The actress who played Caroline Sterling in The Archers on Radio 4 for nearly 40 years has died from cancer.
Sara Coward was 69 and had been diagnosed with the disease last year.
She had played the character in the BBC radio drama since 1979.
Archers editor Huw Kennair-Jones said: “Everyone in The Archers family is very sad today. Sara was a gifted actress with a unique voice. Even when she was navigating the tribulations of Caroline Sterling’s love life, Sara’s deft wit and clever characterisation meant Caroline was never solely defined by her relationships but always as a fully rounded, intriguing woman of substance. We will all miss her both professionally and personally.”
Speaking to the Radio Times in January, she said her dying wish was that they didn’t write her character out of the soap after her death. She said: “I’d like them to find someone else to play her. In fact I know the very person -Michael Cochrane’s wife Belinda Carroll would be perfect.” Michael plays Caroline Sterling’s on air husband, Oliver.