We caught up with Kevin Whately on the set of Lewis, back for a new series on ITV on Sunday night…

Lewis is so popular – what do you think the secret to its success is?
“Oxford is obviously the main one. For us the main difference between Lewis and other detective shows is we’ve always been lucky to have a nice chemistry between the leads.”

Each series is just four episodes – isn’t there a demand for more?
“We couldn’t realistically do more because it’s six months in production and it would kill me!”

Have you ever been on the Oxford sightseeing bus?
“No! We used to constantly bump into the Morse Tours when they were running, which was strange. The fans are obsessional. The number of books that have come out about Morse locations, Lewis storylines, the cast, it’s a whole industry.”

You must get recognised all over the world?
“I’ve had that for 30 years because Auf Weidersehen Pet went to a lot of countries. Morse seems to be everywhere. We get letters from Slovenia, Czechoslovakia, Saudi Arabia, France.”

What can you tell us about the first episode in this series?
“There’s a dead body found on a bus. It’s about a noble family and buried treasure from the Civil War.”

Does it have any guest stars?
“Stella Gonet is in it. I’ve worked with Stella before – we’ve been married in various things. Lewis flirts with her a bit in this episode.”

What other guest stars can we look forward to this series?
“Diana Quick is in a story about a professor found dead in a conservatory. Alan Davies, Tim West and Nick Farrell all appear in an episode about murders at a quiz weekend in a college. “