Poldark’s producers have insisted that they had no idea the effect that Aidan Turner’s nude scenes would have on viewers – because they ‘didn’t audition him with his clothes off’.
The actor, 31, has won millions of fans for his brooding role as Captain Ross Poldark and the Cornish saga has since been recommissioned for a second series.
But scenes of Aidan swimming naked in the sea and working topless with a scythe in a field have grabbed the most attention, while a question and answer Twitter session descended into farce when the actor was swamped with questions about his looks.
Aidan Turner stars in Poldark (BBC)
Damien Timmer, one of Poldark’s executive producers, told Radio Times magazine: “Honestly, we were pretty innocent about the shirt taking-off stuff… No, really, Ross does it in the book, he goes swimming, he washes himself clean.
“And he’s a farmer, and it’s very hot in Cornwall!
“Besides, we didn’t audition him with his clothes off.”
His comments came after viewers complained about Sunday night’s penultimate episode in the BBC1 series, because Aidan kept all his clothes on.
Ross just kept his shirt on for a whole episode of #Poldark I suspect a BBC editor will be looking for a new job tomorrow…
— Paul Hewes (@hewesyp) April 19, 2015
— Moonriver (@Zoeyretroey) April 19, 2015
— VERTHLESS (@verthless) April 19, 2015
Meanwhile, Irish heartthrob Aidan said of his new found fame: “I think I could easily get addicted to Googling myself if I did start doing it, so I just stay out of that entirely. It’s better not to know, sometimes.”
He said of living in Dublin: “It’s fairly calm and relaxed, there’s no mania. Not that I can see.”
Aidan, who appeared in The Hobbit, first came to public attention in Being Human on BBC3 and he said that if the BBC’s plans for the channel to go online had been in place at the time, he would not have the career he does today.
Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson in Poldark (BBC)
“Being Human was a very big gig for me – I know (Hobbit director) Peter Jackson was aware of the show – and if that hadn’t happened then maybe other things wouldn’t have happened afterwards,” he said.
Damien said that the chemistry between Aidan and Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays his kitchen maid turned wife Demelza, delighted the show’s executive producers.
“(We were) digging each other in the ribs because it was just better than we ever thought it would be,” he said. “Aidan has that integrity in the way he plays Ross, he commits to it so completely, he is Ross in all of his complex brooding.”
Eleanor Tomlinson and Aidan Turner star in Poldark (BBC)
Filming begins in September on the second series of the Cornish saga, which has pulled in an average audience of more than eight million.
Debbie Horsfield, who has already written five episodes of the new instalment, hinted about the next series: “Ross is reckless and forever getting stuck in, without being a crusading character, but he can’t bear to see unfairness and inequality even when there’s nothing in it for him.
“So he brings himself to the brink of disaster, and Demelza, a forceful and powerful character in her own right, is taken along with him.”
The drama, based on the novels of Winston Graham, was originally made for TV in the 1970s when it attracted audiences of 15 million and the remake has helped BBC1 to its highest share of an audience in a decade.