Martin Clunes becomes real-life Doc Martin

Martin Clunes stopped his wife from having a pointless operation thanks to the medical expertise he has gained while starring in 'Doc Martin'

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Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes gave his wife real-life medical advice thanks to his role in 'Doc Martin'.

The 51-year-old actor says the years spent playing grumpy doctor Martin Ellingham on the ITV drama have been well served after he recently stopped his wife Philippa Braithwaite from having a pointless operation thanks to his medical knowledge.

He told Reader's Digest magazine: "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 that it would be the wrong thing to do.

"So I took her home instead and she was treated there. As Philippa's husband, it was my prerogative to do this. But when I was chatting to hospital staff they handed me her medical notes to look at in a way they might not have with an ordinary member of the public.

"I do wonder whether there wasn't some confusion between me and Doc Martin."

The comedy drama - which is set in the Cornish seaside - returns to ITV this month after a three-year absence and Martin is thrilled with the revival, especially since the current trend is in favour of gritty crime programmes.

He reflected: "Comedy dramas aren't getting made nearly as much any more. I'm not sure television has changed fundamentally. But dark dramas, featuring the hunt for killers of dead children, are far more in vogue now."

While Martin is far more positive than his on-screen alter-ego, he admits to sharing a few traits with the former surgeon.

He said: "I am quite OCD. I like things to be lined up neatly, whether it's pens or books on a shelf. And I suppose we are both practical people, hands on, him with his patients, me with my woodwork tools."

The full interview is in the September issue of Reader's Digest, in shops Friday (16.08.13).

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