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The House in the Woods

George Baker will appear as identical twins who try to murder each other in The House in the Woods. A new Midsomer Murders episode that will be shown on ITV1 in the Autumn.

Midsomer Murders producer Brian True-May said: We used a split screen for George’s scene in which the evil twin tries to kill his brother. George is a real pro. He plays identical twins. One has been in jail for a murder that his brother committed, and he wants revenge. But we didn’t pay George twice!

George Baker played Inspector Wexford for 13 years, and according to Brian True-May, is something of a role model for Midsomer Murders star John Nettles. George played Wexford until he was nearly 70. And we hope that John - who is 61 - can play DCI Tom Barnaby for as long.

George Baker couldn’t resist the challenge of playing twins Charlie, and Jack Magwood in The House in the Woods.

it was marvellous to be invited to play identical twins. I thought it was a terrific role. I’ve never done it before, and I’ve certainly never had a fight with myself. The two brothers have a scrap at the end, and that was really good to do. We used a blue screen, and it all had to be mapped out very intricately.

Charlie and Jack are very different characters. Jack’s very casual, and Charlie’s a bit snappier, but we didn’t make any real changes with makeup. We didn’t have to because their approach to life was very different, so it worked. That means the scriptwriter had done really rather a good job.

I have twin daughters myself and, although they’re not identical, strange things happen to link them together, like buying each other identical presents. That’s why we made as little difference as possible between Jack and Charlie.

The house where the brothers lived as children, near Midsomer Newton, becomes the focus of a police investigation after a couple are murdered nearby.

Explains George: Charlie and Jack were evacuated during the war — one brother loved the country and thrived, but the other was a bit of a spiv who liked a good time. One ended up in prison, and we meet them years later when they’re in their 70s and back in Midsomer. As usual, there are lots of lovely twists.

I always watch Midsomer Murders because it’s tongue-in-cheek and fun, without too much violence. But I always wonder where the buses are that ship in all the victims!

George, who appeared with series star John Nettles in Robin of Sherwood and Bergerac, is best known as another TV detective, Chief Inspector Reg Wexford in The Ruth Rendell Mysteries, a role he played for more than 10 years.

It’s great because we lost about 20 Wexford titles to America, and finally ITV has bought them all back, and is going to show them on ITV3, starting in January.

I’m also appearing in The Rivals with Stephanie Cole, which opens in Bath in October. The theatre is celebrating its 200th anniversary with the play because Richard Sheridan came from Bath and wrote The Rivals there. I’m very honoured to be part of it.

George Baker as Magwood