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Martin Clunes' life free from TV to living on a 130-acre farm to his famous relative who played 'Sherlock Holmes'

Martin Clunes is back on ITV reprising his role as DCI Colin Sutton in the new series of Manhunt.

Martin Clunes is one of the most recognisable faces on British TV. best known for his breakout role as Gary in 90s hit Men Behaving Badly he has been a permanent fixture on our screens ever since.

Cornwall Cottages

Following his success on the hit BBC show, where he appeared alongside Neil Morrisey, Martin, 59, has gone on to forge a highly successful TV career.

The actor has become a household name over the years appearing in dozens of television series as well as narrating and starring a number of travel series for TV.

He has starred in the title role of the long running, popular comedy drama Doc Martin since 2004. The 10th and final season of the popular ITV series was supposed to wrap this year but has been put back to 2022 due to Covid-19 restrictions making it difficult to make the show.

Martin Clunes in Port Isaac (Image: Simon Heester)
Martin Clunes in Port Isaac (Image: Simon Heester)

Martin has regularly appeared as a panellist and guest presenter on Have I got News for You and his film credits include Shakespeare in Love, Saving Grace and Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?

Off screen the actor is known to enjoy country life and lives on a farm near Beaminster, Dorset with wife TV producer Philippa Braithwaite who he married in 1997 and their daughter.

The 130-acre working farm is home to horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats

Speaking on This Morning the actor revealed: “Everything sort of makes way for the horses and that’s what my daughter’s studying and what she wants to do for the rest of her life, we all have our own horses and love working and hanging out with them.”

The actor relocated from London some years ago with his family when his daughter was born and hasn’t looked back since,

Acting genes in the family

As well as his love for the countryside and animals, it seems acting runs in the family genes. His father, Alec Clunes, was an actor and his uncle Jeremy Brett was famous in the fifties for playing Sherlock Holmes, as well as being a renowned stage actor.

Speaking on his uncle encouraging his own career, Martin said: “He was an absolutely lovely man. Very exciting and glamorous, he’d always make me feel amazing and full of confidence; like I’d picked the right thing to do in life. He was a real force and we all loved him.”

An unhappy time at boarding school

Martin went to Royal Russell School, Croydon, where he was a boarding student.

He has told how his time at the boarding school was anything but happy.

In an interview in 2011, he said he was routinely hit with sticks by teachers and developed physical and psychological problems that prompted him to seek counselling.

He added that he would carry out practical jokes and pranks at school “because it would stop them hitting you, briefly”.

He added: “I really hated it. I was a weekly boarder and had this weekly agony of crying in the car all the way, and mum would cry all the way back on her own.

“I was a massive bed-wetter. They put me in matron’s room which was the sick bay, to sleep on my own. In the end, I went to see a child psychiatrist who got me off it, eventually.”

When is Martin Clunes next on TV?

The ITV show Martin Clunes: My Travels and Other Animals in on tonight (Thursday, June 24) at 8.30pm.

The episode, titled Talking To The Animals, sees Martin’s Labrador puppy Arthur go to dog training, but he does not see Martin as the pack leader.

In Malibu Hills, he meets one of the most famous dog families, that of Lassie, then travels to the Arabian desert to ride with Bedouin horseman Ali Al Ameri, who trains the world’s oldest man-made horses – the Arabian – for TV shows.

Martin then spends time with Josef Svoboda, a logging superstar from the Czech Republic who uses heavy horses in his work.

Manhunt is coming back

Fans of ITV crime drama Manhunt will be excited to hear the second series is being aired this autumn.

The first series was aired in 2019, and followed the true story surrounding the investigation into the death of French student Amélie Delagrange in Twickenham in 2004, and the arrest of Levi Bellfield for the crime.

The next series will look at the story of the Night Stalker Delroy Grant, whose crimes sparked the largest rape investigation ever undertaken by the Metropolitan Police.

Grant, a serial rapist and burglar from Brockley, would target elderly victims in the Croydon area and brutally rape them.

He was caught in 2009 after a 17 year hunt, and was charged with 29 offences ranging from rape and sexual assault to burglary. Police believe he is connected to over 100 cases of abuse over nearly two decades.

In the new season, Martin will reprise his role as DCI Colin Sutton, whose memoirs were used to write the script for Manhunt.

Take a trip to Cornwall


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