Midsomer Murders star Neil Dudgeon says show success is due to 'love of posh people behaving badly'

Neil Dudgeon talks the ITV’s show’s incredible success (REX/Shutterstock)
Neil Dudgeon talks the ITV’s show’s incredible success (REX/Shutterstock)

Midsomer Murders continues to be a ratings success because viewers love to watch posh people murder one another, says its star Neil Dudgeon.

The 58-year-old actor, who has been playing DCI John Barnaby on the ITV hit since 2011, explained to The Telegraph:

“People love the humour and eccentricity and, without being snobby, there’s something more sordid about working class people drinking, getting violent and killing each other in a terraced house.

“For the working classes, it’s a desperate act of necessity; with the upper classes, murder is more of a leisure activity.

“The majority of ordinary people like to see posh folk behaving badly. They are terribly polite and reserved and all those things, but one of them is going around garrotting people or slashing them to bits,” Dudgeon said.

Speaking to the Radio Times Dudgeon added that he believes the British public is enamoured with crime series because: “It’s like turning over a stone and all the little insects underneath running around in a panic.”

Neil Dudgeon and his ‘Midsomer Murders’ co-star Gwilym Lee in 2014. (PA Images)
Neil Dudgeon and his ‘Midsomer Murders’ co-star Gwilym Lee in 2014. (PA Images)

The series is known for its bizarre murders, and Dudgeon said his favourite murder so far involved a victim ‘smeared with truffle oil’ and mauled to death by a wild boar.

When asked if he would make a good detective himself, he replied that only if he was working under the ‘Midsomer model.’

“If it was the Midsomer model, perhaps. In one week we might have 11 guests. One of them dead already, two others are going to die before the end of the show and three of them are national treasures. So we can narrow it down to about four suspects and then it’s a bit more like shooting fish in a barrel,” he said.

Midsomer Murders began in 1997 and has been sold to over 200 countries.

The air date for new episodes of Midsomer Murders has yet to be confirmed.

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