© ITV Pic/Mark Bourdillon

NEIL MORRISEY - Mitch McAlister

Neil Morrissey tells us about the experience of his first ever episode of Midsomer Murders.

'It was definitely a well-oiled machine. It was easy to step into and everyone made you feel extremely welcome. The scheduling and everything was so well organised, you knew exactly what you were doing on a daily basis. Of course, it's nearly a 20-year-old institution now so it is always such a great pleasure to go and work on something like that. The show has been going nearly half of my career!'

Neil tells us about the character he plays in the upcoming 19th series of the show.

'The episode is set in a village just outside of Midsomer. We are a small satellite village on the outskirts so it's even more remote. Due to its small size, the neighbourhood watch have a powerful control over the area.

'I play the character Mitch McAlister, a disgruntled landlord who, in the middle of this mayhem surrounding the local vigilantly style neighbourhood watch, has been feeling severely repressed by their demands on him and how he runs his pub.

'He demonstrates his disgruntled feelings by kicking out of his pub certain members of the community who are giving him grief. Therefore when the murder streak starts to happen Mitch is very much in the frame. Mitch finds himself in the middle of the fray and his personal issues and problems within his relationship are not helping his thought processes.'

Neil was rather disappointed to find out he would not be in scenes with another talented guest star.

'It was such a shame but I didn't get any scenes with Frances Barber - I would have liked to have worked with her... I'd like to put that on my CV! Other than Neil Dudgeon, the cast were all new to me which is always really nice on a job.'

Along with a stellar cast, Neil tells us what he thinks makes Midsomer such a popular show.

'Midsomer has that pacing which is definitely Northern European. It is like the old style of Agatha Christie where you have the audience always trying to figure out if they can guess what will happen in the plot and whodunit. It's great because you are trying to decipher as you are also enjoying the pain of the people involved on screen.