In a scene at the Borsetshire sexual health clinic, Phoebe described the potential of seeing someone she knew as “mortifying” and refused to touch anything, before being told: “These people are just the same as you.” “Using fictional characters to talk about sensitive issues allows parents and young people to talk more confidently and openly about healthy relationships, contraception and staying safe.”Natika H Halil, chief executive of sexual health charity FPA, said in reality, women are statistically unlikely to be sick after taking the morning after pill, pointing out the character could also have used the most effective emergency contraception of the IUD.“Even if Constantin hadn’t ‘been a busy boy this summer’, both he and Phoebe should still go and get tested for STIs,” she added.“It’s great to hear sexual health and safer sex being discussed on The Archers.” Behind the scenes recording The Archers Over the coming weeks, listeners are to discover whether she had indeed caught an STI or fallen pregnant.Laura Hannah, education and wellbeing lead at Brook clinic, said: “”The relationship between Sophie and Constantin is raising vital awareness of these very real issues that young people face and is making sexual health part of everyday household conversation rather than something that is embarrassing or taboo.”Stories in the media also provide a good starting point for parents to talk to their children. One fan, writing on Twitter as the storyline was broadcast pointed out that it was “rather odd”, pointing to “a mixture of liberal and quietly moralising”.Another said: “I’m dreading what’s to come. It’s going to be a pregnancy/STI storyline which puts the accountability onto her rather than the guy or clinic.” A previous storyline about Helen and Rob raised awareness about domestic violence “Seemingly liberal attitude to sex in The Archers shows Phoebe being punished for one night stand,” a third pointed out.A BBC spokesman said: “The Archers has always sought to reflect different experiences of everyday life, as well as discussing a wide range of issues, including sexual health.“This storyline reflects the experience of a young woman and the issues that are pertinent to her.” The Archers, the BBC’s longest running soap Awaiting public interest, the Archers team has already prepared an online graphic detailing “a short history of contraception in The Archers”, from the first mention of the Pill in 1977 to today.The Radio 4 soap has prided itself on tackling difficult issues throughout its history, including a controversial storyline about Jennifer’s illegitimate pregnancy in 1967 after a dalliance with the cowman. Scenes broadcast last week recorded Phoebe enjoying a one-night stand with Constantin, who delayed telling her that their condom split.Concerned, she discussing failing to top up her contraceptive injection, attempting to take the morning after pill before it made her sick.In an in-depth conversation with character Lexi, she details the conditions under which the emergency contraception will work, being told Constantin had been a “busy boy” all summer and that she should get “checked out”. It has tackled issues from domestic violence and dementia to robotic cow milking. Now, listeners of the Archers may be left spluttering on their tea and biscuits as it turns its sights on sexual health, bringing an unexpectedly detailed look at an STI clinic to the ears of Middle England.Those tuning in for their daily dose of Ambridge have heard about a split condom, failed morning after pill and potential venereal disease, and are currently waiting on tenterhooks to hear the result of Phoebe’s a sexual health test.Phoebe Aldridge, a University of Oxford student who has fallen for the charms of dashing fruit picker Constantin, is to help educate Radio 4 listeners, in a storyline which has been welcomed by charities and lamented by others.Some listeners have already raised eyebrows at the delivery of the storyline, which spells out the details of Phoebe’s various contraceptive options for its listeners, which have an average age of 56. Phoebe, played by actress Lucy Morris Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
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