Ambridge ‘breathes sigh of relief’ as The Archers villain Rob Titchener dies

The Archers villain Rob Titchener is revealed to have died in the latest episode of the long-running radio soap.

In Sunday’s episode of the BBC Radio 4 show, listeners heard Helen Archer receive news of her former partner’s death via a text from his brother Miles.

Rob and Helen were the central figures in The Archers’ high-profile domestic abuse storyline that aired between 2013 and 2016.

The text, read out by Helen’s brother Tom Archer, revealed that Rob had died at 9.09pm on Saturday.

Following the news, Helen remarked that she did not know whether to cry, laugh or throw up.

Over the past few weeks listeners of the show have heard about Rob’s mental and physical deterioration.

Speaking on what it has been like to voice Rob, actor Timothy Watson said: “Being inside Rob Titchener’s head over the last 11 years hasn’t always been the most comfortable place to be.

“But I’m immensely proud of having been part of such a powerful storyline and have loved every minute of my time with the wonderful Ambridge family, cast and production team alike. I shall miss them all terribly.”

Jeremy Howe, editor of The Archers, added: “Ambridge breathes a sigh of relief tonight as one of its most notorious villains is laid to rest.

“It’s been a privilege to work on a storyline which has had such great impact, and I hope Rob’s legacy will be one of increased awareness and understanding of the reality of coercive control.

“Thanks to Timothy for his brilliant performance of this complex and sinister character.”

Rob arrived in Ambridge in 2013 and shortly after he formed a relationship with Helen, who he began to coercively control.

He left Ambridge after their relationship broke down and a failed attempt to kidnap their son.

He returned this summer with a brain tumour, although there was much speculation that this was a lie intended to manipulate Helen.

The Archers
The Archers’ Rob and Helen (Pete Dadds/BBC/PA)

In their relationship, Rob had abused Helen and alienated her from family and friends.

She was arrested after she stabbed Rob with a kitchen knife in their home in 2016 following a confrontation after she tried to leave him.

Following the events in Blossom Hill Cottage, the extent of Rob’s abuse was detailed during Helen’s trial at Borchester Crown Court, whilst Rob continued to manipulate people with his version of events.

A star cast of jurors, including Dame Eileen Atkins and Catherine Tate, were heard deliberating Helen’s fate at court.

In a special hour-long episode Helen was cleared of attempted murder on September 11 2016.

Following the storyline, thousands of fans made donations to women’s charity Refuge, which supports victims and their children fleeing from domestic abuse.