Midsomer Murders' Jason Hughes
Tea Time Tidbit for the week of May 18, 2020
Actor Jason Hughes played DC Ben Jones in over 50 episodes of Midsomer Murders from 2005 until 2013, and you can see the last episode starring DS Ben Jones on Friday, May 22nd at 8pm.
The Welsh born actor must have been an ideal candidate for the role of side-kick to DI Tom Barnaby, as policing ran in his family. His sister was a policewoman in South Wales, and his grandfather was a sergeant and who later became a crime prevention officer. Not only that, but when Hughes left drama school, he also worked for about a year for London’s Metropolitan Police Force, where he used his acting skills to help train the force’s examiners. He would have to pretend that he was applying for the job of policeman and, by all accounts, he was so good he probably could have made the cut in real-life.
Leaving Midsomer was apparently a “tough decision” as the actor had worked with both John Nettles and Neil Dudgeon and considered the Midsomer crew to be “a second family.” The filming schedule, however, was detrimental to the actor’s health. Previously before drama school, he had been a fit as a fiddle rugby player playing for his home country, Wales. But, as he told the Daily Mail, “I was completely burned out from getting up at 4.30am in Brighton to get the train to London and then on to wherever we were filming in Buckinghamshire, and then doing the journey back and getting home at 9pm.”
The filming schedule was ten months a year, and the minute Hughes had a break he’d come down with a cold that would reportedly last for weeks. “Then just as I was getting better I’d have to start the cycle all over again,” said Hughes. “My doctor told me I was suffering from exhaustion and the only answer was rest."
The rest didn’t come quite as soon as Hughes had planned as before he could leave, John Nettles announced he was retiring from the series and in order to give the show some continuity, Hughes decided to stay for a while longer. It also gave him a chance to work with Dudgeon who Hughes describes as a “lovely guy.”
Hughes got to return to Midsomer for a one-off episode in 2017, where it was learned that his character had transferred to Brighton and had been promoted to Detective Inspector.
In 2018, Hughes starred in another crime drama series, Marcella. His most recent project was appearing on stage in a play at the Royal Court Theatre in London called On Bear Ridge.
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