Lewis actors Kevin Whately and Laurence Fox have been shooting scenes around Oxford for the latest series of the ITV drama.

Episodes of the Inspector Morse spin-off regularly attract eight million viewers and following the success of the second series, a third series of four episodes was commissioned.

The film crew for the drama was in the city last week to shoot scenes for the first of the new episodes, Allegory of Love, written by Stephen Churchett, who penned the Lewis pilot two years ago.

Kevin Whately, who plays Det Insp Robbie Lewis, said: "It's great to be back in Oxford again.

"Everyone has given us a good welcome - Oxford seems very busy and I didn't realise there would be quite so many tourists."

Scenes were shot in Broad Street, High Street, the King's Arms pub, outside the Randolph Hotel and at University College.

Producer Chris Burt said the filming had gone very smoothly, despite several downpours which interrupted takes outdoors.

Mr Burt, a graduate of Jesus College in the 1960s, spoke exclusively to the Oxford Mail from the quad of University College, where a number of scenes were filmed in bright sunshine.

One of them featured Morse author Colin Dexter, who was given his traditional cameo role as an Oxford don.

Mr Burt said: "Colin and I go back a long way, so it's lovely to be back here in Oxford with him.

"Oxford has become like one of the characters in the drama now and the settings are a very important part of the film.

"First of all, we start with a good script and then we can attract good actors and actresses.

"The growing on-screen relationship between Lewis and Det Sgt Hathaway, played by Laurence Fox, is becoming increasingly important and beyond that, there's the beauty of Oxford.

"The Lewis dramas are gaining a reputation and they are now being shown in America and sold to 150 countries across the world."

Mr Dexter, who lives in North Oxford, completed four takes for his walk-on part and said: "I often play a don and I carry a briefcase and a walking stick. It's wonderful to see Chris again - he produced lots of Morse episodes."

Among the guest stars for the first episode was James Fox, the father of Laurence.

Mr Whately added: "I think Laurence was a bit nervous at first, but it went very well."

Bob Maskell, head porter of University College, where the film crew was based for four days, said: "We all watch the programme, so we were delighted to have the crew here.

"We talked to the students to make sure they didn't interrupt the filming.

"There are some American students based here at the moment and they enjoyed it."

Lisa Vanoli, a spokesman for ITV, said filming for the four episodes would finish in November, with the dramas due to be screened early next year.

City business leader Oliver O'Dell said last month that the Lewis series was "worth millions" to Oxford, because it brought in visitors from across the globe.