Fans criticise BBC for Archers Down’s syndrome abortion poll

Irate fans of The Archers have berated the BBC over a “disgusting” poll which asked if two of the show’s characters should abort their Down’s syndrome baby.

The Radio 4 show is running a storyline about an older couple, Mike and Vicky Turner, whose unborn baby has the condition.

Last week a poll appeared on the show’s website asking listeners to cast a yes/no vote on whether the couple should have an abortion.


Fans responded by calling for the BBC to scrap the “disturbing” poll.

A post on the show’s Facebook page plugged the poll saying: “Mike and Vicky’s dilemma makes up this week’s vote: should they go through with the pregnancy?”

But one listener wrote: “What a disgusting poll to run! This is not a subject that should be polled on. Disgusting.”


Another wrote: “I actually find this poll a little disturbing and upsetting. Please remove it.”

And another said: “I agree this poll is incredibly insensitive and inappropriate and should be removed.”

The BBC initially defended the poll. It has now been replaced.


A spokesman for the broadcaster said the storyline “has been well-received by the audience and raises a number of important issues about Down’s Syndrome”.

But admitted the “issue is too complex and sensitive for an online poll and we regret any offence the poll may have caused”.

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