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Saturday, 19 March 2011

Producer is suspended in TV drama racism row (UK)

It is the TV programme which made Thame and Haddenham famous across the country but a racism storm has now put the future of Midsomer Murders in doubt.

Producer Brian True-May, who brought the show to Thame, was suspended this week for refusing to include ethnic minority actors in the show.

He believed that it wouldn’t ‘truly reflect rural towns like Thame’ to have such diversity in the programme.

The comments came out in an interview with The Radio Times where he said: “We just don’t have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn’t be the English village with them.

“It just wouldn’t work. Suddenly we might be in Slough.

“We’re the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way.”

Mr True-May has received some sympathy from the town’s deputy mayor Don Butler.

He said: “I think that he has been treated a little unfairly as he is entitled to his own opinion.

“But it is fair to say that there is some ethnic minorities living in Thame.”

A pathway has been set up in the town based on the fictional show, which passes several places featured throughout the years.

Historic landmarks such as the 16th Century Spread Eagle Hotel has been featured on the programme, as has some of the independent shops and tea rooms.

But it is not yet known if anymore episodes of Midsomer Murders will be filmed. The decision is in the hands of the chiefs at ITV, who are still yet to decide Mr True-May’s fate.

In response to the interview, an ITV spokesman said the broadcaster was “shocked and appalled” at the comments. In the 14 series of the programme, only a single ethnic minority character has appeared .

Thame Today