But he wasted no time in making his presence felt, becoming romantically linked to Shula Archer ("Shulie") in 1983, bouncing around in a gorilla costume at the Hunt Ball, and driving Mrs Antrobus's Afghans wild with his Teddy Bears Picnic jingle as ice cream vendor Mr Snowy midway through the decade.
It came as a great surprise to this blogger to discover that the character has been killed off as part of The Archers 60th anniversary "celebrations". I find this trend in soaps - to feature a tragic story-line on such occasions - rather odd, and it's by no means as long-established a custom as some soap historians would have us believe.
A shame this trend has now reached The Archers.
Graham Seed was spotted by then Archers editor William Smethurst in a Birmingham rep production of Major Barbara in 1980. This led to Mr Seed getting his start in radio drama at Pebble Mill in several plays.
When the role of Nigel Pargetter was created in 1983, Mr Seed was asked to audition and won the part, which was originally intended to run for only a few weeks.
When the character was written out after two years (!), Nigel being sent abroad in 1985, a listeners' campaign was launched to bring him back. It was successful - Nigel returned after only a few weeks away. As William Smethurst wrote in 1987:
The Archers listener has always been a force to reckon with!
Actor Nigel Caliburn - now Carrington - briefly took over the role when Graham Seed took a break in the late 1980s.
Mr Seed was informed of Nigel's impending doom by Archers editor Vanessa Whitburn on 5 November 2010. Today, he issued an official statement:
It is with huge sadness that I leave The Archers after 27 years. Nigel Pargetter was a joy and a privilege to play, from 'Mr Snowy' to proud father. His enthusiasm, charm and love of life helped make Ambridge a happier place.
'On a personal note, I will sorely miss working with so many old friends and colleagues, especially Alison Dowling who plays Nigel's Lizzie.
'May I take this opportunity to thank all those listeners who endlessly communicated their loyalty, appreciation and affection towards Nigel and me. I'll miss him!'
Mr Seed further commented on the BBC's Archers blog:
It would be wrong of me to pretend that I was other than shocked when Vanessa [Whitburn, Archers editor] phoned with the news on a damp November 5th. Fireworks night - rather apt I thought! The hardest thing has been to keep it under wraps, not just from friends and family, but colleagues too. Now at least all is out in the open...
It's too soon to highlight memories. They go back to heady days in the '80s. William Smethurst created a wonderfully affectionate, vulnerable over-privileged young man causing havoc to the Archer household in scenes that were such fun to play.
Scenes of course with Jack May (Nelson) and Mary Wimbush (Julia), latterly with Richard Atlee (Kenton). But always Ali...
There was something of the Peter Pan in Nigel. He never really grew up.
Nigel was a charming character, of aristocratic background, naive, not terribly bright, but capable of great kindness and sensitivity.
Here's how the character was described in William Smethurst's 1987 book The Archers - The New Official Companion:
NIGEL PARGETTER is the only son of Gerald and Julia Pargetter of Lower Loxley House, Loxley Barrett, and in his day was a leading light of the Borchester Young Conservatives. In 1983 he fell in love with Shula but in the following year he was banned from Brookfield when, on the night of the Hunt Ball, he crept into Phil and Jill's bedroom having supposedly mistaken it for the bathroom. Later that year he was convicted of taking and driving away a sports car which he thought belonged to Tim Beecham (it didn't). Shula gave him the push and he started going out with Elizabeth. He got sacked from selling swimming pools and Elizabeth chucked him. His family sent him to an uncle in Zimbabwe and he returned after a few weeks.
In the summer of 1985 he was "Mr Snowy" and drove an ice-cream van, and in the autumn he sold toffee apples at Borchester Fair. In 1986 he went off to London to work for a City stockbroking firm.
Miss Elizabeth Archer and Mr Nigel Pargetter stroll the streets of Borchester in 1986.
In later years, Nigel married his dear "Lizzie" and they lived (mostly) happily at Lower Loxley Hall, with their two children, Lily and Freddie.
Nigel died in the episode transmitted on 2 January 2011. He fell from the roof of Lower Loxley House whilst trying to take down a New Year party banner. The last thing we heard from gentle, kind and whimsical Nigel was a terrible scream as he tumbled from the roof.
What has happened to our soaps?
Good luck to Mr Seed, and many thanks to him for years of happy listening. Nigel was usually very cheering to listen to.
I'll be tuning out of The Archers for the foreseeable future.
Modern day life is difficult enough.
Arriving in 1983, Nigel Pargetter was one of a number of new Archers characters introduced during the 1980s - others included Mrs Antrobus (Margot Boyd), Lynda Snell (Carole Boyd) and Ruth Archer (Felicity Finch).