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Roy Of The Drovers

Once popular county-wide, The Drovers has struggled to maintain audience interest despite a series of increasingly sensational storylines.

Sources close to the Threadbone Corporation in Great Heaving have confirmed today that Deputy Chair Royston "Roy" Binstock will indeed be this year's celebrity guest in Dorset Radio's "everyday story of Dewlish folk" The Drovers. It is widely believed that he will appear in the Annual Christmas Pantomime aired in December. The programme which started out as a post war educational programme for livestock breeders before "down-dumbing" into a sensationalist radio soap is still popular amongst a handful of listeners. It's demographic is described by audience researchers as "well over 80 and verging on extinction".

Dorset Radio are pulling out all the stops in an effort to galvanise public interest. Front page headlines don't come cheap and this one is thought to have cost in excess of £12.50.

Rumours that the Great heaving "Deputy Fat Cat" would appear on the show have been rife since rural accent coach OO Are-OOare, was seen entering the Administrative Headquarters of the AJTCorps under a blanket a little over a month ago. A subsequent social media explosion suggested that Mrs Threadbone herself might be the intended recipient of the voice coach's attentions but those in the know moved quickly to scotch any such rumours. Mrs Threadbone has twice appeared on the programme before - as a guest judge at the Flower and Produce Show [2008] and as a celebrity umpire at the Single Wicket-Competition [2013].

The Dewlish calendar is peppered with "traditional" events which are often the platform for audience-boosting celebrity appearances. Chief amongst these are the Flower and Produce Show, the Single Wicket and The Christmas Panto.

The Drovers - which once reached an audience of over 275 - was popular in a period when watching paint dry was a national sport, but it has struggled of late to keep younger audiences engaged. "The Drovers was popular in a period when watching paint dry was a national sport, but it has struggled of late to keep younger audiences engaged", explains media watcher Aire Waves. In an attempt to revive it, producers have introduced a series of ever more sensational plotlines - the theft of a water butt, a false DEFRA claim, the abduction of a prize cockerel, an outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease and even a phantom Jersey pregnancy - all audience-chasing material which has, on the whole, failed to prevent the average listener from voting with their ears.

Turd End Cottage where the "fictional" Mr Binstock will be said to reside during his guest appeatance.

However, one episode which always pulls in the punters is the Annual Christmas Pantomime in which, amidst hilarity of every description, a celebrity appears to "steal the show". Producers are hoping this year will be no exception with more than 12 extra listeners expected to tune in for Mr Binstock's appearance.

So will he/won't he is now the burning question as programme executives refuse to reveal exactly which part he will play. Having noted his inability to remember his lines in the Alderholt Amateur Players Theatre Company's The Lady Varnishes at the KIng's Theatre, Bradford Peverell in February, Dorset Casino say the smart money is on some part of the horse.


Front end - 10/1

Back End - 1/5

Dumb Waiter - Evens

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