Sunday 20 September 2015

Just call him Dog Martin! Selina Cadell - who plays Mrs Tishell in Doc Martin - tells how Martin Clunes' passion for pooches has taken over the set

Martin Clunes and I are taking a break between filming scenes on Doc Martin – in which I play chemist Mrs Tishell – in Port Isaac, Cornwall. Among the mob of fans waiting patiently, cameras in hand, Martin spots a woman with an eccentric-looking spaniel. 

'Aaah, hello,' he says, addressing the dog as an old friend. 'You've got lovely long ears.' 

'Yes,' says its owner, 'when he gets anxious he chews them.' With a large dose of self-deprecation, Martin shoots back, 'Don't we all?'

Fans of the show will know that the Doc is no dog-lover, but Martin himself is passionate about them. And word's got round: if you want to meet Martin on the Doc Martin set, you don't stand a chance without a dog. Any dog. Big, small, beautiful, ugly, sweet-natured, crotchety or even sick – he loves them all and they all love him. I reckon there's a canny local entrepreneur in the village running a Rent-A-Dog scheme from a Portakabin.

When I first met Martin 11 years ago now on this very set, I saw him as a tall, curious clown: gentle, courteous and very quick-witted. But I didn't realise just how doggy he is. So where did it all begin? Jemima, it transpires, was his first dog, a white rescue terrier bought for his sister Amanda when they were children. 'She lost interest in her quite soon and I gained interest,' he says. 'I mean, anyone who's felt the thrill of the weight of a dog on their bed... some children never have that.'

Keep reading HERE at the Daily Mail.

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