November 11

Baby on the way in Midsomer Murders

Midsomer Murders MMXVI – XmasHot off the press release:

It’s a time of joy and happiness in Midsomer for once – Christmas is coming and DCI Barnaby is about to become a dad.

As Midsomer Murders returns to ITV, Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) and his wife Sarah (Fiona Dolman) are celebrating the news that she is pregnant.

It’s not the only change facing Barnaby in the five-part series – new detective Charlie Nelson (Gwilym Lee) moves into the patch, taking up his posting just in time for an investigation at a ‘haunted’ house.

The regular team is completed by the return of Tamzin Malleson as pathologist Dr Kate Wilding.  Kate becomes landlady to DS Nelson and, together with the Barnabys, helps him celebrate his first Christmas in Midsomer.

Baby Barnaby, who is due to make an appearance later in the series, was written into the drama when actress Fiona Dolman discovered she was pregnant.

The pregnancy was a surprise, but much longed-for, for single mum Fiona.  In real life, her baby Madeleine Charlotte was born in July.

Says Fiona:  “I didn’t think I’d ever have a child so I feel very blessed.  I am very happy to bring up the baby on my own as I have incredible support and love from my family.

“Things might not be perfect but from the moment I held Madeleine in my arms we felt like a team.  I’ve got so much love around me, so I know we’re going to be all right.”

She adds:  “Everyone on Midsomer Murders  has been so supportive and lovely.  I went back in October to film the fifth episode and Neil was very excited for me.

“I’m sure the Barnabys will be good parents as they are both practical and have a good relationship of equals.  They share a fundamental set of values and approach problems in a similar sort of way.  The only problem is whether Sykes the dog feels has been usurped by the newest member of the family!”

The festive Midsomer Murders  episode The Christmas Haunting is set in Morton Shallows. DCI Barnaby and DS Nelson investigate the fatal stabbing of a man with an antique sword during a ghost-hunting party at a ‘haunted’ manor house.  Is blacksmith’s daughter Rose Wilton seeking revenge from the beyond the grave, or can Barnaby and Nelson find a more earthly motive behind the murder and trap the killer?

Guest stars in the episode include Elizabeth Berrington, Les Dennis, Mark Heap, Emily Joyce, James Murray and Hannah Tointon.  The Christmas Haunting is written by Chris Murray, directed by Nick Laughland, produced by Louise Sutton and the executive producer is Jo Wright.

October 7

Sir David Jason to star in one-off Open All Hours Christmas special

Classic BBC sitcom Open All Hours is returning to BBC One for a 30-minute one-off Christmas special – ‘Still Open All Hours’.

David Jason is reprising his role of Granville who, alongside his son, now runs the back-water grocery store inherited from his uncle Albert Arkwright, played by Ronnie Barker in the original series.

Lynda Baron and Maggie Ollerenshaw will also return as nurse Gladys Emmanuel and Mavis respectively, and the programme’s original writer, Roy Clarke, will pen the episode.

David Jason says: “I’m really excited to be bringing back Open All Hours. I am sure there is an audience out there who would like to see what Granville has been getting up to in the corner shop. It will be a great family show for Christmas and a fitting tribute to the legacy of Arkwright.”

The original series ran for 26 episodes across four series between 1973 and 1985. Now, nearly 30 years later, we catch up on the situation at the corner shop as it is today.

BBC Controller of UK Comedy Production, Mark Freeland, says: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome back to BBC comedy the magic pairing of David Jason and Roy Clarke. Having the chance to see Arkwright’s beloved shop again, now run by Granville, I hope will bring broad grins to lots and lots of faces at Christmas.”

Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One says: “BBC One’s Christmas schedule suddenly feels complete with the addition of this classic British comedy, which will see favourite Sir David Jason return as Granville for a special episode.”

Roy Clarke says: “This has been fun – a great opportunity to work with David Jason again and to suggest how things at that corner shop might look today.”



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October 2

Congratulations to the winner of my Only Fools and Horses competition

Congratulations to Darren Fieldhouse from Stockton-on-Tees who has won a copy of my book Only Fools and Horses: The Official Inside Story signed by both Sir David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst plus a copy of The Official Only Fools and Horses Quiz Book signed by Only Fools and Horses creator the late, great John Sullivan.

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition