Inspector Barnaby’s praise of his sidekick Detective Sergeant Jones often seems grudging in Midsomer Murders. However, in real life, Neil Dudgeon (the actor who plays Barnaby) is not shy of expressing his admiration for Jason Hughes (the actor who plays Jones).

Speaking ahead of the start of the 15th series of Midsomer Murders, new episode ‘Murder of Innocence’ airs on 21st March, Neil revealed that he knew Jason before they started filming together a year-and-a-half ago.

Neil praises his co-star’s ability to “bring out the humour of a piece without over-doing it”.

He said: “On some days of filming Jason doesn’t have many lines to say. But because he is so up and positive, keeping everybody jollying along and entertained, he is fantastic.”

Neil added: “He also lets me go off and sit quietly if I need to and he talks to the other guests. I appreciate that so much.”

The admiration is clearly mutual. Jason said: “Neil and I give feedback on the script and it’s great to be involved in that process. Jones is a valued sidekick and he and Barnaby are much more equals than the father-son relationship of the past. I think from the moment that Neil’s character arrived the part of Jones got fleshier.”

Part of this “fleshier” role could include some long-overdue love interest for the hard-working DS Jones. The new episode sees Jones meet an attractive brown-eyed fire-fighter called Susie Bellingham.

Watch the new episode and you’re sure to see sparks fly between the couple and don’t forget to watch out for any South Oxfordshire locations that might have been used during filming. We’ll keep you updated whenever we learn that there is a Midsomer film crew in the area.