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Nettles beyond Midsomer

The TV series “Midsomer Murders”, based on UK writer Caroline Graham's Inspector Barnaby mystery novels , originally had a working title “Barnaby” until screenwriter Anthony Horowitz supplied the familiar UK title. John Nettles stepped into the role of Chief Inspector John Barnaby in 1996 after painstaking casting. So, where was he before Midsomer, and where on earth has he been since?

Before joining the Midsomer cast in 1996, John Nettles was already playing the role of a detective as Jim Bergerac, a troubled soul, maverick detective and recovering alcoholic - a marked contrast to the very “ordinary” stable, calm and methodical Barnaby. In Midsomer Murders, the interest comes from the combination of bizarre and gruesome murders in an idealised English rural village context. When Nettles decided he was “too old” for a TV detective after 14 years as DCI Tom Barnaby, he moved on to the period drama Poldark, taking the role of Ray Penvenen, a wealthy Cornish landowner, who “prefers cows to people”.

This week’s musical link takes us to the BAFTA Award-winning theme from Bergerac, written by UK composer George Fenton. Fenton gives us an insight into the creative path of writing TV themes here.


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