Midsomer Murders viewers ‘love of posh people behaving badly’

Midsomer Murders star Neil Dudgeon says its success is down to viewers’ ‘love of posh people behaving badly’, as rich murders are ‘less sordid’ than working class ones

Millions have watched for two decades as detectives solve crimes in the picturesque county of Midsomer.

But it appears the enduring appeal of Midsomer Murders is not the complex plots or good acting – star Neil Dudgeon believes that viewers enjoy seeing ‘posh folk behaving badly’.

The actor, 58, who has played DCI John Barnaby in the ITV drama since 2011, said it is the well-heeled characters that keep people coming back for more.

Midsomer Murders with Neil Dudgeon as DCI John Barnaby and Nick Hendrix as DS Jamie Winter


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He said: ‘Without being snobby, there’s something more sordid about working-class people drinking, getting violent and killing each other in a terrace 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.’

The actor, 58, who has played DCI John Barnaby in the ITV drama since 2011, said it is the well-heeled characters that keep people coming back for more

Pointing out the middle-class nature of the show, Mr Dudgeon said his favourite murder from the series was when a man was mauled to death by a wild boar after being tied to a tree and ‘smeared with truffle oil.’

Other bizarre killings on the show include drowning in a vat of soup and being crushed to death by a wheel of cheese.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Dudgeon added that we are so invested in crime dramas because ‘it’s like turning over a stone and all the little insects underneath running around in a panic’.


Radio Times Cluedo Front Covers. Neil Dudgeon believes that viewers enjoy seeing ‘posh folk behaving badly’.

Pointing out the middle-class nature of the show, Mr Dudgeon said his favourite murder from the series was when a man was mauled to death by a wild boar

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