Alan Davies has admitted he had to overcome his fear of horses for a scene in the forthcoming new series of Jonathan Creek.

The long-running comedy crime drama is due to return to BBC1 later this month for its first series in a decade, after several one-off specials have aired in recent years, and the actor and QI star is seen in the first episode riding a rather small pony as super-sleuth Jonathan visits a friend of his wife Polly, played by Sarah Alexander.

“Throughout my career as Jonathan Creek, David Renwick, the writer, has humiliated me in varying ways and this time he had me in a riding hat,” laughed Alan. “I am mortally afraid of horses and I haven’t been on one for years so I forgot I was on a pony, to me it felt like police horse, I thought, ‘This is really high’. I had to do a scene next to this little girl on her pony and she was getting cocky about her pony skills and was giving me advice, but by end of the day I was running rings round that girl.”

Alan’s equine fears began over 20 years ago during a rather scary incident in Canada.

“I was 23 and I was in Canada to do fringe festivals,” explained Alan. “Some friends said, ‘Let’s go horseback riding’, so we went to the foothills of the Rockies on horses but mine really bolted and I lost the stirrups and the reins. I was screaming at them, ‘If I hurt myself, I will sue you!’ It is such an English thing to say, and they kept reminding me every day afterwards.”