If, as the winter evenings draw in, you like nothing more than snuggling under a blanket and watching an episode or two of your favourite programme Midsomer Murders, then you’re in good company.
As well as being one of the most popular shows on TV in the UK, it’s also one of the most exported British TV programmes of all time. Shown in more than 150 countries worldwide (in Norway it has the catchy title Morg og Mysterier and in the Ukraine it’s called A Very English Murder) it’s not surprising that it has picked up its fair share of international fans.
Some of them are a little surprising too. Just imagine watching an episode with Punk legend Patti Smith, who recently revealed she’s a fan. As is comedian and TV chat-show host Graham Norton who revelaed to the Radio Times that “I love a murder mystery. Midsomer is ridiculous, but it’s happy television and it washes over you”. In between hammering out trade deals in the Reichstag, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also likes nothing more than to slip off and watch a sneaky episode.
A little closer to home, it’s rumoured that Prime Minister David Cameron watches. It must remind him a little bit of home in Chipping Norton, which is not too far away from Midsomer country in Southern Oxfordshire - albeit with fewer killings.
There are also unconfirmed reports that the Queen herself is a fan. You can just imagine her getting in from a tough day opening a new building or christening an ocean liner, kicking off the royal shoes, feet up and watching Barnaby do his business.
So, as you can see, Midsomer has a pretty broad appeal. From movie stars and punk legends to global power brokers and monarchs – it just seems to resonate at a very human level.
All of which means that Southern Oxfordshire and the Chiltern’s landscape around towns like Henley and Wallingford are given a global platform. This beautiful and familiar countryside is beamed around the world, appealing to millions of different people from all walks of life.