Midsomer Murders creator defends ITV show against criticism: ‘I learnt from the best!’

Midsomer Murders: Neil Dudgeon comments on acting standards

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Midsomer Murders first aired on ITV in 1997 and Horowitz, 65, was the mastermind who brought the show to the small screen. The programme’s creator adapted the basis of the drama from the Chief Inspector Barnaby novel series written by Caroline Graham. With more than 126 episodes having been broadcast in the last 23 years, the show has gone on to become a global success. However, with at least one death occurring in every episode, some viewers think the deathly tone of the drama could be a little ill-conceived.

Horowitz is also the mastermind behind Agatha Christie’s Poirot, which starred David Suchet, 74 in the titular role.

This drama, too, contained a long-running theme about death and the creator has now addressed this matter in a new interview.

The esteemed scriptwriter explained: “Writing Agatha Christie’s Poirot was a hugely important part of my career.

“It led directly to Midsomer Murders – which a producer once described to me as ‘Agatha Christie on acid’ – and Foyle’s War,” he recalled of some of the criticism he has received.

“I’ve lost count of the number of bodies I’ve piled up on-screen, but right from the start, I learnt from the best,” Horowitz continued to Radio Times.

Sunday night’s episode will see the drama from Midsomer continue as the hit series returns with six new, edge-of-your-seat instalments.

The number of episodes for season 21 was slim as a result of the impact the coronavirus pandemic had on filming.

However, the cast and crew have since adapted to the new way of working with social distancing rules in place.

Therefore, fans will be delighted they will get a full season this time around as the country begins to emerge from lockdown.

I’ve lost count

Anthony Horowitz

In the first episode of season 22, entitled The Wolf Hunter of Little Worthy, DCI John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon) and DS Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix) are back at the centre of the drama.

As they soon find, not everything is as it seems when a local photographer seems to predict the death of a local man.

The camera enthusiast wins an urban myth competition in which he creates the legend of the Wolf Hunter.

Unfortunately, a cult following prevails and when a local resident winds up dead, it seems the legend is becoming reality.

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It will be up to DCI Barnaby and DS Winter to discover who is hiding behind the wolf mask and wants to murder innocent people.

The series is known for featuring cameos from some rather big names, from UK talent to Hollywood stars.

However, in future episodes of the franchise, it seems This Morning host Holly Willoughby, 40, will be making an appearance.

Last month, Neil and Nick, the actors who plays DCI Barnaby and DS Winter respectively, invited the mother-of-three to come to the set in Maidenhead.

Interrupting their interview on This Morning, Neil said: “We have all had a big talk about who we want to appear on Midsomer and we have decided that we want Holly Willoughby to appear in an episode of Midsomer Murders very soon

“I have been speaking to people upstairs and they have been speaking to your people, but Holly, please, I am emboldened here to offer you a role in Midsomer Murders.”

As a big fan of the show, Holly replied: “That’s amazing! Yes! Of course, I say yes. I have seen every single episode since it started way back when.

“I mean you are going to have to kill me off really quickly because I am terrible at acting. I don’t know what I am going to do,” she joked.

Midsomer Murders airs tonight at 8pm on ITV.

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