Midsomer Murders star Nick Hendrix has revealed he has “lots of other, different aspirations” which may ultimately inspire him to quit his role as DS Jamie Winter.
The actor says he isn’t planning to follow in the footsteps of current star Neil Dudgeon or original lead actor John Nettles, who have spent 10 and 14 years respectively solving murders in the ITV crime drama.
“I don’t think so, no,” he tells RadioTimes.com. “I mean you say that. That’s the thing, people go, ‘Oh I only popped in for ten minutes,’ and suddenly someone’s there for 20 years.
“But for one, both Neil and John started their jobs when they were at very different points in their careers. They were much older already in the sense that they’d already done a lot, cut their teeth, made their mark, done their theatre, done their other bits of TV and film, and therefore the choice of doing something for a long period for them is different for them.”
Dudgeon recently told us at the Radio Times Covers Party that he has “no intention” of leaving Midsomer Murders and will “go on and on doing it for as long as it’s fun”.
His character, DCI John Barnaby, gained a sidekick back in 2016 when Hendrix joined the long-running crime drama as DS Jamie Winter.
Hendrix says: “I definitely have lots of other, different aspirations, so staying and doing one job for a very long time is not usually part of the plan. But it’s a very hard job to turn down, so as ever each year we’ll just see what happens.”
Aside from his work on Midsomer Murders, Hendrix is also known for playing Billy Wallace in The Crown and Adrian Cooper in Marcella. The actor also has an upcoming role in festive movie The Christmas Ball.
The actor explains: “Usually, the main challenge as actors is just availability, a simple diary [issue]. The second is that you do a shoot that is five months or longer, then it starts to just make it practically difficult.
“I just shot a film out in Serbia, and films can take three weeks or a month, and therefore they’re great. But finding the ones that are in those gaps isn’t always that easy. And longer TV shows are very hard to fit in, because they’ve got to be in exactly the right window. And again theatre can often be six months, nine months.
“So it is a challenge, and that’s often the reason why people decide to move on from some shows, because they just go, ‘Well, I’d love to keep doing this but I need to balance with other things’… it can be a challenge, so you’re always as an actor trying to find balance in your career, you know. And I definitely, obviously I have aspirations to do lots of different things as well.”
But Midsomer Murders would be a hard show to leave.
“What keeps me coming back? Many reasons,” Hendrix says. “For one, I genuinely really enjoy doing it.
“It’s not a given answer, because I know a lot of actors that have done long-running shows and it’s not a given that everyone loves being in Downton or Poldark or Victoria or whatever… you’ve got lots of cast there, lots of people to get on with, or not get on with, and sometimes challenging locations or challenging schedules or challenges with the creative team.
“But me and Neil are so lucky. I think that Midsomer is just a really – the job reflects the reputation of the show a bit in the sense that the show is warm and friendly and sort of cosy and a family – that kind of energy, and the job to do is sort of the same. The people are lovely, thankfully I get on with Neil really well, so I just enjoy hanging out with him on a daily basis.
“And also, because they’re standalone episodes, they’re like little films, really. Every four weeks I sort of start a new job, because you get a whole new cast, a whole storyline, new locations, so it’s a bit like doing four or six films for a year, or over a summer. Which is great because you can’t really get bored of it.”
The latest series 21 episode to air on ITV was The Miniature Murders – which fans can now watch on Britbox. This one takes us to the fictional Midsomer Museum, where a real estate agent is murdered in front of the crowd at the unveiling of a new dolls’ house collection.
And after 21 series it’s astonishing how the writers keep coming up with new ideas and new ways of killing people, Hendrix says. “You do wonder, how have they not done something about dolls’ houses before? But they haven’t apparently.
I think the dolls’ house thing is quite an interesting idea, and on set actually we had an extraordinary collection of real dolls’ houses from genuine collectors. And some of them looked like serious Grand Designs, Scandi mansions that you wouldn’t imagine. In my head a dolls’ house is a slightly spooky thing that your grandmother had. But they found some amazing design pieces!”
All episodes of Midsomer Murders are available on Britbox now, including latest episode The Miniature Murders