Jim (played by John Rowe) has been struggling on The Archers after suffering with his mental health on the BBC Radio 4 soap.
The elderly professor currently lives with his son Alistair Lloyd (Michael Lumsden), and has been tentatively reentering society and his normal life again in Ambridge.
Yet when Susan Carter (Charlotte Martin) came around banging on the front door of Jim’s cottage and demanding to know why he hadn’t returned to work in tonight’s instalment, it set off a sequence of upsetting events.
Jim couldn’t quite cope with the pressure of handling the village shop and was sent home by fellow local Alan, who offered to help instead.
But when Alistair came home that evening and caught up with his father, he quickly got the wrong end of the stick and was thrilled to hear Jim had had a successful breakthrough.
Just at that moment unfortunately, village busybody Shula (Judy Bennett) showed up and told Alistair exactly what had happened, leaving him worried and annoyed.
“He’s still got a long way to go but it’s a step forward,” Alistair told Shula brightly at first, but the caller couldn’t resist stirring the pot.
“Jim was at the till and he wasn’t really coping actually,” she said. “Enough to worry Alan.”
Jim was then becoming increasingly flustered in the living room, and ordered Alistair to send whoever had decided to stop by, home.
Clearly not sensing when she’s not wanted, Shula butted in once more and told Alistair: “I just wanted to say, if you need anyone to talk to…”
Oh for goodness sake Shula
“Shula do you remember what I told you?” a frustrated Alistair snapped, as Shula fumbled: “Yes I know but you shouldn’t be dealing with this alone.”
“Shula, Jim’s my father not yours. I think I know best how to deal with him. Please, keep this to yourself.”
While Shula shuffled off home and apologised for coming round, listeners were left incredibly irate with the character’s meddling.
“Feeling very protective of Jim. @BBCTheArchers #thearchers,” one person posted on Twitter.
Another wrote: “Shula really needs a more taxing job. One that chains her to her office and away from the affairs of others. Susan should watch having her snooping usurped! #thearchers.”
“Oh for goodness sake Shula. Stop being such a drama llama. It’s not all about you #thearchers,” a third said.
While a fourth grumbled: “#TheArchers ‘I won’t bother you again.’ If only.”
“Shula – just butt out… #thearchers,” a fifth ordered, as another commented: “I won’t bother you again…is that a promise? #thearchers.”
And one fan asked: “Why didn’t Shula just ring Alistair to explain? She’s dying to get her foot over Jim’s threshold. #thearchers.”
One listener insisted Shula had only been trying to help, saying: “Poor Shula. She was fairly instrumental in getting Jim to talk to Al & Jazzer about what happened to him, but is now shut out of knowing anything about it. I think she’s taking it very well, considering. #thearchers.”
The Archers continues weekdays at 7pm on BBC Radio 4.
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