Neil Dudgeon discovered snake phobia on Midsomer Murders set
Neil Dudgeon discovered he had a phobia of snakes on the set of 'Midsomer Murders'.
The 56-year-old actor has returned as DCI John Barnaby in the popular ITV detective series and ahead of filming for Series 19 he was asked if he had an issue with the reptiles.
Although he thought he was "OK" with snakes when shooting commenced for the specific scene in which he got close to the serpents he quickly found out he is a sufferer of Ophidiophobia, but it was too late to do anything about it.
Speaking on 'This Morning' on Wednesday (04.01.17), he revealed: "There were snakes in the first episode of this series. Everyone rings up a couple of weeks before and says, 'Are you OK with snakes?' And I was like, 'Yeah I think I am OK with snakes, you never know. Why?' And then they disappear and the next thing you are in a room full of snakes and they are crawling towards you.
"It occurred to me that I had never really met a snake so I didn't know whether I'd find out, 'Oh, no I have a phobia of snakes and I can't cope.' Fortunately the snakes were charming and lovely."
In Series 19, viewers have been introduced to a new heartthrob in Midsomer. Nick Hendrix - a 31-year-old Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) graduate - is playing DS Jamie Winter, DCI Barnaby's new sidekick, and admits it is a "privilege" to be part of the beloved show.
He previously said: "It's a real privilege to be part of a hugely successful and much loved show and I am looking forward to stepping into the wonderful world of 'Midsomer'."
Dudgeon is appearing in his sixth series as DCI Barnaby after taking over from John Nettles - who portrayed DCI Tom Barnaby, the cousin of John Barnaby - in 2011 and he has no intention of leaving anytime soon.
He said: "I'm amazed it's been so long. And I can't believe I'm coming back to my third sergeant. Actors think, 'I'll go and do other things; there's life outside 'Midsomer' - and I just don't believe that."
The next episode of 'Midsomer Murders', entitled 'Crime and Punishment', airs on ITV on Wednesday night (04.01.16) at 8:00pm.