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  1. ITV Report

Midsomer Murders location Thame caught in its own drama over plaques

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Stacey Foster

The location in which Midsomer Murders is filmed has found itself caught in a drama of its own over plans to put plaques on listed buildings used in the show.

Some residents of Thame - a market town in Oxfordshire - are pitted against each other over the plans which will see red plaques erected on or outside locations where events in the show occur.

Some residents have built businesses around the area's fiction and are happy to cash in, but others say the plaques are "not historical in anyway whatsoever".

The council was making a decision on whether to allow plaques onto listed buildings but prior to that released a statement saying: "Thame is historically significant in its own right."

So far there have been around 240 murders to solve in fictional Midsomer. Credit: Midsomer Murders

Despite the real-life importance of Thame, Tony Long has created a tour of fictional Causton - a town in the show - and even uses props to improve the experience for his hundreds of customers.

He told ITV News: "What we are trying to do is encourage as many people as possible to come to our town, many of them come specifically to experience Midsomer and we're trying to help."

Tony Long is proud of his popular tour and says he wants the plaques erecting. Credit: ITV News

Another business which has found success thanks to the show is a busy cafe which in 2007 was the scene of a Midsomer murder as a photography shop.

"We have lots of people coming in and having seen the episode trying to work out 'what's that bit there?' and 'how does that fit in the episode?'," said Kate Rumsey, owner of Rumsey's Chocolaterie.

She added: "It's something that we're really proud of so we'd love to be able to have a plaque put outside our building."

Kate Rumsey's business benefits from the town's popularity. Credit: ITV News

A couple of Australian tourists echoed that sentiment, telling ITV News they had seen the show in their home country and "came to Thame to see where Midsomer Murders is filmed".

Despite the town's added popularity, South Oxfordshire District Council said: "Whilst the visitor may wish to 'arrive in Midsomer', it is important to recognise that Midsomer is not real and that the market town of Thame is historically significant in its own right and not as the set of a television programme."

A local resident appeared to agree, telling ITV News "these plaques are for a fictional happening, they're not historical in anyway whatsoever".

A decision was made by the council on Wednesday night to not allow red plaques onto listed buildings.