Oxford

'Midsomer town' red plaques scheme rejected

Neil Dudgeon as DCI John Barnaby Image copyright Press release
Image caption Thame has featured as the fictional town of Causton in Midsomer Murders since 1997

A proposal to put plaques on buildings in Thame to promote its role in ITV's Midsomer Murders has been refused.

The town council wanted to fit six red plaques to listed buildings, but on Wednesday evening South Oxfordshire District Council rejected the bid.

The district council said it would "compromise the historic and architectural interest of the buildings".

Thame has featured as the fictional town of Causton since 1997.

Filming has taken place in Thame, Wallingford, Dorchester-on-Thames, Warborough, Henley and Watlington and walking tours have sought to capitalise on the programme's popularity.

South Oxford District Council said: "Whilst the visitor may wish to 'arrive in Midsomer', it is important to also recognise that Midsomer is not real and that the market town of Thame is historically significant in its own right and not as the set of a television programme."

Image copyright Roger Davies/Geograph
Image caption The Oxfordshire Blue Plaques scheme said Thame's "unspoilt and authentic character" should be the main attraction

The Oxfordshire Blue Plaques scheme said it could not support the project.

It said Thame's "unspoilt and authentic character… must surely be the main attraction for most tourists rather than the precise identification of the sites".

John Nettles starred in the series as DCI Tom Barnaby until 2011, when Neil Dudgeon took over as lead detective DCI John Barnaby when his on-screen cousin retired.

Hundreds of actors have appeared in Midsomer Murders over the last 22 years, including former Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi and Oscar winner Olivia Colman.

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