A BID to promote Thame’s role on TV’s Midsomer Murders with plaques is set to be turned down over worries it takes support a step too far.

Thame Town Council wants to fix six red plaques to listed buildings which have been used for ITV’s ratings hit.

But South Oxfordshire District Council said the project would ‘compromise the historic and architectural interest of the buildings’.

DCI Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles, started to solve murders across the fictional Causton and its surrounding villages from 1997. DCI John Barnaby, played by Neil Dudgeon, took over in 2011 after his on-screen cousin retired.

Filming has taken place in Thame, Wallingford, Dorchester-on-Thames, Warborough, Henley and Watlington and walking tours have sought to capitalise on the programme’s popularity.

But SODC’s conservation officers have delivered a withering assessment of the plaque plan.

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In a report, they wrote: “Whilst the visitor may wish to ‘arrive in Midsomer’, it is important to also 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 number of opportunities exist to highlight the use of various buildings in the filming of the series, but officers do not consider the application of a physical marker on buildings to be an appropriate way to do this.”

The town council said it wants to fix the plaques onto the Spread Eagle Hotel in Cornmarket Street and the Swan Hotel in Upper High Street. Both are Grade II* listed.

It also wants to put them on Thame Town Hall and Thame Museum, both in High Street, Market House in North Street and Rumsey’s Chocolaterie in Upper High Street. Those four are Grade II listed.

The town council said the proposal is ‘not considered to be harmful to the historic interest of the listed buildings concerned nor have an adverse effect on the character of the area’.

It added it thinks the installations would have ‘a positive impact on the vibrancy and vitality of the town’.

An application involving plaques would tend to be decided by council officers.

But it will be discussed by SODC's planning committee next week after one of Thame's three district councillors, David Dodds, asked for it to be discussed there.

Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society said there is a 'lack of justification' included the town council's application, while the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques scheme said it could not support the project.

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It said Thame's 'unspoilt and authentic character...must surely be the main attraction for most tourists rather than the precise identification of the sites'.

Hundreds of actors have appeared in Midsomer Murders over the last 22 years. They include Olivia Colman, who won the best actress award at the Oscars in February, and star of Doctor Who and The Thick of It, Peter Capaldi.