Filming MIDSOMER MURDERS was a magical experience for actor Andrew-Lee Potts.
“I play Gideon Latimer who is a bit like a British David Blaine. He is a successful illusionist and does close up magic as well. He’s a kind of dark, mysterious magician. I was taught some magic by a very cool magician and he showed me card handling. I had to learn that quite quickly to make it look as if I had been doing it for years.
“I also got involved in the bigger illusions and stunts and it was very interesting to film. In one scene Gideon does a trick which looks like he walks through a mirror. We took a whole day to perfect it and it looks amazing. I found it all quite interesting – I’m a guy who always likes to make an entrance!”
Gideon has recently bought a large manor house in Midsomer, where he spent time as a child. Explains Andrew: “He left a long time ago but now he’s trying to ingratiate himself with the key pillars of the community. He is very wealthy already but he wants a bigger name. He gets off on the whole spectacle of it. His father was a magician but not very successful so he is trying to prove a point to his mother and to himself.
“It’s a family business – his wife is one of his assistants and his mother is always there.”
The role was one Andrew really enjoyed. “It’s good to do different things and learn new skills. Neil Dudgeon was great to work with and I loved the other guests especially Amanda Burton who played my mum and Stephanie Leonidas who was my wife. Also, my country house was Chenies Manor and I felt like Lord of the Manor.”
“I also played the Master recently in The Mill, which was another Lord of the Manor role. I normally play a computer hacker and suddenly I’ve gone all posh, so I don’t know where all that has come from!”
“There are lots of problems within the family that are later revealed. His social skills when he tries to integrate with the locals is almost offensive and yet when he is doing his magic he is Dr Charm, a very different animal.”
Adds Andrew: “We dressed him in black; he’s slightly sinister and gothic in look with a bit of eye make-up.” (via ITV press pack)