One of the big summer blockbusters this year, Man of Steel, is a reboot of the Superman franchise and has been winning plaudits from both fans and critics. Playing the Man of Steel himself is British actor Henry Cavill. His chiselled good looks and muscular frame are perfect for the role but he might look a little bit familiar to fans of Midsomer Murders.

That’s because back in 2003, Henry appeared as a slightly less than super man (sorry, couldn’t resist), Simon Mayfield, in the episode The Green Man. The chiselled jaw remains the same but the long curly hair isn’t exactly fitting for either Superman, or Clark Kent for that matter.

In the episode Henry’s character Simon is a bit of a bad egg. He pushes an old man about, threatens to run him over and meets a grisly end. It’s not the actions you would normally associate with a super hero.

Now we all know that all actors have to start somewhere and that getting parts in drama series, pantos and soaps is just a rite of passage. But it seems to us that an unusually large number of current megastars and top actors have been through the ranks of Midsomer.

It might be a coincidence, of course, or it might be the fact that standards on the show are very high and the producers know talent when they see it. That would explain the consistently high level of programme.

Other Hollywood alumni that have starred in episodes of Midsomer over the years include Orlando Bloom, of Pirates of the Caribbean fame, and Emily Mortimer, star of Shutter Island.

Next time you’re watching Midsomer – often set deep in Southern Oxfordshire – keep an eye out for some of the actors in smaller roles. You might just be watching a star in the making.