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Former Midsomer Murders stars – where are they now?

The ITV crime drama first premiered in 1997 

Split image of John Nettles, Jane Wymark and Toby Jones
Megan Bull
TV Writer
22 April 2024
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Midsomer Murders has been a regular fixture on our screens for 27 years, introducing fans to a host of unforgettable characters like DCI Barnaby and his sidekick DS Gavin Troy. But, with a such a long and successful run on ITV, viewers have been forced to say goodbye to beloved cast members. 

Wondering what they're up to now? From John Nettles to Jane Wymark and Jason Hughes, here's what Midsomer's alumni have been up to since leaving the village...

john nettles midsomer

John Nettles

John Nettles was the village's original detective, Tom Barnaby. After leading the series for 14 years, however, the fan favourite waved goodbye in 2011. 

Speaking to The Telegraph about his decision, John noted: "I never thought when we were filming the pilot 'The Killings at Badger's Drift' in 1996 that I would go on to film so many episodes. It has been a joy to be involved in such a long-running series with so many good actors and great storylines. It's the end of an era for me.

"I suddenly realised that I'm going to be the oldest detective in the business now that David Jason has thrown off the mantle. But it was a very difficult decision to make," he added. 

"I'll have been doing Midsomer Murders for 14 years by the time Barnaby leaves. I've formed familial ties with the people involved in the show and they will be hard to break. It's always wise to leave people wanting more, rather than be booed off the stage because you bored them."

Following his departure from the show, John has starred in The Toast of London and Poldark. He's also lent his voice to docuseries Devon and Cornwall and My Unique B&B, serving as a narrator.

Away from the cameras, John will celebrate his 30th wedding anniversary with his wife,  Cathryn Sealey, next year. He's also a proud dad to his daughter, Emma Nettles. 

Jane Wymark in France in 2019. © Getty

Jane Wymark

Jane Wymark appeared as DCI Barnaby's wife, Joyce, before exiting the show in 2011. 

At the time, fans speculated that Jane had been asked to leave the drama to coincide with John Nettle's storyline, the actress said she was ready for a different role.  

"I'm relieved that I don't have to be the nicest person in the world anymore!" she told Birmingham Mail. "That's a heavy burden to carry. I want to be completely evil now, a really bad person with no redeeming features and a terribly good cook!"

Jane noted: "John and I have been talking about him leaving for a long time, it hasn't come out of nowhere. And I agree, enough is enough. I am fond of Joyce but she is very limiting. Now I get to do different things." 

Free to explore new avenues, Jane has since appeared in the miniseries Jo, and the National Theatre's 2014 production of Medea.  

Laura Howard, John Nettles and Jane Wymark© David Graves/REX/Shutterstock

Laura Howard

Like her TV parents, Laura Howard left Midsomer Murders in 2011. Cast as Tom and Joyce's daughter Cully Barnaby, the actress bowed out of the programme in season 13 when her character tied the knot with Simon Dixon and left the village to pursue an acting career in London. 

"Cully's not the wildest character, but it's been lovely playing her," Laura told the Evening Standard in 2012. Asked about the reasons behind her exit, she replied: "I was 19 when we filmed the first episode and 30 when we shot the wedding last summer."

A regular fixture on our screens, following Midsomer Murders you may have spotted her in Doctors, Casualty and Call The Midwife. According to IMDB, her most recent role was as DCI Smith in a 2023 episode of COBRA.  

Daniel Casey in Midsomer Murders© Getty

Daniel Casey

Daniel Casey is famed for playing Tom Barnaby's original sidekick DS Gavin Troy in the first seven seasons of Midsomer Murders. "I was just aware I didn't want to stay with the same thing for too long and I wanted to branch out," the actor revealed to Saga.

Following his departure, Daniel briefly returned as Gavin in season 11 for the wedding of Tom's daughter Cully. Since leaving the village, Daniel has landed roles in Inspector George Gently, Casualty, and most notably EastEnders, in which he portrayed Tom Bailey. 

Jason Hughes pictured by the coast in Cannes in 2012© Getty

Jason Hughes

Joining the show as Sergeant Ben Jones in season nine, Jason Hughes left Midsomer Murders in season 15. After returning for a guest appearance in season 19, DS Benjamin Jones was officially gone for good.

In the years that followed, Jason has starred in Death in Paradise, Marcella, The Pact and Save The Cinema

Gwilym Lee at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Preview Party in 2023© Getty

Gwilym Lee

In 2013, Gwilym Lee made his debut as DCI Barnaby's new sergeant, DS Charlie Nelson, a role that he would play for the next three years. 

After waving goodbye to the ITV series, Gwilym has continued to thrive, appearing as Samuel Castell in Jamestown, Grigory "Grigor" Dymov in The Great, and Brian May in the Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody

Toby Jones as Alan Bates in Mr Bates vs Post Offie
© ITV Studios

Toby Jones

Toby Jones enjoyed a short stint in Midsomer Murders, appearing as Dan Peterson in four episodes of the hit show between 1999 and 2000. 

Revered as one of Britain's finest actors, Toby has since appeared in major film franchises including Harry Potter and The Hunger Games

Among his endless TV credits, the 57-year-old has featured in Sherlock, The Long Shadow and Mr Bates vs The Post Office, to name a few.