The good news is, though Simon is returning later in the series, so people who may switch off because they don't think its as good without him in it, don't! http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200wales/content_objectid=13246870_method=full_siteid=50082_headline=--name_page.html - another ten episodes to go.
I don't think it was too bad without him in it. about half the episodes at the end of the last series were still good. But I don't like this new 'Guy off the Archers Aqua adverts' guy that much.