Martin Clunes: I nearly lost my head on set

Martin Clunes has revealed he got a nasty nose injury during the filming of his latest series, The Man Who Lost His Head.

The actor stars as Ian Bennet, a curator at the British Imperial Museum who travels to New Zealand – and says it proved to be a steep learning curve about Maori traditions.

One of those was that when you’re in a Maori marae (meeting place) you can’t eat.

“I made the mistake of chewing gum and got hit on the nose by a carved head,” Martin explains.

“We were filming a scene where a carved head is being thrown around the marae, and had been using a rubber head for rehearsals. I didn’t take in the fact that the rubber head was switched for a wooden one and took it on the conk.

“It was actually quite painful; you could hear the crack when the carving hit my nose. It cut my nose and made it bleed. But it didn’t stop the filming. The make up designer managed to disguise the injury.

“Some people said it was punishment for chewing gum in the marae. They told me I was not supposed to eat. But I said I didn’t swallow it!”

The former Men Behaving Badly star added: “Anyway, I straightened everything with the spirits. I think, or else people have put in a good word for me.

“I was promised that the spirits wouldn’t be cross with me because I was a welcome influence, bringing fun.”

*The Man Who Lost His Head screens on ITV1 on Sunday

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