© ITV/Mark Bourdillon

HUGH DENNIS - Milo Craven

Hugh Dennis had to get up close and personal with some dangerous reptiles whilst filming his episode of Midsomer Murders.

'A python tried to strangle me... They were crawling all over me. It was all right because weirdly I have done that before. I don't really mind snakes at all - there was one I thought I recognised actually! He was a massive albino ball-python. It was from an episode of My Hero in which my character (Dr Piers Crispin) is in a tank of snakes - which would make it about 10 years ago...he might be a son or daughter... it's possible!'

Hugh explains a little about this reptile fuelled episode and the character he plays, Milo Craven.

'Milo and Roderick Craven are villagers living near the derelict village of Little Auburn, which is now being rediscovered for the first time, having been abandoned since World War II. The village was used for training by the army and is now being returned by the MOD into private use again.'

'Everyone in the neighbouring village is trying to campaign for Little Auburn's future and fighting over ownership of it. There are three different camps of people who are campaigning against each other for their ideas for Little Auburn's future. Milo's brother, Roderick is a local landowner and it is he who makes the final decision. Milo is the slightly put upon younger brother.'

Midsomer Murders is famous for the quality of its guest actors and cast members, Hugh talks about the experience.

'I have known Sally Phillips on and off for years and years so it was nice that she was in this episode too. The thing about doing Midsomer Murders is that it always has such an amazing cast. It's an iconic programme. One of the reasons I wanted to do it actually was that I got to Id it was one of Angela Merkel's favourite programmes and she gets sent box sets of it. Maybe this will help with the Brexit case...you just don't know.'

Hugh continues...

'It is the least frenetic, friendliest filming experience that you could possibly think about. The only unfriendly thing about Midsomer is that you know at least two or three of you are go ing to be killed. So it is as welcome as anybody who is


about to be brutally murdered can feel! The weather was fabulous when I was shooting as well. We were up in Buckinghamshire in pubs and weird, lost villages that no one had been to in ages. It's the England that everybody dreams about but has never actually existed. It's very cosy and warm, which is odd because it is about people being killed but it is still very charming and lovely. People drink tea a lot! It's very English.'

Hugh leaves us with a life lesson.

'Something I learned from this experience is that if you are go ing to get hit around the head when you are filming they will say we don't actually need to make contact... never argue that. You forget that it takes about 10 takes as they shoot it from so many different angles. I got hit around the head an awful lot. So it's one of those filming rules I will now remember- don't let people hit you with a rubber plank.'