Article from 'Inside TV'

After 10 years, John Nettles is about to do something we'll regret - he's turning his back on Jim Bergerac. After the run of repeats from the last two series - starting this week on BBC1, and one special to be shown at Christmas, the hunky detective and the TV star will part company for ever.

How can he do it? Doesn't he know it'll break a million female hearts? Not to mention losing Jersey the best tourist attraction it's ever had...

'I've just done it long enough' says John. 'I'll miss Jim, though. Even when people get divorced from someone they don't like very much, they have difficulty adjusting to life without them and I happen to like Jim very much'.

'He's stiff-necked, inarticulate and hopeless with women, but he's a good cop and has a certain doggedness which I like.'

When they do part company at Christmas, John promises it will be with a bang. In the action-packed 90-minute special, Jim not only loses his sexy French girlfriend, Danielle, and hits the bottle again, but is also seduced by a scheming married woman who frames him for a murder.

'Jim hits a new low when his relationship breaks up,' reveals John. 'But don't worry, he comes through in the end and sees the error of his ways!'

One scene John will never foget involved making passionate love on a motor launch with actress Suzan Crowley, who plays the part of man-eating antiques dealer, Cressida.

Unfortunately he was suffering with acute stomac ache at the time! 'We'd just had a big lunch and it's very difficult to make love on a full stomach!' he says with feeling. 'If you spot any grimaces on my face, it's pain, not pleasure. Suzan's very attractive but indigestion was the only thing on my mind!'.

The film also includes some of the most violent scenes in the history of the series. But John insists that Jim will not be killed off.

'It's left open-ended so that I can come back, but I've done 90 episodes, and, at the moment, I can't see it happening. I've been working solidly for 15 years now and I want some time away from the pressures of being a mini-celebrity,' explains John, who plans to spend the rest of the year at his Jersey home writing two books on the history of the island and popping over to his new home in Provence.

'I'm going to have to decide where my career's going at some stage, but I'm dreading it - I'm hopeless at making decidions!' he grins.

Despite the legions of female fans and a succession of sexy co-stars, John is still looking for his own leading lady. 'We all hope to meet someone to share our lives with, hope springs eternal!' he signs. 'But I'm used to my own company, and I have a lot of terrific friends in Jersey, so I'm never lonely.'

Divorced from his wife Joyce, six years ago, John split up with his long-term girlfriend, Judi Miller, last year. Since then the only person sharing his Jersey home has been his only daugher Emma, whom he affectionately describes as '21 going on 40'. 'We're very close because we've lived in each other's pockets for the last four years. Now she's moved out to be with her boyfriend and more strength to her elbow. 'I try not be a protective father, but I worry a lot and find myself coming out with awful cliches I thought I'd never hear myself saying - things like, "Can I give you a piece of advice?". 'Anyway, Emma's given up on me ever since she saw repeats of the Liver Birds showing me in stacked heels and flares. I was a terrible sight. So between her and the Beeb, my street cred's nil! 'But', John adds wistfully, 'children are wonderful and it's my big regret that I didn't have more, I'd love an army of girls.'

John admits that, like Jim Bergerac, he loves the oppositie sex. 'One of the great joys of the series has been the string of lovely ladies,' he says with a twinkle. 'My favourite's Debbie Grant, who played my ex-wife. We've known each other for years and have a lot of fun.' 'There was talk of Jim and Deborah getting back together, but I preferred the idea of them developing a lovely friendship.'

Another favourite is Liza Goddard (Liza appeared in the Midsomer Murder's episode 'Picture of Innocence') who introduced John to the current lady in his life, his dog, Alice. 'Liza gave Alice to Emma and me when she was a puppy. We're not dog lovers and we didn't really want her at first, but now we can't imagine life without her - In fact she's the barometer of my social life. If she wags her tail, then that person's fine, they can come round again!'.

And what else would female hopefuls need to win John's heart? 'I like fun and lots of jokes. I would never walk hand in hand down a moonlit beach or gaze into someone's eyes across a candlelit table - it's a waste of time,' he grins. In fact John's ideal woman would be a combination of comediennes Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. 'Put a composite of these two ladies in front of me and I'd sell my soul to be with them..!'