John Nettles was born in St Austell, Cornwall. He studied philosophy and history at Southampton University where he also acted in drama society productions. He was there spotted by an agent who arranged for him to work at the Royal Court theatre – though that did not stop him teaching in London for a while. Before ‘Midsomer Murders’ he was best known for his role as Sergeant Jim Bergerac, in the long-running television series Bergerac. Other TV appearances. ranging from comedy to serious drama, include A Family at War, Black Beauty, The Liver Birds, Dickens of London and The Merchant of Venice. But he has never forgotten his stage origins, where again his range is unusually wide: he has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, yet plays pantomime most years. Orion Audio invited him to read Stalin because of his magnificent audiobook reading of George Orwell’s 1984.