Chris Barrie was delighted to make his TV drama debut playing a dodgy postman in 'Death in a Chocolate Box'

"I've done lots of comedy acting, plus presenting and voices for series like Spitting Image but Midsomer Murders is my first drama. It was such a relief that no-one came up to me and said 'Chris, we want you to make it funny' for a change.

Chris plays Lionel Poulter, who works in the village of Midsomer Holm, a halfway house for ex-criminals.

"Lionel is a bit of a weasel. He's a bloke at the low end of society, who could quite easily be influenced. He's a guy who got in with a bad bunch and used his past experience to get an advantage over others.

"I loved working on it especially getting my teeth stuck into a big scene with John Nettles at the police station. Driving the post van and being in the village was good fun too. I loved working with Jason Hughes as well as John. I just turned up and everything was stress-free."

Adds Chris: "I was quite familiar with the series - it's one of those programmes you almost expect to be period. It's shot in beautiful villages from another era, then suddenly you see a modern car. It's very clever the way in which it has captured the past and yet fits in the present."


Sue Jenkins felt very at home behind the bar in 'Death in a Chocolate Box'.

"I was in Coronation Street for four years playing Gloria who was one of the barmaids so it was nice to return as a barmaid in Midsomer," says Sue.

"Angie is a friendly warm person but her husband Bob knocks her down at every turn. He's called Laughing Bob, because he is so miserable. Angie was great to play because she is quite a strong woman, but she's locked into a marriage that she's not brave enough to escape from.

"You get to hear that from friends when they are unhappy yet they can't leave their husbands. Well she is the same - and she stays with her husband for better or worse."

Adds Sue: "She has an escape system in Jack, another villager who can't talk to his wife so they have a lot in common. They are platonic friends and it could have grown into something more but she loses out again. Angie is robbed of something that could have been her salvation."

Sue enjoyed joining the Midsomer Murders roll call of guest stars.

"It was the greatest time ever because it's one of those rare series where actors get respected in the old fashioned way. I had a lot of scenes to do with John Nettles and he was great to work with and made everyone so welcome."