MIDSOMER MURDERS

THE NIGHT OF THE STAG
INTERVIEWS


© ITV/Mark Bourdillon

Warren Clarke plays Samuel Quested
Warren Clarke jumped at the chance to play the “insane” Samuel Quested in MIDSOMER MURDERS.

 

“I have watched episodes here and there and some of them are filmed in the county I live in so I’m very familiar with the series. Suddenly this script arrived and I thought it was completely bonkers - I had to do it.

 

“On the face of it, Samuel is a jovial landlord, hail-fellow-well-met but as you get into the story everything changes. There are meanings behind all the fertility references and it gets quite hysterical. He is quite possibly one of the most insane characters I have ever played.

 

“It’s great that I still get offered good roles and I’ve been very lucky over the years. I like doing any acting work but to be able to diversify and do something new and different when you can is even better. I had a lot of laughs with Neil and Jason too.”

 

Warren is recognised around the world for his starring role in 12 series of Dalzell and Pascoe.

 

“It gets shown all round the world and I get recognised abroad a lot. As Dalzell can be viewed as a fearsome character, sometimes people don’t say anything in the street. I have never sought the fame aspect of acting but if it happens along the way, so be it, it’s part and parcel of the job.”

 

Warren has been acting since the 1960s and his other many credits include A Clockwork Orange, Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill, Our Mutual Friend, Reilly: Ace of Spies, The Jewel in the Crown, Nice Work, The Manageress, Sleepers, Gone to the Dogs, Conjugal Rites, Moving Story, The Locksmith, Down to Earth, Bleak House, Red Riding, The Invisibles and In with the Flynns.

 

 

Denise Black plays Chloe Baker
Denise Black shared her scenes with birds and beagles.

 

“A lot of the episode was shot at night and one night we were just having a bite to eat when a large barn owl flew through the set. As the night wore on, with all our bright lights, other birds started to pipe up then all the birds in the trees were singing the dawn chorus because they thought it was light, but it was just our filming lights,” she says.

 

Although the birds were uninvited guest stars, the role of Chloe Baker required Denise to work with a pack of beagles.

 

“The dogs are all very noisy and the director noticed that when their owner shouted to them to shut up, all the dogs went absolutely quiet. So as Chloe was going back to her house in the middle of the night, he made me shout ‘shut up’ at the top of my voice to the dogs. It was a joy!”

 

Chloe lives in Midsomer Abbas and runs the kennels with her daughter Esme (Natalie Klamar).

 

Says Denise: “My first idea about Chloe was that I would like to look like a beagle but we ended up buying the clothes in Marks and Spencer. She’s a colourful character, wayward and lusty. My friends are desperate to know if she’s a victim or a murderer!”

 

Denise enjoyed working with the other guest stars and regular cast.

 

“I had worked with Warren Clarke before, doing an episode of Dalzell and Pascoe, and Jason Hughes shared his car to work with me because we both live in Brighton. We had a wonderful time. Neil Dudgeon was on good form and he is such a funny man but also good at focusing as he has such a lot to do.

 

“He has a back heel sense of humour and I think he brings that to the character, and Jason is the perfect foil. Even the extras in the crowd scene at the Midsomer fayre were a hoot and went beyond what you normally get from a crowd. There is a personal sense of belonging about MIDSOMER MURDERS, and that’s very important.”

 

Denise has now embarked on a year-long tour, playing Mother Superior in Sister Act. “It’s a fantastic role and I am following in the footsteps of Sheila Hancock and Whoopi Goldberg! It’s hard work doing one show every night on the road, moving from place to place, sometimes performing in 2000 seaters, but I hope the audience will keep us alive.

 

“I have to wear the full habit and no make-up and I won’t have to worry about my hair. In order to keep the show fresh I have a little video blogging camera and I will make video diaries as I go around.”

 

Denise starred in nearly 200 episodes of Coronation Street and her other credits include Queer As Folk, Love in the 21st Century, Bad Girls, The Sins, Last Orders, Casualty and Small Island. She also sings in her pop folk band, Denise Black’s Loose Screw and plans to record an album

 

 

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