There is plenty about Midsomer Murders that is very interesting. There are the plots, the characters, the stunning Southern Oxfordshire locations and the increasingly ingenious ways for people to be murdered. But there are plenty more interesting facts about the show that you might not know. Here is a selection of some of our favourite little known Midsomer facts.

1. Since the show started in 1997, there have been nearly 300 murders. Victims have met their end variously by pitchfork, cricket bat, hemlock, a hatpin, an Iron Maiden (not the heavy metal band, although that would have been worth seeing), toxic fungus, a guillotine and a faulty microphone, amongst many others. It must be the longest and most varied list of murder weapons in history. Try playing Cluedo with that lot.

2. The pilot episode attracted viewing figures of 13.5 million, making it the highest rating drama show for 1997. Not bad for a first attempt.

3. The original and working title was Barnaby but was changed at the suggestion of scriptwriter Anthony Horowitz.

4. The solo instrument used in the show’s theme music is a theramin. It was invented by Russian scientist Leon Theramin in the early part of the 20th century. Lenin was said to be a huge fan and a skilled player. Other devotees include more or less every 1970s prog rock keyboard player.

5. Filming for the episode ‘The Blood Point’ had to be abandoned because the plot was unintentionally similar to a real-life event. Probably nothing to do with an Iron maiden though.

6. The show is screened in many countries around the world (almost all of them in fact) and in 2004 was in the top three most sold British TV shows in the world. In France the show has been re-titled Inspectuer Barnaby.

7. Every episode takes about five weeks to film and usually involves around 120 people. That’s a lot of man-hours when you add them up.

8. The show’s former star John Nettles once knocked on a door and announced himself as ‘Detective Sergeant Bergerac’ during filming. Confusing his then current character with a famous former role.

9. Celebrity fans of the show include Johnny Depp, Sir Roger Moore, Sharon Stone and Holly Willoughby. All of whom have expressed an interest in appearing in an episode.

10. The show is filmed in and around the beautiful region of Southern Oxfordshire, which definitely provides the perfect backdrop for all the action – no matter how grizzly.

So there you go. Some insider information to share with other fans of the show.