THE bride wore ivory on another busy day in Midsomer.
“Thank you all for being the cheapest labour we’ve ever had,” laughed John Nettles.
The occasion was filming for the Midsomer Murders wedding of his screen daughter Cully Barnaby to Simon Dixon.
And the reason for John’s joke?
Among the wedding guests in the church congregation were the massed ranks of Her Majesty’s Press, including yours truly.
We were invited by executive producer Brian True-May, who married his own wife Maureen on the same spot in 1969.
Not that you’re likely to see much of us when episode one of series 11 – Blood Wedding – is screened on ITV1 later this year.
Cully (Laura Howard) and Simon (Sam Hazeldine) tie the knot as murders are, yet again, sprinkled like confetti across Midsomer.
Det Chief Insp Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) is diverted en route to the church but eventually makes it to give his daughter away.
The episode also features another, very different, wedding.
It sees a guest appearance by Daniel Casey (pictured right below) as Barnaby’s former sidekick Gavin Troy, back in Midsomer four years after he left.
Det Sgt Ben Jones, played by Jason Hughes, was also there, employed on the day as an usher.
And John told us that Barnaby’s father of the bride speech will finally reveal how Cully got her name.
There’ll be more about the wedding filming both in the MEN and this blog on another day.
But, for the moment, here’s the good news for Midsomer fans around the globe.
There was some uncertainty about the future of the long-running drama after the appointment last November of Michael Grade as ITV executive chairman.
Happily, it appears he’s a fan.
“A new regime came in and suddenly realised how valuable the show was and promptly ordered an awful lot more,” revealed Brian.
“So we now have another 14 episodes guaranteed over the next two years.
“That takes us up to April shooting in 2009.
“And that means there’ll be 70 episodes – that’s 140 hours of murder and mayhem.”
John has signed up to film series 11 until April next year.
He will then return to start filming series 12 next June, with production going on until 2009, including another Christmas special.
“It’s unprecedented – no other show, drama or anything else, has ever had such an order,” added Brian.
“So that shows confidence. We’re, obviously, very pleased.”
John Nettles was still grinning as he said of Midsomer Murders: “There is no reason why it should end.”
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