Martin Clunes

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Martin Clunes

Martin Clunes.jpg
Clunes on location in Dolphin Street, Port Isaac, for Doc Martin in 2019
Alexander Martin Clunes

(1961-11-28) 28 November 1961 (age 61)
Wimbledon, London, England
Education Royal Russell School
Arts Educational Schools
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • director
  • television presenter
Years active1982–present
Lucy Aston
(m. 1990;div. 1997)
Philippa Braithwaite
(m. 1997)
Relatives Alec Clunes (father)

Alexander Martin Clunes OBE DL (born 28 November 1961) is an English actor, comedian, director and television presenter. He is best known for portraying Martin Ellingham in the ITV comedy-drama series Doc Martin and Gary Strang in Men Behaving Badly . Clunes has narrated a number of documentaries for ITV, the first of which was Islands of Britain in 2009. He has since presented a number of documentaries centred on animals. He has also voiced Kipper the Dog in the animated series Kipper .


Clunes was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 Birthday Honours for services to drama, charity and the community in Dorset.

Early life

Clunes was born on 28 November 1961 in Wimbledon, London, the son of actor Alec Clunes and his second wife, Daphne ( née Acott) Clunes (4 July 1928 — 17 September 2007). [2] [3] Clunes was educated at the Royal Russell School in Croydon, and later at the Arts Educational Schools, London. He has an older sister Amanda. [4] Clunes is related to actor Jeremy Brett, who was variously described as either Clunes' uncle [5] or cousin. [6]


Clunes served his first role in rep at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, [7] and his first television appearance was in an adaptation of Mikhail Bulgakov's The White Guard for the BBC Play of the Month in 1982, [8] followed by the Doctor Who story Snakedance in 1983. [9] A sporadic career led to his supplementing his income as a photo model for Gilbert and George, and he can be seen in their 1983 work World. [10] He got his first regular television role as one of the sons in the BBC sitcom No Place Like Home , [11] and then starred in two series of the sitcom All at No 20 . [12]

While Clunes was appearing on stage at the Hampstead Theatre, Harry Enfield came to see him; the acquaintanceship developed into a friendship where Clunes played characters in Enfield's sketch shows (most notably one of the Rugby Players). [13] Enfield then recommended Clunes for the role of Gary in the sitcom Men Behaving Badly , [14] written for Enfield by Simon Nye, for which Clunes won a BAFTA television award for Best Comedy Performance in 1996. [15] He played the part of Group Captain Barker in the two-part TV mini-series Over Here that same year. In 1993, he played Dick Dobson in Demob about a pair of demobilised soldiers who have to adjust to civilian life after entertaining Second World War troops with a raunchy cabaret act.

Since 1994, Clunes has frequently appeared on the BBC One panel show Have I Got News for You as a panelist or a guest presenter. [16] [17] Clunes has since appeared in films and television shows such as An Evening with Gary Lineker , Staggered (starred and directed), Hunting Venus , The Booze Cruise , Saving Grace and Jeeves and Wooster . In 1998, he was featured in Sweet Revenge and appeared as Richard Burbage in the film Shakespeare in Love . Clunes has also acted frequently for the radio, including a guest appearance in the BBC Radio 4 series Baldi .

In 2001, he played Captain Stickles in the BBC adaptation of R. D. Blackmore's Lorna Doone . In 2002, Clunes played serial killer John George Haigh in a Yorkshire TV production A Is for Acid , and took the lead in ITV's production of Goodbye Mr Chips . [18] Clunes was one of the eponymous leads in the 2004 ITV comedy-drama William and Mary , with Julie Graham. Clunes had worked with Julie Graham previously on Dirty Tricks (2000). [19] Since 2004, Clunes has played the lead role of Doctor Martin Ellingham in the ITV comedy drama series Doc Martin . In August 2007, Clunes starred in the ITV/TVNZ co-production The Man Who Lost His Head . [20]

