A GRANDFATHER landed a starring role in Oxford detective drama Lewis thanks to the Oxford Mail.

Paul Hunt was one of two winners to be immortalised in the Inspector Morse spin-off after winning an Oxford Mail competition to appear as an extra.

And the Wallingford resident has now called on Kevin Whately, who plays the title role of Det Insp robbie Lewis, not to leave the “brilliant” ITV show, following speculation over the future of the series.

Headington plumber Gavin Bennett also got to spend a day filming a scene for Lewis in September as our other competition winner.

Mr Hunt joined the crew on Saturday as they shot scenes at Lady Margaret Hall, in Norham Gardens, North Oxford.

Playing a college don, he was filmed speaking to a student and then walking along a path.

Mr Hunt, from Hurst Close, said: “I was absolutely blown away by everything.

“It was incredible. You sit at home watching television and have no idea about the sheer level of work that goes into making a programme.

“Kevin was not shooting on Saturday, which was a real shame as I have followed his career for ages, but I got to meet co-star Laurence Fox, which was brilliant.”

Last week we reported that Mr Whately, currently filming the fifth series of Lewis in the city, was considering his future after more than 20 years in the role.

He said a sixth series of Lewis might be the last.

Mr Hunt said: “It would be such a shame if Kevin was to leave.

“Like Morse, the show brings thousands of tourists to Oxford and is enjoyed by millions of people across the country.

“I think lots of people like myself would urge Kevin to carry on in the role.”

Filming was for the last episode of the series, called Old, Far Off Unhappy Things, which will also feature Truly, Madly, Deeply star Juliet Stevenson.

Locations include Lady Margaret Hall, the River Thames near Folly Bridge and the former US air force base at Upper Heyford.

Mr Hunt said: “We were all treated very well. After having my make-up put on, we were taken over to the various shoots and told what to do.

“It was wonderful and I am extremely grateful to have been given the chance to have a go.”

The two fictional police officers turned on Oxford’s Christmas lights on Friday with Inspector Morse creator Colin Dexter, who lives in North Oxford.