty £65,575. But we can get to £100k, can’t we? For Helen.
What have I missed? Tell me your most infuriating Rob moments in the comments section below, or on Facebook and Twitter!
*If you have never listened to The Archers then a) congrats on not reaching premature middle age and b) sozzers, this post will make literally no sense, but tbh it’s mostly for personal catharsis any way.
** This actual man is not the worst, he’s an actor who is getting a very hard time for doing a staggeringly excellent job at play a monster. Well done Timothy Watson!