New detective in Midsomer Murders
Published 09/02/2010 | 18:22
Tom Barnaby will be replaced by his cousin in ITV's Midsomer Murders as actor John Nettles steps down from the show.
Nettles is leaving the show after 13 years and more than 80 episodes of the light-hearted whodunnits as his character retires.
The central will now go to his relative, DCI John Barnaby, who is to be played by familiar face Neil Dudgeon, whose past roles have included Life Of Riley and Common As Muck.
The new actor will be seen on Wednesday night in the ITV1 show when the original DCI Barnaby heads off to the South Coast to enlist his cousin's help.
Nettles finishes filming his last series in July, with Dudgeon taking over when the next series goes into production later that month.
Nettles said: "It has been a joy to be involved in such a long-running series, with so many good actors and great storylines."
He added: "If Neil has half the good times that I have had on Midsomer then he will be in seventh heaven. I am only worried that he is much younger than I am and a much better actor."
Producer Brian True-May said: "Although we will miss the huge contribution that John has made to the series, the brand of Midsomer is so strong that I am confident of its continuing success.
"We look forward to our new Barnaby tackling more murder and mayhem in Midsomer.
"Having worked with Neil Dudgeon twice on Midsomer Murders already, I feel he is the perfect choice."