Since 2001, Inspector Barnaby has undoubtedly been one of France 3’s flagship detective series. Adapted from the novels by Caroline Graham, the series is a veritable institution in Great Britain, where it brings together an average of 4 million fans in front of their screens. . Until season 13, viewers followed the investigations of Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles, through the (fictional) county of Midsomer. Since season 14, it is his cousin, John Barnaby, who has taken up the torch. It is the British actor Neil Dudgeon who plays the famous inspector.
At 61, Neil Dudgeon had a rather discreet start to his career before gradually establishing himself in the British audiovisual landscape. Before becoming the star of the series Inspector Barnaby, the British actor appeared in many series, notably detective like Inspector Fros t or Inspector Morse. In 2004, he played Inspector Lestrade in the TV movie The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes. That same year, he had a small role in the film Bridget Jones: Age of Reason starring Renée Zellwegger.
Before playing John Barnaby, Neil Dudgeon had already appeared in the detective series in a secondary role. Indeed, the British actor played Daniel Bolt, a seductive gardener who made advances to Tom Barnaby’s wife, in the first episode of season 4 entitled “The Garden of Death”. The actor was at that time far from imagining that he was going to take over from John Nettles in the series.
Neil Dudgeon interprets for the first time the role of John Barnaby in episode 2 of season 13 titled “The Sword of William”. An episode in which Tom Barnaby finds his cousin John in Brighton as part of an investigation. “It was a way to introduce the character. And then, it was above all a way to test myself!” Said the actor in an interview with Télé 2 Semaines.
Neil Dudgeon is married to BBC radio producer Mary Peate. According to the British site Express, Mary Peate has worked on several radio adaptations of the works of Agatha Christie. The actor and producer are the happy parents of two children named Joe and Greta. The British comedian rarely talks about his private life. However, he made a secret about his wife to Télé 2 Semaines. To the question “Do you like to look for the culprit in the scenarios?”, the actor admits to being bad at this game, which is not the case with his beloved. “My wife, on the contrary, is very good at it: she always knows what is going to happen before it happens,” he said.
Neil Dudgeon is not as fearless as his famous character. The actor is acrophobic: he is afraid of heights. In an interview with the British site Express, he confided that he had to overcome his fear for the time of a scene for Inspector Barnaby, despite his numerous protests to the producers of the series to avoid doing this filming.