Armchair Detectives sounds like a slightly bonkers premise – while a team of investigators are out looking for clues for a fictional murder, a team of super sleuth contestants stay warm and cosy in a BBC studio, trying to solve the murder themselves. But it makes for truly compelling telly!
Presented by Strictly’s Susan Calman, and airing every weekday at 2.15pm, it’s the latest ‘cosy crime’ show that fans of Agatha Christie and Midsommer Murders will love.
The studio sleuths change each episode, and compete for the coveted Golden Maginifying Glass, by solving the mystery. There are new murders each day (we feel that the Scottish coastal town of Mortcliff must now be as unfortunate as the village of Midsommer!) to be investigated by a crack team of officers: DI Knight (Stephen Billington), DC Slater (Roger Jean Nsengiyumva) and SOCO Simmons (Sarah Baxendale).
Did you know… Susan Calman has a law degree?
The programme was invented by Carly Brooks and Andy Brereton, after Carly became obsessed with true crime podcasts, and started feeling like she’d make an excellent at-home detective! Commissioning Editor Jo Street has a dog called Columbo, so the whole team behind the show are big crime fans – and it shows.
Meanwhile, the writers are from the Only Connect team, meaning that the puzzles are quite challenging and the sense of satisfaction when you get one right.
The characters are very entertaining too, with lots of suspicious local folk hovering round as well as the entertaining police, who come up with plenty of their own theories as the episode rolls on.
The contestants were selected from crime fan communities, and a handful are real detectives, so it’s always interesting to see what they conclude.
There are 20 episodes in each series, and if you’ve missed any they are all on iPlayer, so catch up and let us know what you think!