JASON HUGHES INTERVIEW
© ITV Pic/Mark Bourdillon
Upon his return to Midsomer Murders, Jason Hughes was pleased to learn that the episode in which he guest stars involves one of his favourite sports. Once an accomplished cricketer, Jason reveals a low but defining moment of his sporting life, which lead to his career on screen.
'I used to play cricket for my county, Glamorgan, from under 12's - under 16's and then I got into girls, partying and drama and the county cricket fell a bit by the wayside. There was a moment where 14 boys were selected from all over the country and 12 of us were going to Australia for three months to play, learn more about cricket and gain some experience. We all went to this centre of excellence in Cardiff and I was one of two who wasn't picked to go and that hit me quite hard. I took it to heart and it was then that I decided to pursue drama.'
Returning for the first time back to Midsomer Murders, Jason was very pleased to find out his character Jones was no longer a Sergeant.
'Jones has gone away and made his way in the world not under the wing of Barnaby and has obviously done very well for himself as they have given him a promotion! He has moved through the ranks and is Detective Inspector Jones now!'
Merging his love for cricket with his talent for acting, Jason explains a little about the episode in which he stars.
'Jones is sent to Midsomer to investigate their new cricket tournament which also happens to be the setting for Barnaby's current investigation and it seems the two separate cases might be connected.'
Jason reveals that despite spending seven years solving murders in Midsomer, returning for the first time since leaving was a little daunting.
'I was nervous before I started because I wasn't sure what it would be like to come back to something after being away from it for so long. It helped enormously that everybody was so welcoming and so happy to see me back for an episode - that was very touching. The longer I was there and the more I was around everybody the more relaxed and comfortable I became and as a result I thoroughly enjoyed it.
'It was nice being on the other side, seeing it all from a different angle. It was like pointing a camera and then someone tapping you on the shoulder and asking if you have seen it from a new, different angle and you step back and think oh my it looks completely different from here! So it was a very interesting mixture of something that was so familiar yet different.'
Whilst returning to Midsomer was initially nerve wracking, working alongside his old partner in crime, Neil Dudgeon (DCI Barnaby) was an absolute treat for Jason.
'I love Neil; I have such a soft spot for him. He is a wonderful man; he is so intelligent, bright and funny and one of the easiest people I have had the pleasure of working with. He is very open and willing to try anything and always comes up with some great suggestions. He always thinks things through and has a great overall picture of what the whole is about and it is just such a great pleasure to work with actors like that because they are very giving. I always love working with Neil and I'm glad to see he hasn't changed or become too grand! He is very humble and it is so nice to be around someone with such humility.'
Jason explains what he thinks makes Midsomer such a special and much-loved show.
'The fans. The show is incredibly well supported and loved by a lot of people all around the world and I think that is why it is still popular, because people still support it. I think there is a mutual respect going on as the people who watch it have a respect for the show in the same way the show has respect for its audience and that is a winning combination.
'Another of Midsomer's successes is that it is well-constructed, well-shot and well-acted, understated when it needs to be and eccentric when it needs to be. They have very talented writers. It is difficult to write and construct a murder mystery like that and to keep coming up with inventive ways of telling that genre story and so they are very fortunate to source fantastic writers who are able to execute that genre as well as they do. So it's success is two fold; a team of people making something very well and people watching it and appreciating it for what it is and continuing to support it.'
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