The good people of South Oxfordshire, where much of Midsomer Murders is filmed, are used to seeing famous actors and actresses filming their lines in the area’s many picturesque spots. Below is a list of my five favourite famous cameo appearances in the series. Please let me know if you agree or disagree with my selections!
1. Orlando Bloom – Bloom appears in Judgement Day, an episode which first aired in 2000. I don’t want to give too much away however I will say that the swashbuckling actor doesn’t appear in the episode for very long but his brief role as bed-hopping thief Peter Drinkwater is central to the plot! Perhaps Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson watched the episode, for a year later Bloom grew a pony tail to take on the role of elf king Legolas.
2. Honor Blackman – the former James Bond leading lady appears in A Talent for Life. Her role, as vivacious racing driver Isobel Hewitt, definitely has shades of Cathy Gale, the character she played so successfully in The Avengers. Like Bloom, her character has a lot of enemies and she does not appear in the episode for long. Perhaps the producers could not afford to pay her hourly rate for the full hour of the programme!
3. Richard Briers – Richard, (lovable eco warrior Tom Good in 1970s sitcom The Good Life) appeared in 1999’s Death’s Shadow as vicar Stephen Wentworth. As the vicar is vital to a sub-plot about the Barnabys renewing their marriage vows, surely he couldn’t be one of the suspects in the gruesome murder of unpopular land developer Richard Bayley?
4. Edward Fox – Edward is famous for playing the enigmatic loner Jackal in the film The Day of the Jackal. This must have been good preparation for his role as eccentric recluse William Bingham in Dark Secrets. Apparently Edward used some of his old gardening shirts to take on the role.
5. June Whitfield – this popular actress starred as Peggy Alder in 2005’s Midsomer Rhapsody. It is always reassuring to see June on screen as she is famous for starring in cosy suburban dramas. But it’s quite scary to see Clare Higgins appear in the episode as Laura Crawford; Clare is better known to horror film fans as the evil Julia in the first two Hellraiser films!