Neil Dudgeon

Neil Dudgeon (born 2 January 1961) is an English actor who, since 2011, has played DCI John Barnaby in the ITV drama series Midsomer Murders. He replaced John Nettles in the lead role.

Neil Dudgeon
Born (1961-01-02) 2 January 1961 (age 60)
EducationIntake Secondary Modern School
Alma materUniversity of Bristol
Years active1987–present
Spouse(s)Mary Peate

Early life and educationEdit

Dudgeon was born and brought up in Doncaster, at that time a part of West Riding of Yorkshire but now in South Yorkshire.[1] He attended Intake Secondary Modern school in Doncaster, among others. He acted in several school plays (including Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead) and went on to study drama at the University of Bristol (1979–82).[2]


Dudgeon made his first screen appearance in 1987. The following year he appeared as a Second World War pilot in Piece of Cake, alongside Tim Woodward, Jeremy Northam and Nathaniel Parker.[2]

As well as occasional appearances in series such as Casualty, London's Burning and Lovejoy, he appeared in 1994 as Detective Constable Costello, a one-episode subordinate to Detective Inspector William Edward "Jack" Frost (played by David Jason), in the TV series A Touch of Frost, in 1998-99 as George the Chauffeur in The Mrs Bradley Mysteries (alongside Dame Diana Rigg), in Inspector Morse (episode " The Way Through The Woods"), Between The Lines, Common As Muck (in 1994 & 1997), Out of the Blue, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking, The Street and four series of Messiah with Ken Stott.[2]

He also appeared in the romantic comedy film Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, playing the taxi driver who takes the title character to meet Mark Darcy (played by Colin Firth), towards the end of the film.[2]

In 2007 Dudgeon appeared in the eponymous role of self-made millionaire Roman Pretty in the BBC2 sitcom Roman's Empire. In 2009 he played a main character in BBC's Life of Riley, a series recommissioned and aired in April 2011,[2] the same month that Dudgeon played the role of one time Football League secretary Alan Hardaker in the TV drama United, which was centred on the events of the 1958 Munich air disaster involving Manchester United.[3]

In 2010 Dudgeon appeared in an episode of the ITV crime drama Midsomer Murders, called "The Sword of Guillaume". He was introduced in the episode as the cousin of Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles, who retired from the role. Dudgeon, also cast as a senior detective, took over as the lead character in Midsomer Murders after the last episodes featuring John Nettles were screened in 2011. Dudgeon's character name is DCI John Barnaby, which has been suggested may be a vehicle for continued sales to territories where the show is known as "Inspector Barnaby".[4] Dudgeon had first appeared in Midsomer Murders in the opening episode of the fourth series ("Garden of Death"), playing a secondary character.[2]

In 2012 Dudgeon starred as Norman Birkett on BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play series in four plays written by Caroline and David Stafford based on Birkett's cases.[2][needs update]

Personal lifeEdit

Dudgeon is married to BBC Radio producer Mary Peate. They have two children, Joe and Greta Dudgeon. [2]



Year Title Role Notes
1987 Prick Up Your Ears Policeman
1990 Fools of Fortune Sergeant Rudkin
1996 Different for Girls Neil Payne
2000 It Was an Accident Holdsworth
2004 Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason Taxi Driver
2007 Son of Rambow Joshua


Year Title Role Notes
1987–1990 Screenplay Crowson / Brink 2 episodes
1987 London's Burning Gary Woods 1 episode
1988 Piece of Cake 'Moggy' Cattermole 6 episodes
1989 Saracen Jimmy 1 episode
Red King, White Knight Vlasek TV movie
1990 Alive from Off Center Brink 1 episode
1991 Lovejoy DS Graham Bentley 1 episode
Casualty Mick 1 episode
The Bill Stanley Houseman 1 episode
1992 Resnick: Lonely Hearts William Doria 2 episodes
Between the Lines D.S. Alan Hanson 1 episode
1993 Sharpe's Eagle Gibbons TV movie
Resnick: Rough Treatment William Doria TV movie
1994 A Touch of Frost DC Costello 1 episode
Screen Two Priest 1 episode
Fatherland Sex Crimes Cop TV movie
1994–1997 Common As Muck Ken Andrews 12 episodes
1995 The All New Alexei Sayle Show Himself 3 episodes
Inspector Morse David Michaels 1 episode
1995–1996 Out of the Blue D.C. Marty Brazil 12 episodes
1997 Breakout Dr. Neil McFarlane TV movie
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling Puppeteer's Assistant 1 episode
1998–2000 The Mrs Bradley Mysteries George Moody 5 episodes
The Canterbury Tales The Miller 2 episodes
2000, 2011–present Midsomer Murders DCI John Barnaby / Daniel Bolt 44 episodes
2001–2005 Messiah Duncan Warren 2 episodes
2002 Murder in Mind Edward Buttimore 1 episode
2004 Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking Lestrade TV movie
2005 Rose and Maloney Alan Richmond 1 episode
2006 The Lavender List Joe Haines TV movie
The Street Brian Peterson 4 episodes
Sorted Harry Goodwin 6 episodes
2007 Coming Up Doctor 1 episode
Roman's Empire Roman Pretty 4 episodes
Coming Down the Mountain John Philips TV movie
Most Evil Narrator 3 episodes
2008 Silent Witness Det-Supt. Paul Barker / Det Supt Paul Barker 2 episodes
Survivors Sean 1 episode
2009 Kingdom Terry 1 episode
2009–2011 Life of Riley Jim Riley 20 episodes
2010 The Nativity Joachim 3 episodes
2011 United Alan Hardaker TV movie
2012 The Charles Dickens Show Lord Shaftesbury 1 episode
2013 Playhouse Presents Jim 1 episode


  1. ^ Yorkshire Post: Neil Dudgeon: My Yorkshire.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Acorn: Spotlight On: Neil Dudgeon. Accessed 5 February 2015.
  3. ^ United at IMDb
  4. ^ Simpson, Oli (9 February 2010). "Dudgeon confirmed for 'Midsomer Murders'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 February 2010.

External linksEdit