THE SWORD OF GUILLAUME
Brian Capron was delighted to reprise his role as the dodgy mayor of Causton, Dave Hicks.
"I played the mayor previously in an episode with George Cole as my dad. Luckily Dave didn't die which meant I could come back again.
"Dave is a wide boy but I don't think he's a bad person. He's more of a wheeler-dealer and a bit of a cowboy. He's quick-thinking and slick and he picks up any advance that comes his way. He's always after a quick buck.
"He wears a slightly shiny suit and doesn't have great taste in the car he drives or where he lives. He has great aspirations, though, to be Lord of the Manor and he does have a sense of humour."
Guest-starring in Midsomer Murders meant Brian was able to spend time with his old friend, John Nettles.
"I shared a house with John when we were in rep in Exeter in about 1971 and we lived together for about a year. My very first production was Twelfth Night with John, then The Boyfriend, then The Taming of the Shrew with Robert Lindsay and Roy Marsden. John and I always got on well and eventually I went out to Jersey to appear in Bergerac.
"Nowadays we meet up at different events, like when we both met the Queen at the 50th anniversary of ITV. It was great to come back and work with him on Midsomer Murders."
Adds Brian: "The cherry on the cake for me was that the episode was filmed in Brighton and I live in Hove. I've lived in the area since 1976 but this was the first time that I've had a proper job there. It was very hot and I just got on my bike and cycled down the road to work. It doesn't get any better than that."
Brian also enjoyed the grandeur of his mayoral robes.
"We had the full regalia, the tricorn hat, ceremonial chain and fox fur robes. It really helps you get into the character and you feel like royalty. My son came down to watch and my daughter brought her children and they were a bit bemused to see granddad done up in all the gear!"
Wearing full clerical gowns and a dog collar in the middle of summer was just part of the joys of filming Midsomer Murders for Mark Gatiss.
"It was a fantastic part and I was so glad to be asked to do it. We are huge fans and my parents were over the moon too as we've all been watching since the beginning.
"We got to go away to Brighton for what felt like a week's holiday. Happily I was able to wear the dog collar - it all had a great Christopher Lee quality, although everything was made of nylon and it was the hottest week of the summer. Because of the man-made fibres I was worried that one of the murders would be caused by static electricity!"
Mark plays Reverend Giles Shawcross, who serves the congregation of Midsomer Parva.
"He's one of those morally troubled vicars who have lost their faith. He has become full of doom and gloom and is always raining on everyone's parade. He is constantly looking for a divine sign to say everything is all right. There is something in his past and old sins cast long shadows.
"I based him a little bit on someone I know. I can't say who, of course, but perhaps people will guess from his voice."
Adds Mark: "There is a flashback sequence to Giles' gilded youth in Oxford on a punt. It was strange filming me as a young person and I was begging for a semi-lift on my face, but I think we got away with it with all the right retro clothes and look to my hair. We went punting on a very tight stretch of river with three frogmen in case we fell in.
"We also filmed in an amazing church in Little Missenden - it was thousands of years old and extraordinarily beautiful, like an Italian church. You realise there is a big difference between being a vicar in that kind of church, rather than an inner London church.
"Part of the charm of doing Midsomer Murders is seeing the countryside. We filmed in three different churches and I had a week going round them all for different scenes - there is nothing nicer."
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