Modern slavery in The Archers: how credible is its latest shocking plotline?


When Ambridge builder Philip Moss turned out to be a gangmaster – employing homeless Britons as unpaid workers – some thought it a plot twist too far. But the radio soap had done its homework

When characters in The Archers discuss feeding their horses, you assume they are talking about taking hay out to their livestock, so it is perplexing to discover that these “horses” thrive on pizza, cigarettes and beer.

The more casual listener might have formed the impression that divorced builder Philip Moss was a mild-mannered, middle-aged birdwatcher who never says anything interesting. It has been startling to learn that he is in fact an evil gangmaster. Over the past year, Philip has acquired three slaves, who have been working unpaid on his construction projects. In muttered conversations with his son, he refers to them as “horses”, talking approvingly about one who is placid and easy to manage, and praising another who is strong as an ox.

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