NETTLES' DEPARTURE FROM MIDSOMER
PHOTO - COPYRIGHT JOAN STREET
Jason Hughes has mixed feelings about getting a new boss in Midsomer Murders.
"When John Nettles retired from the series this July, I had filmed 38 episodes with him. That's 76 hours of television we will have worked on together, tackling an array of gory murders - and never a bad word has passed between us!
"He's a wonderful guy, kind and generous, and good fun to be around so he's going to be really missed. But although Midsomer Murders won't be the same without him, I respect his decision to leave as I know he wants to do so many other projects which he wasn't able to do before.
"We have a great relationship on and off the set. Unlike the father-son relationship that Barnaby had with the previous sidekicks, he and Jones are more equal and it is much more grown up. He has a proper role, which is more interesting to play. It's great that Barnaby trusts him and gives him lines of enquiry of his own to work on.
"Over the five years that I have played him, Jones has grown with the series and evolved from being very enthusiastic and consumed by his job, to a more mature detective. He wants to emulate Barnaby - that is ultimately what he is aiming for. "
Like his character DS Jones, Jason barely has time to get used to John Nettles' departure before welcoming in his replacement - Neil Dudgeon as the new DCI, John Barnaby, the cousin of his old boss.
"There were only a few weeks between finishing series 13 and starting series 14 at the end of July with Neil. There's not a lot of time to do anything else, but I'm really looking forward to it. Neil's a terrific actor and we've done workshops together at the Royal Court Theatre years ago as well as an episode of MIDSOMER MURDERS, so we already get on well.
"Neil appeared as a guest star in 'The Sword of Guillaume' earlier this year, and it was announced a day before it went out on ITV1 that Neil would be joining Midsomer as John's replacement. It was a timely episode and the ratings were good so there's lots to look forward to."
Adds Jason: "I'm happy to be staying with the series and it will be an interesting process to see how it changes and how the writers create a new and different dynamic between Jones and the new Barnaby. I'm glad that there will continue to be a Barnaby in Midsomer."
Before joining Midsomer Murders, Jason was best known for his role as Warren in This Life. His other credits include Mine All Mine, Killing Me Softly, The Flint Street Nativity and Plain Jane.
"I get recognised a lot now, but by a different demographic. That's nice too," he says.
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