Midsomer Murders actor Neil Dudgeon has said the idea that the BBC should not make popular entertainment programmes is ‘cretinous in the extreme’.

The star of ITV’s drama series and his family are avid watchers of Strictly Come Dancing, and he said the show is ‘brilliant’.

DS Ben Jones (played by Jason Hughes), DCI Tom Barnaby (played by John Nettles) and DCI John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon) from Midsomer Murders (Bentley Productions/PA)



DS Ben Jones (Jason Hughes), DCI Tom Barnaby (John Nettles) and DCI John Barnaby from Midsomer Murders (Bentley Productions/PA)

 

Neil, who has played DCI John Barnaby since 2011, was referring to comments made by the Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, in relation to the pending BBC charter review.

He told Radio Times: “John Whittingdale said the BBC shouldn’t make popular programmes and chase viewers.

“But who would have known that a programme about ballroom dancing would end up being one of the most popular shows on the telly?”

He added: “The idea that the BBC shouldn’t attempt these things is cretinous in the extreme.”

Gwilym Lee as DS Charlie Nelson, Manjinder Virk as Dr Kam Karimore, Neil Dudgeon as DCI John Barnaby, as Midsomer Murders  (Mark Bourdillon/ITV)



Gwilym Lee as DS Charlie Nelson, Manjinder Virk as Dr Kam Karimore and Neil Dudgeon in Midsomer Murders (Mark Bourdillon/ITV)

 

But don’t expect the 55-year-old to be appearing on the show any time soon.

“If I was asked to, I think my daughter would make me. But it would be humiliating. I’ve fallen out with theatre directors because I get frustrated when people try to teach me something.” he said.

He also revealed a dislike of reality TV shows and posh restaurants, saying he prefers steak and chips ‘any day’.