'Midsomer Murders' star John Nettles at Roma Fiction Fest 2010

John Nettles at Roma Fiction Fest 2010
Day 5 of Roma Fiction Fest 2010 saw more stars of the small screen tread the orange carpet at Cinema Adriano – Claire Danes was there to promote the recently Emmy nominated Temple Grandin, whilst British actor John Nettles arrived to present an episode from Season 13 of the hugely popular Midsomer Murders, entitled The Sword of Guillaume. As the show's producer Brian True-May explained in an encounter in Sala 9, this is will be Nettles' final series playing Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby – indeed, they had wrapped shooting on the very last episode only the evening before – but that the show will continue with Neil Dudgeon taking over in the 14th series as Barnaby's cousin DCI John Barnaby. The Sword of Guillaume – another cracking Midsomer episode, with the mandatory gruesome slayings and fairly modest body count – is, in fact, the first time audiences are introduced to the “new” Barnaby.

The meeting with the star of the show might easily have been advertised as “An Evening with John Nettles”. The man is a marvellous raconteur and spoke easily and at length about his favourite moments from working on Midsomer (he particularly cherished the episode in which Oliver Ford Davies is pinned down on a croquet lawn, whilst pelted with bottles of his favourite vintage wine from a replica Roman catapult), his earlier TV career playing Jim Bergerac and his work in theatre with the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as his recent OBE for services to drama – all interspersed with amusing anecdotes and infectious laughter! I was thrilled when he paused to sign autographs at the end of the event and I was able to exchange a few words with him in person.

Watch some highlights from John Nettles' appearance at Roma Fiction Fest 2010 below (or click here to watch on You Tube).