How excited we were to welcome top Swedish celebrities for a spot of filming in Oxfordshire’s Midsomer last week. International lawyer and ex Minister of Sweden, Thomas Bodstrom, accompanied by TV crime presenter and producer, Hasse Aro brought their camera team to film Nar och Fjarren (Near & Far), a popular Swedish travel programme, which sends celebrities to top travel spots all over the world.
Midsomer Murders holds a special place in Swedish hearts, where ‘murder for fun’ is number 1. The show’s light-hearted and quirky approach to murder is a far cry from home-grown Nordic productions like Willander, The Killing and Borgen.
Due for broadcast in 2016, the 15 minutes on screen is the result of 10 days of preparation by the production team. Observing the whole process we can report that scheduling is their biggest challenge, making sure each scene is set and transitions run smoothly.
The TV company became immersed in all things Midsomer. In Thame, the presenters sampled a ploughman’s and a pint at The Swan Pub (appeared in Vixen’s Run) and enjoyed the Barnaby Bun afternoon tea at Rumseys Chocolaterie (appeared as Madrigal’s Photo shop in A Picture of Innocence’).
In Henley they met landlord, Neil Ainsworth, at The Argyll to sup his guest Midsomer ale and stand in the place where DCI Barnaby met psychologist, Pru Plunkett, in Last Year’s Model. They met the owner of Anton Thorneycroft’s butcher’s shop in Henley (seen in The Magician’s Nephew) and supped ale at Loddon brewery (appeared in Night of the Stag).
They stayed overnight in both of Dorchester’s filmed coaching inns. The White Hart (appeared in Small Mercies) and The George Hotel (The Ballad of Midsomer County, Maid in Splendour and House in the Woods).
At The White Hart, jovial landlord Sean Harris kept eveyone fed and watered while the presenters talked on camera to a retired police officer, to singer/songwriter, John (Really Free) Otway, who plays the theramin, the musical instrument heard in the haunting opening theme tune of the show and to Rector Sue Booys from Dorchester Abbey, who spoke about the Abbey’s use as a filming location for the show.
Even without a camera crew in tow, anyone can visit these places. All the locations can be found on our Visit Midsomer self-drive trails or put together as part of a one day guided tour with a local operator.