11th October 1943

Bergerac actor John Nettles is born

Although he later achieved global fame as Inspector Barnaby in Midsomer Murders, John Nettles came to many television viewers’ attention when he took the title role in the BBC’s Jersey-set police series, Bergerac.

He was born in St Austell, Cornwall, on 11 October 1943, studied for a degree in history and philosophy, then joined the Royal Court Theatre.

Previous Channel Islands roles

His first connection with the Channel Islands was a March 1978 episode of Enemy at the Door called Officers of the Law which, although set in Guernsey, was filmed in Jersey, an island that he would come to know well when, in 1981, he was cast as a member of the fictional Bureau des Etrangers.

He appeared in 87 episodes of Bergerac throughout its decade-long run. The programmes found new audiences after their initial broadcast through frequent re-runs, and were the basis of a BBC Radio 4 comedy series, Will Smith Presents the Tao of Bergerac, presented by Jersey-born Will Smith.

Nettles took several roles following Bergerac on both screen and stage, and signed up to front Midsomer Murders for ITV in 1996. This time he stayed with the series even longer – 14 years – but as that run comprised 81 episodes, it didn’t beat his run as Jim Bergerac.


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Other events that occured in October

  • St Helier is ablaze
  • St Helier was on fire on after a warehouse caught light. Spectators arrived from all over Jersey by train to see the blaze.
  • Read more…