Ex EastEnders star Annette Badland joins crime team in 20th anniversary Midsomer Murders
Annette Badland, AKA Albert Square's Aunt Babe, will play a pathologist in the 20th anniversary series of Midsomer Murders
Neil Dudgeon as DCI John Barnaby and Nick Hendrix as DS Jamie Winter will be joined by a new pathologist – Dr Fleur Perkins (Annette Badland) – in the 20th anniversary series of ITV's Midsomer Murders.
Annette, best known for playing the fiendish Aunt Babe in EastEnders, said: "I have always enjoyed living dangerously so arriving at Midsomer is thrilling! In truth I'm delighted to be involved in the 20th series of Midsomer Murders and to work alongside and be part of this creative team. I hope Fleur can assist Barnaby in maintaining his high success rate of crime detection. She is very good at her job."
Also returning this series is Fiona Dolman as Sarah Barnaby, followed closely by Paddy the dog as the Barnabys’ faithful canine companion. Guest casting will be announced at a later date.
Midsomer's executive producer, Jonathan Fisher, added. "It is a real privilege to be leading this iconic British detective series into its landmark 20th year. As part of our celebrations, we will be treating our very loyal audience with nods back to some of the most memorable moments of the show’s history.
"Meanwhile we are thrilled to welcome the wonderfully talented Annette Badland to the cast as our formidable new pathologist Fleur Perkins. We’re sure Fleur will prove to be a vibrant and much-loved Midsomer character."
Storylines for the new series – which begins filming later this month – include Barnaby and Winter investigating a cursed brewery, an elite intellectual society with a dark past, a killer comic book festival and a circus of horrors…
No word yet on when Midsomer Murders 20 will screen, but it's likely to be 2018.
Midsomer Murders sells to more than 220 territories worldwide and this year's series averaged 5.9m viewers and a 23 per cent share of the audience.
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Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.