Clunes Dropped By Insurer After Driving Ban

Men Behaving Badly star Martin Clunes has been dropped from a car insurance campaign after being disqualified from driving.

The actor had featured in Churchill Insurance's television adverts alongside the firm's trademark nodding dog for almost a year.

But the 50-year-old, who lives with his family in Dorset, was reportedly considered to be no longer suitable for the job.

The decision was taken after Clunes, who also starred in Doc Martin, informed Churchill he had notched up 12 points on his licence for speeding offences and was consequently banned from driving by magistrates.

A spokesman for Churchill said: "We have worked with Martin Clunes in a brand advertising campaign since December 2011.

"Martin Clunes recently informed Churchill Insurance that his driving licence has been suspended after he accumulated penalty points for four speeding offences.

"Churchill Insurance currently has no adverts with Martin Clunes on air and will be moving forward with new advertising in the New Year."

It was not revealed where the offences happened or how fast Clunes was travelling.

His agent, Independent Talent Group, has so far declined to comment.

In 2004 Clunes appeared on the Star In A Reasonably Priced Car feature on the BBC's Top Gear programme, when he was described as an "incredibly brave" driver with "no experience of track driving".

At the time he said he was driving a BMW 6 Series but that his real love was for camper vans.

According to Marketing Magazine, the Churchill ads were part of a marketing exercise thought to cost in the region of £50m.

In the last campaign, Clunes and the Churchill dog travelled together on a Triumph motorbike and sidecar through the English countryside helping out neighbours in trouble.

Marketing director Amanda Walker told the magazine Clunes "is highly credible and consumers have grown up with him, so he lends extra trust to the campaign".