Monday, 10 August 2015

Location Hunting; Richard Briers and Midsomer Murders

A Guest Post by The Husband... 

War Games, Stamp Collecting, Blogging, even Pole Dancing, most people have a passion in life and I'm no different. Mine is reading and researching. When I take an interest in something or someone, I like to find all the facts I can. My head is full of little pieces of knowledge that nobody else cares about, but they all matter to me. I know I drive my wife mad at times, when I recite an episode of Only Fools and Horses, word for word, or rattle off Dean Martin's life story but she does nod occasionally and humour me, bless her.

For instance in the film; Singing in The Rain, Kathy Seldon (Debbie Reynolds) is meant to be singing for Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), because Lina Lamont had a terrible voice. However, it was actually Jean Hagen herself who was singing, because, in reality, she had the better voice of the two. Debbie Reynolds never sang in that film, although the whole plot is based around her singing. Complicated but I get it! 

Father and Son with Umbrellas

I must confess to also being a bit of a telly addict. I am, however, very old school. I grew up on Farley’s rusks and Steptoe and Son. There isn't much on television now that captures me. When comedy moved to alternative comedy, throughout the 80's, I didn't move with it. I stayed in the land of Morecambe and Wise, Tommy Cooper and Bless This House, to name a few. I could tell you the inside leg measurements of David Jason and Ronnie Barker, two of my real comedy heroes. There was a moment, though, when TV reached a major crossroads for me. Richard Briers, star of The Good Life, and one of my favourite actors, shared the lead in one of my favourite shows, Midsomer Murders, in the episode; Death’s Shadow. A must watch for me, so, in true style, I did my homework very meticulously. In the episode Richard played a vicar and most of it was filmed at a church. It took me a long time to discover which one, they have filmed at a lot of churches. It was in a tiny village in Buckinghamshire called Bledlow. 

House Featured in Midsomer Murders and Marple

We were recently in the area, so on a whim, I decided I had to find that church. With my sat nav in tears and my lovely wife map reading, we finally reached our destination or to me, the Holy Grail. To stand in the footsteps of a man, who was unreservedly respected by his peers and loved by me, for making the greatest of contributions to our television history was a moment I cannot even begin to put into words. It was the equivalent of standing in a roman amphitheatre and imagining the gladiators walking out. This was a major moment for my bucket list. My next one will be when I place flowers on Ronnie Barker’s grave, I know exactly where he is, it is quite a drive from where we are but one day....

Outside the Church at Bledlow

Outside Bledlow Church

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  1. We love Midsomer too, but wouldn't want to live there. The police may have a 100% clean up rate, but the life expectancy leaves a lot to be desired!

    1. Ha ha, I was quite pleased to get out alive, I will admit!

  2. What a fun idea. I have often thought about visiting places where historic events have taken place. It is a good idea to have a theme for proposed visits.

  3. It sounds like you have been on quite a mission! TV has definitely gone down hill since the good old days


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