The Archers: Court artist Julia Quenzler sketches Helen’s trial – BBC News

<figure class=”media-landscape” has-caption full-width lead”> Image copyright Julia Quenzler

Image caption The first sketch shows Rob giving evidence, with Helen in the dock

BBC Radio 4 has enlisted one of the UK’s leading court artists to sketch the fictional trial in The Archers.

Julia Quenzler has provided media outlets with drawings from cases involving Harold Shipman, General Pinochet and Rolf Harris.

She will now depict the trial of Helen Titchener, which begins on air later.

In the week-long trial, Helen will face charges of attempted murder and wounding with intent after stabbing her husband Rob.

The stabbing in April was the culmination of a long-running domestic abuse storyline that gripped listeners.

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The first mock court sketch to be released shows Rob (played by Timothy Watson) giving evidence, with Helen (Louiza Patikas) in the dock.

Media captionListen to what happened between Helen and her husband Rob

More of Quenzler’s drawings will be released during the week on The Archers website and social media accounts.

Quenzler, who has been a court artist for 30 years said, the process had been “fascinating”.

On Rob’s abusive behaviour, she said: “I can’t let that influence me at all. I was basing his appearance on the actor’s photograph but also the script.

“I was reading the script and noting his reactions, the tone of his voice, imagining what he would be doing with his hands while he was in the witness box.”

The process has been very different from drawing a real trial, she said.

“In this case, having to work from a script, I was working from imagination. I was given a few photographs of the actors but I was reminded that obviously many listeners have conjured up their own image of how each character looks.

“I was also told that the trial would be held in a typical 19th Century court building so I drew the sort of panelling they might have had.”

“Normally I will leave the court room after 15 minutes, then I take my notes off to a press room where I can work on my drawing. I usually have about an hour to work on it, and then it will be ready to be filmed for the lunchtime news.

“These took quite a lot long longer because of the research and referring back to the script.”

The Archers Trial Week starts on BBC Radio 4 at 19:00 BST on Sunday and episodes will be available online after broadcast.

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