Is Midsomer Murders to be sexed up? And what would Detective Inspector Tom Barnaby say? Apparently, his replacement – DCI John Barnaby (played by 50-year-old Neil Dudgeon) – has rather a racy love life; one which will feature quite heavily in the new series of Midsomer Murders.

The old Inspector Barnaby (played by 67-year-old John Nettles) was used to investigating the tangled love lives of the Midsomer area residents. But his home life, shared with his wife Joyce, was reassuringly mundane and cosy.

Not so with the new Inspector Barnaby. According to the Daily Mail, actor Neil Dudgeon admitted that the show will explore new ground by placing greater emphasis on his character’s married life.

The new DCI BarnabyNeil also mentioned that the new Mrs Barnaby will be a lot “racier” than Joyce (a character whose on-screen adventures seemed to be limited to taking up new hobbies which somehow would always become connected with her husband’s murder investigations).

Heartbeat actress Fiona Dolman, 41, will star opposite Dudgeon and provide the on-screen chemistry which will help Midsomer’s popularity continue.

A reviewer from TV Choice has had a sneak preview of the next episode and revealed on Twitter that Neil Dudgeon has “a sexy teacher wife who seduces him in the middle of the day” – just watch those curtains start twitching…

Executive producer Brian True May is keen to reassure Midsomer fans that the new changes will not be too radical. He told the Mail: “We don’t want to introduce too many soap elements to the series.”

If you want to find out more about the man who plays the new Detective Barnaby then you’ll be glad to know that there is an interview with him on ITV 1 on Wednesday, 30th March.