As the second series of Poldark kicks off on Sunday 4 September (BBC1, 9pm), we’ve been finding out some big secrets…10 of them!
Here are 10 behind-the-scenes Poldark nuggets you might not know about, until now…
1 As Ross Poldark actor Aidan Turner had his shoulder-length hair cut for his filming of last year’s BBC1 drama And Then There Were None, he needed a long curly wig to become Ross again in the earlier episodes of Poldark Series 2. The specially made wig cost around £2000, and after every day’s filming it was cleaned and baked in a special oven before being attached to Aidan’s head again!
2 The horse Aidan rides when he’s playing Ross Poldark is called Seamus. His equestrian pal has starred in other films and dramas too. ‘Seamus is now a superstar,’ laughs Aidan. ‘He has his own Twitter account too – and he sent a lot of tweets, that was pretty impressive! The show now has to book him weeks in advance if they want him for filming because he’s on so many other jobs! I’ve had plenty of scenes with Seamus this time, he’s fun to hang out with!’
3 Ross’s famous scar will be far less pronounced and much ‘lighter’ in Series 2 as the make-up department felt they’d made it a little too heavy during the first series.
4 Many outdoor scenes aren’t actually filmed in Cornwall. The local market town of Truro seen in the series which is often visited by Ross and Demelza is shot in and around the historic streets of Frome, Somerset.
5 The cast have all become great mates since filming the first series, with Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza), Ruby Bentall (Verity), Jack Farthing (George Warleggan) and Kyle Soller (Frances) even taking a holiday together in Iceland. The actors were visiting their fellow Poldark actor Heida Reed (Elizabeth) who showed them around her home country. ‘We’re the best of friends!’ says Heida.
6 Eleanor Tomlinson is forever being stopped in the street and asked to hand over fan mail to her co-star Aidan from female admirers. ‘They’ve always got phone numbers on them too,’ she laughs.
7 Former Midsomer Murders star John Nettles, who joins Poldark Series 2, as wealthy landowner Ray Penvenen, was delighted to get the part because he’s from near the area. ‘I’ve always fancied doing a Cornish drama because I’m originally from Cornwall and I now live on the borders of Cornwall and Devon,’ he says. ‘I was told I could fall out of bed in the morning and be on set in no time – although that wasn’t always the case!’
8 The rain wind and stormy weather that sometimes hits Cornwall often made Series 2 tricky to film outside last autumn and winter. ‘You can be standing next to another actor doing a scene and you literally cannot hear a thing they say,’ explains Aidan.
Eleanor adds: ‘We did one scene with Ross and Demelza holding hands. We couldn’t hear each other say our lines, so we had to prompt each other by squeezing each other’s hand to let the other know it was their turn to speak.’
9 Eleanor describes her filming her scenes with Aidan when Ross and Demelza get passionate as ‘like dancing’. She says: “It’s hilarious. I’m forever telling him where to put his hands!’
10 A third series of Poldark has already been announced by the BBC. It means Aidan Tuner is now unlikely to named as the next James Bond. There will be new major characters which executive producer Damien Timmer recently announced they are currently casting for. Series 3 will be nine episodes long and covers one-and-half-books in the Poldark series.
* Poldark Series 2 starts on BBC1, September 4 at 9pm