Martin Clunes: ‘Now I’m not scared babies!’

Martin Clunes tells TV Times magazine how Doc Martin’s turning dad in series five of the hit ITV1 drama!

What’s it been like working with the babies filming for series five of Doc Martin?

“It’s brilliant – it’s been a hoot. They say don’t work with children and dogs – we did one tiny scene, that I’d actually written, of me getting out of the car, getting the baby out, opening the boot of the car and letting the dog out. We did it in two takes without anybody putting a foot wrong. But it’s just been fun because babies are nice, you know?”

You have a 12-year-old daughter, Emily, with your wife, Doc Martin producer Philippa Braithwaite. How did playing Dr Ellingham as a father draw on your own experiences?

“Parenthood is a surprise for every parent, I think, but it’s given me a confidence around babies. I’m now not so scared of them!”

Martin and Louisa’s baby, James Henry, is adorable! How does Doc Martin adapt to having little baby James around?

“There are secret moments, personal moments, when it’s just him and James when he loves it and they get on really well. They have a little thing going on.”

Does that mean we’ll be seeing a softer side to Doc Martin anytime soon?

“He’s still who he is, but he’s always been head over heels in love with Louisa, and that’s always been his redemption.”

How does the baby’s arrival change his relationship with Louisa?

“There’s all those choices surrounding a child to be made with schools and how to do this and that. And it’s quite funny, as both of them are biting their lip, not flaring up and kind of stepping back. But also, secretly, he knows Louisa’s wrong!

“They find it so hard to agree and get it right – which people seem to enjoy watching, so you know, we keep almost making it but just missing. But there’s a surprise at the end of the series… That’s all I’m prepared to say!”

Sounds exciting! It’s also exciting that Dame Eileen Atkins is joining the show as Doc Martin’s Aunt Ruth…

“It was just a shock and a surprise. We always go for dream casting, and Eileen just got the point. She’s very well-connected, and she did a lot of telephoning to see if she’d have a nice time – and everybody said: ‘You so will’.

“She’s really enjoyed it. She’s so much fun. And for a woman of her years, I’ve never seen one sign of fatigue. I start yawning at about 3 o’clock every day – I’ve never seen that from her. She’s tireless. We’re really lucky.”

Doc Martin returns on Monday September 12 at 9pm on BBC1

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