Stephen Tompkinson has confessed he still dreams about the animals from Wild At Heart, because he misses them so much.

The DCI Banks star – who is currently appearing on stage in West End musical Spamalot – played vet Danny in the hit ITV show for six years, until it ended in a special finale in December. Stephen spent months filming the show on location at an animal reserve in South Africa every year, and became very attached to the animals and local people he worked with.

He admitted: “I’m really missing it at the moment, because usually by this stage in the year I’m looking forward to packing my bags and heading out there for five-and-a-half months, so it’s going to be very strange this year.

“I do dream about the animals a lot. I miss them, so I’d love to go back out there and visit.”

While Stephen would love to do another special, he thinks the death of much-loved character Dup in the last episode could make it hard for the show to return.

He said: “We certainly wanted to do something we’d never done before, and saying goodbye to Dup in that way was something I’m not sure we could come back from. “You never know, if the demand is there we’d certainly be interested in listening to any suggestions.”

Right now Stephen is enjoying singing and dancing and acting silly as King Arthur in Spamalot, and will return in ITV crime show DCI Banks later this year. “It’s lovely, any actor who can get to do a variety of things I think is very lucky indeed, and to have both of those shows running concurrently on ITV was a real treat for me,” he said.

Spamalot runs at The Playhouse Theatre in London until November. www.spamalotontour.co.uk