All Midsomer Murders’ fans are saddened by the thought that Inspector Barnaby (as played by John Nettles, at least) is to hang up his police badge.

So imagine how difficult it must have been for the work colleagues of this universally-popular TV legend to say goodbye?

The national newspapers have devoted much coverage to John giving up the role of Barnaby, yet they seem to have missed an excellent interview the actor gave to the website around the time he filmed his last scenes.

In the interview, John reveals jokingly that there was “a year of parties” in the run-up to him getting his P45.

One of these parties was a barbecue held by executive producer Sir Brian True-May at his home with a band playing as John was presented with an engraved claret jug.

On the last day of filming he was presented with a specially-made clapperboard showing Midsomer Murders’ last slate.

It was a farewell that John never envisaged when he first took on the role in 1997, when he was just “a 50-year-old crazy dreamer”.

He thinks that international audiences love Midsomer Murders “not just for the beautiful scenery” but because they believe that the way the series portrays the eccentricities of English village life is “absolutely realistic”.

In other Midsomer Murders-related news, a press release from Acorn Media gives more clues about the manner of Inspector Barnaby’s departure.

The Fit for Murder episode will find Barnaby in a thoughtful mood as “his upcoming birthday leads him to question where his future lies”.