New Midsomer Murders producer Jo Wright: the series “should represent its audience”

Evidence of more inclusive casting comes almost a year after the detective drama sparked a race row

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Incoming Midsomer Murders producer Jo Wright has spoken to radiotimes.com about her plans for the show, stating that it should “continue to develop and evolve as a drama”.

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Wright, whose previous credits include a modern retelling of Othello starring Eamonn Walker and the BBC1 crime drama 55 Degrees North, also said:

“I strongly believe that Midsomer Murders should represent its audience and, alongside some of the core characters already in Midsomer, we have the opportunity to introduce a range of characters from different backgrounds within the films in the next series.”

Her remarks come almost a year after the race row sparked by then producer Brian True-May, who commented to Radio Times that the series “wouldn’t work” if ethnic minorities appeared on screen and that the hit ITV1 drama was “the last bastion of Englishness”.

True-May stood down from his role at the end of the last run of episodes and – as reported on this site yesterday – Wright’s debut as producer sees evidence of a rethink on casting policy.

The episode The Dark Rider (Wednesday 1 February, ITV1) is notable for the fact that Hong Kong-born actress Natalie Mendoza features prominently among the suspects. Is 21st-century Britain at last being recognised on the programme?

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“Great storytelling will continue to be at the heart of Midsomer Murders,” said Wright. “I will cast the series in the same way as I always do – by starting with the best script, and a good script will include a variety of different characters.”