ITV Midsomer Murders: Real reason John Nettles left role after 14 years

It has been a decade since the heart-breaking departure of John Nettles from Midsomer Murders and he has now revealed the real reason he stepped down.

After a 14-year stint playing detective chief inspector Tom Barnaby from 1997 to 2011, Neil Dudgeon took over the role.

Since leaving his most prominent role he has gone on to star as Ray Penvenen in Poldark.

But now Midsomer Murders is being repeated on ITV3, we take a look into why John left for good in 2011.

READ MORE: The beautiful village an hour from London you’ve probably never heard of where the Vicar of Dibley and Midsomer Murders were filmed

John Nettles playing DCI Tom Barnaby

Chatting about his decision to leave to The Telegraph, John explained: “I never thought when we were filming the pilot The Killings at Badger’s Drift in 1996 that I would go on to film so many episodes.

“It has been a joy to be involved in such a long-running series with so many good actors and great storylines. It’s the end of an era for me.”

Speaking about his decision to leave, he added: “I suddenly realised that I’m going to be the oldest detective in the business now that David Jason has thrown off the mantle.

“But it was a very difficult decision to make. I’ll have been doing Midsomer Murders for 14 years by the time Barnaby leaves. I’ve formed familial ties with the people involved in the show and they will be hard to break.”

He continued: “It’s always wise to leave people wanting more, rather than be booed off the stage because you bored them.”

Neil recently opened up about the new series, and revealed to Digital Spy that he doesn’t see the show going off the air any time soon. He said: “It can be so varied. It can vary tonally. You’ve got a different setting every week.

ITV Midsomer Murders: Real reason John Nettles left role after 14 years

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“You’ve got a largely different cast every week. You can have a darker episode, a more serious episode. You can change everything about it.

“It can be more comedic. It can be more horror. It can be more spooky. It can be dark.

“You can kind of put anything in there because of the breadth and the style of the show. If there’s a formula at all, it’s a very loose formula. So I think it’s got the potential to go on. It can keep re-energising itself.”

Do you think he made the right decision to leave the show? Let us know in the comments here.

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