Long-running BBC radio drama The Archers is introducing its first lesbian character.

The world’s longest-running radio soap opera, which was first launched on BBC radio in 1950, is famously traditional, set in the fictional rural village of Ambridge.

However, the show has gone to some lengths to modernise in recent years, with characters Adam Macy and Ian Craig famously entering a civil partnership in 2006.

This week, the show took another step – by revealing that a character is a lesbian.

Domestic violence barrister Anna (voiced by Isobel Middleton) has been part of an ongoing storyline, defending Archers favourite Helen Titchener from an attempted murder charge after she stabbed her abusive husband.

In last night’s episode, Anna paid a visit to her former partner Maxine, who was revealed to be a woman – making them the show’s first lesbian characters.

The show is famously said to be a favourite of the Queen, and the Monarch unwittingly helped save it from the axe in the 1970s by confirming she was a fan.

Princess Margaret and the then-Duke of Westminster made a cameo on the show in 1984.

The actress who plays the character, Isobel Middleton, lives in Bristol with her wife, former Casualty star Jane Hazlegrove.