In the show Nettles and Dudgeon are related
Life Of Riley actor Neil Dudgeon will replace John Nettles in the popular ITV1 show Midsomer Murders.
Nettles announced he was quitting the programme in September after playing Detective Tom Barnaby for 13 years.
Dudgeon, who has also appeared in Common As Muck, will play Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby.
Dudgeon will appear in the show on Wednesday when the original Barnaby heads off to the south coast to enlist his cousin's help.
Nettles, who finishes filming his last series in July, said: "I wanted to die in noble fashion in the service of my country and then be buried with full military honours in Westminster Abbey.
"In the event, Tom and his long-suffering wife Joyce will simply retire. It's always better to leave when people want more.
"It has been a joy to be involved in such a long-running series, with so many good actors and great storylines."
He added: "If Neil has half the good times that I have had on Midsomer then he will be in seventh heaven.
"I am only worried that he is much younger than I am and a much better actor."
Producer Brian True-May said: "Although we will miss the huge contribution that John has made to the series, the brand of Midsomer is so strong that I am confident of its continuing success."
He added that Dudgeon was the "perfect choice" to replace Nettles and "a great ambassador for the series".
The daytime detective show began in 1997 and is based on a series of crime novels by the author Caroline Graham.