New sergeant to join DCI John Barnaby in ITV's Midsomer Murders
DCI John Barnaby will have a new sergeant as his sidekick for the forthcoming series of Midsomer Murders.
Newcomer Nick Hendrix is set to star as DS Jamie Winter, joining DCI Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) as they try to uphold the law in murder-struck Midsomer county.
He replaces Gwilym Lee, who has played DS Charlie Nelson since 2013.
Hendrix, who will begin filming this week, said: "I'm genuinely thrilled to join this bastion of British TV. It's a real privilege to be part of a hugely successful and much loved show and I am looking forward to stepping into the wonderful world of Midsomer."
The 19th series of the successful ITV crime drama will return in 2017, with six feature-length episodes.
John Barnaby is the cousin of original inspector Tom Barnaby, who first appeared in 1997 and was played by John Nettles.
The Barnabys have worked with several different sergeants over the past two decades, including DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes), DS Dan Scott (John Hopkins) and DS Gavin Troy (Daniel Casey).
Returning to the show are Manjinder Virk as pathologist Dr Kam Karimore and Fiona Dolman as Sarah Barnaby.
Storylines this series will include "a deserted village full of secrets, an extreme Neighbourhood Watch, a cricket festival and a rabbit and guinea pig show," the broadcaster has teased.
Executive producer Jo Wright said: "All the team here at Bentley (Productions) feel it's a great privilege to be filming the latest series of Midsomer Murders, and especially to welcome the talented Nick Hendrix to the family.
"We are sure he will help Neil Dudgeon keep as many people as possible safe on the dangerous streets of Midsomer county."
The previous series of Midsomer Murders averaged a consolidated audience of 6.4 million with a share of 25% - its highest audience share since 2009, according to figures from the broadcaster.