GRHAM Harvey is not a name that instantly brings a famous face to mind, but many people know his stories from the long running radio serial The Archers.

Graham has been writing scripts for the famous radio soap since the 1980s. His indepth knowledge of agriculture and his deep rooted love of the countryside made him the perfect choice and now the writer has turned his hand to stage plays.

When he was an agricultural journalist Graham came across a book called The Farm Ladder written by George Henderson and it has been an inspiration to him since.

By the time Graham had decided to write a stage play based on the book, George had already died, but the journalist met his widow, who was still in the farm in the Cotswolds, so he wrote her story.

“She grew up in Somerset and was mad about animals, she joined the land army and for her 19th birthday someone gave her a copy of George’s book. She wrote to him and ended up working for him, and they married and had five children. It is a love story,’’ said Graham. “It is also about sustainable agriculture and the damage that has been done to our countryside.’’

The one woman show, No Finer Life, stars Rebecca Bailey with all the music has been written by professional musician Alastair Collingwood.

Alastair has been a composer for more than 30 years and has written for television including French and Saunders, Saturday Night Live Again, the sitcoms Mad About Alice, Rhona, Sex Bar, Comedy Lab and documentaries such as Killer Shark Live and Vanessa’s Real Lives.

The musician and the scriptwriter met through a mutual friend Antony Bellekom who worked briefly on The Archers and works now for BBC Six Music and BBC Radio 2.

“Antony brought us together, Alastair writes lovely tunes and helps out with the tour, we are a touring theatre so we all pitch in,’’ said Graham.

The writer will be be on stage himself in Swindon for a post show talk. The audience will be able to ask him about the play, his time down on the farm in Ambridge with The Archers or the scripts he wrote for The Bill.

Graham said: “We would go on patrol with the police to come up with a story line for The Bill. I had put on a jacket and tie to go out with two beat coppers. One was an ex Marine and said I was a cash machine on legs walking around like that!”

The journalist was born in Reading on a post war council estate but the countryside was not far away.

Alongside his scriptwriting, Graham worked for The Farmers’ Weekly, Farming News, Country Life, The Sunday Times and the Daily Mail, and he had the somewhat dubious title of The Muck Spreader for Private Eye. Anything too controversial for Farmers’ Weekly was fodder for Private Eye.

Following this tour Graham and Alastair are preparing to bring their next collaboration to the stage, called The Shearing Gang.