Martin Clunes has said his domestic life on a Dorset farm has helped him carve out a professional niche as an actor with a rural skill set.
The Doc Martin star, who lives with his wife and the producer of the show Philippa Braithwaite on a 130-acre working farm that is home to horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats, said he has mastered talents that help him in his acting career.
He told Radio Times: “I just read a script on the train on the way up to London and really liked it. It’d be a small part in Vanity Fair driving a carriage.
“I don’t know how many other actors can actually drive a carriage. Certainly I’m the only one who is President of the British Horse Society.”
Clunes added that his country life is so idyllic he is really “boring”, dismissing reports he had cosmetic surgery.
He said: “I was recently accused by the press of having had cosmetic surgery. One writer spouted off about my vanity and surmised that I was being treated for hair loss. I had some dentistry! But that’s not a good story, is it?”
Despite his rural pursuits, Clunes says he is nothing like the bossy and well-off doctor he plays on television.
He said: “Only people from up north think I’m posh because I’m from the south. And sometimes I play posh people. But I’m not posh at all. Nor am I bossy. I’m nothing like Doc Martin.”
The actor is also realistic about the possibility that Doc Martin might end after the ninth series in two years’ time.
He said: “We’ll see how series eight performs. Nothing lasts forever on telly. I’ve seen actors in tears on ‘wrap’ days, but you only ever start these things to finish them.”
But as the ITV show starts its eighth series this week, he thinks he knows why it has been such a hit.
He said: “We all like the idea of a bossy posh man fixing everything for us. We despise posh men and so if he bangs his head on the door, then we’re happy.”
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