South Oxfordshire, where much of Midsomer Murders is filmed, has countryside which offers many great bird-watching opportunities.The Chilterns is one such location – an area of outstanding natural beauty which is home to the rare Red Kite.
In terms of things to do in South Oxfordshire the Chilterns is central to outdoor persuits and family activities. And it is little wonder that previous episodes of Midsomer Murders (such as Bird of Prey) have alluded to Midsomer’s appeal to bird watchers and their love of the great outdoors.
The latest episode, which will be screened on Wednesday evening (11th January 2011) at 8pm, continues this tradition. Entitled ‘A Rare Bird’ the plot will revolve around the Midsomer-in-the-Marsh Ornithological Society.
The twitchers fall out when one of the members (Ralph Ford, played by James Dreyfus) claims to have seen a blue-crested hoopoe in the area. When the president of the society disputes the sighting he is soon as dead as a dodo.
Barnaby and Jones are called in to investigate ‘fowl’ play and are surprised to find that the president’s widow, a Russian ballerina, is relaxed about her husband’s murder – more here on Midsomer Murders ITV .
A Rare Bird certainly promises to be a dramatic final instalment of the current series as it is not short of big names making guest appearances: James Dreyfus will be familiar to many television viewers who like TV and film comedies; he played nice-but-dim Constable Goody in the Thin Blue Line, Kathy Burke’s gay flatmate in Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and a star-struck book shop owner in the film Notting Hill.
Genevieve O’Reilly, who plays Russian ballerina Nina Morgan, is sure to bring a regal air to A Rare Bird; she starred as Lady Flora Hastings in the 2009 film The Young Victoria and took the lead role in the 2007 TV docu-drama Diana: Last Days Of A Princess.
But I have a feeling that the murderer could well turn out to be Dave Foxely; the character played by Paul Nicholls. Paul first found fame as troubled teenager Joe Wicks in EastEnders.
Tune in on Wednesday evening to find out if I’m right!