Get ready for Midsomer’s biggest Murder – Inspector Tom Barnaby may be killed off in an upcoming episode.

John Nettles, 65, has played Midsomer Murders‘ resident detective for 14 years but has admitted to feeling a little old for some of the action scenes, according to the Daily Star.

Writers for the ITV whodunit were asked to come up with a new storyline so the country copper can exit the show, and appear to be planning to kill off the long-serving detective.

An ITV source told the Star: “A team of script writers is secretly preparing for life after Barnaby.

“They’ve basically been asked for ideas of how he could be written out and how the show can continue. He’s a very popular character and his exit has to be sensitively handled.

“However, there’s little doubt that killing him off would be the biggest Midsomer Murders mystery of them all.”

Inspector Barnaby’s departure may not be very soon as a spokeswoman for the series said Nettles is midway though filming the 12th series and is contracted for a 13th next year.

She said: “John has been the first to say he doesn’t want to be playing Barnaby when he’s 90 but he’ll be around for a while yet – at least until the end of 2010.”

DS Ben Jones, played by Jason Hughes, and DC Gail Stevens, Kirsty Dillon, will pick up Inspector Barnaby’s baton after his death.

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