Midsomer Murders season 22 filming halted over noisy distractions We had to stop10/03/2021
Midsomer Murders: Neil Dudgeon comments on acting standards
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Midsomer Murders is one of the longest-running mystery series of all time due to its overwhelming popularity. The ITV drama follows detective chief John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon) and detective sergeant Jamie Winter (Nick Hendrix) investigating unusual crimes. But peculiar happenings also occurred off-camera as Neil revealed season 22 filming was halted due to “noisy” distractions.
Neil has starred in the popular series for the past decade after his character took over the role of a detective from his cousin Tom (John Nettles).
However, the cast and crew were faced with unprecedented challenges when the coronavirus pandemic hit last year.
Neil, 60, said the Midsomer Murders cast had to “psychologically prepare themselves” for the “disaster of lockdown” as no one knew how long it would last.
The actor and his colleagues also had to adapt to filming under COVID-19 restrictions once they were allowed back on set.
In an unearthed interview with Radio Times, Neil opened up about what it was like to film the hit show during the pandemic as well as why shooting had to be paused.
Speaking about coping through the “lockdown disaster”, Neil explained: “You can spend weeks, months, years at a time without having anywhere to go and anything to do.
“You need the sort of personality and psychology that can deal with doing a play for four months and feeling, ‘It’s really intense and completely consumes me’.
“‘I’m in love with everybody in it and we’re so close and bonded,’ and it ends and then on Monday you sit down and go, ‘Right, what’s on Bargain Hunt today?’”
Nonetheless, the star said he was thrilled when filming for the latest series of Midsomer Murders restarted in September.
He likened the experience of returning to a set with the cast and crew to “getting out of jail”.
“Onset, everybody had their mask on and had to keep a distance, it felt really weird, like a post-apocalyptic Midsomer,” Neil added.
However, the feeling didn’t last long as Neil admitted that within “10 minutes” he and his co-stars were thrown straight back into the thick of the action.
It was not all smooth sailing off-camera, however, as Neil detailed that filming needed to be paused at one point.
“We did have to stop filming,” the star explained.
“[Because] there was a tractor in the next field. Very noisy.”
The series was filmed in a variety of rural locations, including the countryside in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Filming for the 22nd season of Midsomer Murders was completed in compliance with Covid regulations.
The cast and crew tried to remain on one location for each episode, to save them travelling too much amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest season was made up of four episodes and featured a host of guest stars, including This Morning’s Holly Willoughby.
Midsomer Murders is available to stream on BritBox now.
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