Neil Stuke

Midsomer Murders actor Neil Stuke hits back at criticism of last night’s episode

Some fans found it 'stilted' and 'ridiculous'

One of the stars of Midsomer Murders has defended the hit detective drama after fans rushed to social media to criticise the latest episode.

The last installment of series 20, which aired last night (14.01.20), saw a circus arrive in town – bringing with it a series of unnerving events and forcing DCI John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) to face up to his fear of clowns.

Midsomer Murders
Barnaby has coulrophobia (Credit: ITV)

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Despite the creepy tone, viewers took to Twitter to criticise the sixth episode of series 20.

One said: “#midsomermurders please put it to an end. Way past its sell-by date…”

Another wrote: “This Midsomer, along with the UFO one last year, are the two worst ones.”

Neil Stuke
Neil Stuke as farmer Curtis Ferabbee (Credit: ITV)

A third complained: “What a bloody ridiculous episode.”

Do you know I’m not the writer…?

Someone else said: “Was this episode of #midsomermurders written by a script writing workshop and directed by a high school teacher of amateur dramatics? Talk about stilted!”

One tweet from a fan appeared to be too much for actor Neil Stuke, who played Curtis Ferabbee – brother of circus owner Joe (Jason Watkins).

The viewer tweeted: “Not the best episode, ranks as unbelievable as the men in horns from the village pub charging the next village to defrock the maidens! Do you know circuses normally move about?”

Neil replied: “You mean you’ve watched an episode of #midsomermurders that you thought WAS believable? Do you know I’m not the writer…?”

Not everyone felt the same way, as some viewers enjoyed the episode.

“I love this show,” said one. “Have watched many episodes on DVD while in hospital. However, tonight’s episode was creepy!”

“Enjoyed #midsomermurders tonight, really glad it’s back on,” another fan tweeted alongside a smiley face emoji.

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Work on the next series is due to start in the coming months.

According to, production will begin on series 21 of Midsomer Murders in March, although ITV is yet to announce a release date.

What did you think of the episode? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.

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