f you’re one of those people (like me) who don’t like to know anything about the plot or direction of a TV programme before watching it, then please look away now! The brand new Midsomer Murders episode Death in the Slow Lane airs on Wednesday at 8pm and will be the first episode without DCI Tom Barnaby (played by John Nettles).

Tom Barnaby will be replaced in the show by DCI John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon) who will be taking over his cousin’s job and trying to tackle the ever-rising wave of murderous crime in the Midsomer villages.

The cast of Midsomer Murders have been busy briefing the media about the new direction the series will take.

Last Saturday’s Daily Mail weekend supplement contained Neil Dudgeon’s on-set diary. Neil revealed that the crew have already spent a few days out in South Oxfordshire, filming in a barn in the lovely town of Thame. It seems that stunts will feature a little more in the series as the actor revealed that one scene involves him hanging by his ankles from a roof beam.

Neil also candidly revealed that he has a challenging relationship with one of his fellow co-stars; he has to keep bits of sausage meat in his suit pockets to keep his character’s dog Sykes in a sweet mood during filming.

The new Inspector Barnaby has also been chatting to TV Choice magazine, revealing that he’s done a psychology degree – a qualification he will surely use to out-wit Midsomer murder suspects.

Over at Midsomermurders.org there is an interview with Jason Hughes who plays DS Ben Jones, a character who was the long-suffering sidekick of the old Inspector Barnaby. It is DS Jones’s job to look after the new inspector: a job that turns out to be “intimidating” and “infuriating”.

Jason revealed that although his character struggles to adjust to his new boss’s working methods, he does eventually learn to embrace them.

I’m sure we’ll rapidly embrace the new characters and series – roll on Wednesday evening!

Midsomer Murders: Death in the Slow Lane – ITV1, Wednesday, March 23rd 8pm