Midsomer Murders star Neil Dudgeon has admitted he is unlikely to sign up for Strictly Come Dancing because he fears he would be “the worst contestant they’ve ever had”.
The actor had a close look at the skills needed in the competition when former contestants including Faye Tozer and Tom Chambers were guest stars on his ITV detective drama.
The pair appear in the first episode of the new series, which is set around a Strictly-style dance contest.
Dudgeon, who is back as DCI Barnaby, said: “I am an enormous fan so seeing this table full of people I had seen on Strictly, people who I have admired and voted for, all there, in the show was incredibly exciting.
“I also got to watch them dance and they’re seriously brilliant.”
Discussing whether he would ever take to the dancefloor himself, he said: “I am a terrible dancer so I might spoil it for everyone.
“I am really bad at being told what to do or taught to do anything.
“I had an awful time learning to drive because when they would say ‘mirror, signal, manoeuvre’. I would think, ‘But what happens if I don’t…’ and what happens is I nearly hit a bus.”
“I’d be the worst contestant they’ve ever had,” he said.
The new series of Midsomer Murders also sees the return of Fiona Dolman as Sarah Barnaby, while Nick Hendrix is back as DS Jamie Winter.
Annette Badland plays pathologist Dr Fleur Perkins.
Guest stars include Imogen Stubbs and Christopher Timothy, who will play Barnaby’s dad.
Dudgeon said: “When the writers told me they were introducing my dad in an episode and then told me who it would be I immediately thought he couldn’t possibly be old enough to play my dad!
“I think of him as the bright, young thing on the TV in All Creatures Great And Small.
“I do have a terrible soft spot for the older artists who come in because of their gossip.
“They have wonderful stories and they tell you extraordinary things about incredible people they have crossed paths with.
“Christopher was terrific and we had a great time together.”
Midsomer Murders returns to ITV this year.