Telly talk: Doc Martin’s Martin Clunes,
Our favourite grumpy doctor is back as Martin Clunes returns in a new series of Doc Martin. Here the actor, 55, tells us more...
You create a big appetite for Doc Martin by returning every other year. Is that intentional?
No, but it does seem to have that effect. We did it every other year so that our daughter, Emily, didn’t lose both her parents every summer [Martin’s wife, Philippa, produces
Doc Martin, and they shoot it in Cornwall]. Plus, it takes a long time to get the script right. A lot of hard work goes into trying to keep it fresh, while ticking all the boxes that people seem to like – the locations, the characters.
How do you get back into the character of grumpy, blood-phobic Dr Martin Ellingham?
Having my trousers held up by braces and wearing a suit and tie have a big impact – I can’t slouch or relax, because neither does the doc. It helps me get into his body.
What’s up with the doc and his wife Louisa (Caroline Catz), this time?
They’re trying to make their marriage work. Louisa starts having doubts about splitting her time between work and their child, and the doc tries to be understanding. He even allows them to get a dog for their son, although he hates it and spends a lot of time shouting at it.
But you’re a renowned animal lover! Wasn’t shouting at the dog hard for you?
With the dog trainer, we developed a trick where I don’t actually shout – I mouth the words, and then tape the shouting later. That way, even if Buddy and the doc don’t have a good relationship, I have a great one with Dodger, who plays him.
How many animals do you have on your farm in Dorset?
We’ve got 10 dogs at the moment, because a month ago we had a litter of seven cocker spaniels. We have three cats and 51 cows and a large flock of sheep, so I do lambing as well.
of Martin with one friends four-legged his The doc and his wife Louisa, played by Caroline Catz
And here with his wife Philippa and daughter Emily