NOT IN MY BACKYARD
HUGO SPEER (Geoff Rogers)
Hugo Speer enjoyed being buried neck high in 'porridge' when he joined the cast of Midsomer.
"I read the script and discovered my character comes to a sticky end in a car full of concrete. I wasn't too worried that I would be put in a cement mixer with real setting concrete - in fact I thought it would be great.
"I imagined it would be like porridge and it turned out to be a gruel of cereal like mixture which they poured in around me, with a fake concrete covering. I thought at least my cholesterol will come down with all those lovely oats!"
His death scene in the episode was less gruesome than some Hugo has experienced.
"It's not the first time I've been killed - in the First World War horror movie Deathwatch I had barbed wire and a nailed club to my head, so concrete wasn't too bad!"
Hugo plays Geoff Rogers, a builder who angers locals by constructing an ultra-modern manor house in the picturesque village of Great Pelfe.
Explains Hugo: "Geoff is a bit of a dodgy geezer, but his bark is worse than his bite. He is prepared to do unscrupulous deals for popular gain but he is playing slightly out of his depth. When people start getting popped off, he gets a bit freaked out and wants to pull out of it all.
"I played him as an East End boy who had gone to live in the country and wanted to better himself."
Hugo was pleased to be invited to join the series acclaimed list of guest stars.
"It has been around for so long and you can't have a CV these days without having a Midsomer credit on it. I like the genre and it was great to work with John Nettles."
Hugo has previously appeared with Jason Hughes as part of the Peter Hall Company at the Theatre Royal in Bath.
PETER EGAN (Norman Swanscombe)
Peter Egan signed up for a guest-starring role in Midsomer after meeting John Nettles at an art exhibition.
"I knew John as a colleague but we had never worked together before. Peter Smith, who directs many of the episodes, is also a painter, so I met John at one of Peter's exhibitions. He is an absolutely charming man and an incredibly welcoming host to the show. It was a very happy experience."
Peter plays Norman Swanscombe, an accountant who has returned to live in his childhood village after a career in the City.
"Norman is a very ambitious, controlling man. He is carrying a grudge because his mother was pregnant in the 1950s and was treated as an outcast from the village. Although Norman has a degree of resentment towards Great Pelfe, he wanted to go back and build a wonderful house and make a safe community in the one he was rejected from before."
Peter plays opposite actress Jill Baker as his wife Eleanor.
"I had worked with Jill's husband Bob Peck doing an audio book of Shakespeare's Sonnets so it was good to see Jill again. Norman has a very good marriage but in the course of the couple's return to Midsomer it is hinted that there is an affair going on."
Adds Peter: "I have seen lots of Midsomer Murders, they are marvellous English series that are produced to a high standard and employ so many wonderful English character actors. It's a good calling card for the more mature actor, myself included!"
JILL BAKER (Eleanor Swanscombe)
Jill Baker enjoyed being reunited with John Nettles when she appeared in Midsomer.
"I worked with John at the Bristol Old Vic in the early 1970s. We were both in Troilius and Cressida. It was my first job out of drama school and it was all a bit intense at the time. We had a laugh about it when we worked on Midsomer. John had also worked with my late husband Bob Peck at the RSC so it was lovely to catch up."
Jill plays Eleanor Swanscombe, a sophisticated woman and the wife of a successful builder who feels out of place in her new home in the countryside of Great Pelfe.
"Eleanor's heart is in London - she belongs there and not in the boring countryside and she wants to get back as quickly as she possibly can. She is irritated by the pettiness of village life.
"The resentment she feels at being dragged to the country rubs off on her marriage to her husband Norman. She feels he is never around and she is very lonely. Her children are grown up and she has nothing to do, so she feels isolated."
Unlike Eleanor, Jill enjoys country life.
"I am passionate about gardening and I have a fairly big garden which is pretty rural, but working there is so therapeutic, I love it."
The episode also reunited Jill with actor Peter Egan, who plays Norman.
"I worked with Peter on Testimony of a Child for TV and he is completely delightful. He also worked with Bob in Australia, and as a family we went out there and saw a lot of Peter."
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