Doc Martin role gives ac­tor real-life op­er­at­ing in­struc­tions

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TELEVISION -

BRI­TISH ac­tor Martin Clunes (pic­tured) called upon the med­i­cal knowl­edge he learned while play­ing a fic­tional TV doc­tor to stop sur­geons car­ry­ing out an un­nec­es­sary op­er­a­tion on his wife. Clunes played Dr Martin Elling­ham in Bri­tish drama Doc Martin for seven years and used what he learned from the show’s med­i­cal ex­pert to ques­tion sur­geons’ de­ci­sion to op­er­ate on his pro­ducer wife, Philippa Braith­waite. Doc­tors de­ter­mined Braith­waite needed surgery to re­move her ap­pen­dix but Clunes’ ba­sic med­i­cal knowl­edge made him re­alise the op­er­a­tion was ‘‘non­sen­si­cal’’. He tells Reader’s Di­gest: ‘‘She had an in­fec­tion in her gall blad­der and the sur­geon was minded to take out her ap­pen­dix. There was no in­fec­tion in her ap­pen­dix and instinct told me it would be the wrong thing to do. So I took her home in­stead and she was treated there. You have to re­mem­ber Bri­tish med­i­cal dra­mas are obliged to be ac­cu­rate. You can’t just make things up as they do on Amer­i­can shows. So we have a med­i­cal ex­pert on the se­ries and I have learned about cer­tain con­di­tions and pro­ce­dures.’’ Clunes stars in thriller The Town.

The Town: Fri­days, 9.20pm, ABC1.

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