Page last updated at 13:51 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Painting in final Archers outing

Norman Painting
Painting was known to millions as the voice of Ambridge's genial patriarch

The late Norman Painting, the voice of Philip Archer, will make his final appearance on long-running BBC Radio 4 drama The Archers on Sunday.

The actor, who died last month aged 85, had played the Ambridge farmer since the show's pilot episode in 1950.

The scenes were recorded just two days before Painting's death.

"It has been of great comfort to me... that he was able to carry on recording right up until the end of his life," said Archers' editor Vanessa Whitburn.

Set in the family kitchen at Glebe Cottage, listeners will hear Phil Archer enjoying Sunday lunch with his grandsons and making preparations for Christmas.

'Mischievous humour'

"It seems fitting that Norman's final scenes should perfectly reflect the character he had brought Phil to become; a grandfather and a family man, with a mischievous sense of humour, and an active interest in the workings of his much-loved farm, Brookfield," said Ms Whitburn.

Painting is featured in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest-serving actor in a single soap opera, but his appearances in recent years had been limited due to ill health.

In 2000, the actor revealed he had been diagnosed with bladder cancer but said it would not stop him recording episodes.

"I see no reason why this illness should prevent me from continuing doing what I love ," he said at the time.

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