Clunes is a regular voice-over artist and is the voice of Kipper in the animated children's series Kipper the Dog . For six years (1993–1999) he also did voice acting for Safeway adverts; he provided the voice of Harry in Safeway's 'When Harry Met Molly' advertising campaign during said years. Clunes appeared in a television dramatisation of Fungus the Bogeyman playing Jessica White's father. Between 2009 and 2010, Clunes starred on BBC One television in the title role of Reggie Perrin , a re-make of classic 1970s British situation comedy The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin . In 2015, Clunes played the role of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in the ITV mini-series Arthur & George . In 2018, Clunes played the role of DCI Colin Sutton in the ITV drama Manhunt (first screened in 2019). [21] In 2019, Clunes return to sitcom with the BBC1 series Warren , saying "It was just so funny, I couldn't turn it down". [22]


Clunes played Brock in the 1990 film The Russia House . He played a character called Martin in the 1992 film Carry On Columbus ; Richard Burbage in the 1998 film Shakespeare in Love; and Anthony Staxton-Billing in Sweet Revenge the same year. In 2000, Clunes played the role of Dr. Martin Bamford in the film Saving Grace , and the follow up to that film Doc Martin the following year (2001), he played James Chancellor in Global Heresy .

In 2011, Clunes voiced the mischievous dog Dudley in the short film Me or the Dog, starring Edward Hogg and directed by Abner Pastoll. Clunes then starred in the 2014 film Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? .


In 2008, Clunes presented Martin Clunes: A Man and his Dogs, which was aired on 24 August 2008. [23] In 2009, Clunes presented a three-part ITV series Islands of Britain , which saw him travelling around several of the country's lesser known islands. In 2010 Clunes presented ITV mini-series Horsepower about man's relationship over time with the horse. This was followed by Heavy Horsepower which aired in 2013. [24] [25] In January 2011, Clunes presented documentary Martin Clunes: Man to Manta. [26] In June 2012 Clunes presented a documentary series on ITV about the lemurs of Madagascar called Martin Clunes: The Lemurs of Madagascar.

On 31 January 2013, Clunes narrated ITV documentary Secret Life of Dogs . Then, on 2 and 3 June 2014, he narrated two more follow-up documentaries, Secret Life of Cats and Secret Life of Babies . [27] On 4 April 2014 Clunes hosted a one-off ITV documentary called Martin Clunes & A Lion Called Mugie, following the work of conservationists in Kenya as well as tracking the progress of a lion called Mugie. The documentary was filmed over a period of three years. [28] In August 2014 Clunes narrated ITV's three-part documentary series Kids with Cameras: Diary of a Children's Ward which saw Newcastle's children's ward through the eyes of its patients. [29] In April 2015 Clunes narrated Carry on Forever, a three part documentary series for ITV3. It was shown over the Easter weekend. [30]

In May 2015, Clunes presented Man & Beast with Martin Clunes, a two-part factual series for ITV, which looked at the relationship between humans and animals. [31] In 2016, he narrated Rising Damp Forever, a two-part documentary series for ITV3. He also voiced ITV programmes Secrets of Growing Old, Secrets of Growing Up and Britain's Favourite Dogs. Also in 2016, Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia (also known as Islands of Oz) was released as a three-part Australian documentary television series produced by Prospero Productions for the Seven Network that "follows acclaimed actor and comedian Martin Clunes as he explores the most diverse, intriguing, remote and spectacular islands that surround Australia." [32] In 2019, Martin Clunes: Islands of America was released as a four-part documentary where he traveled to remote islands across the United States. [33]

Personal life

Clunes's first marriage was to actress Lucy Aston in 1990. [34] They divorced in 1997 and Clunes married future Doc Martin producer Philippa Braithwaite late that year. [35] In 1999, Braithwaite gave birth to their daughter Emily. [36] [37] As of 2013, Clunes and his family live in Beaminster, Dorset, where they run a farm with heavy horses. [38] [39]

Traffic offences

In 1995, Clunes was fined £350 for being about 1.5 times the legal limit for alcohol while driving. [40] In 2012, he was dropped from an advertising role with Churchill's Insurance after amassing 12 points on his licence for four separate speeding offences, which also led to his being suspended from driving. [41]


A sponsor of numerous charities, Clunes made a short on-line film with Stephen Fry about HIV discrimination for the Terrence Higgins Trust. [42]

Clunes supports Weldmar Hospicecare Trust in Dorset and is a Patron of Julia's House, the Dorset and Wiltshire children's hospice. [43] The Buckham Fair is organised in support of these charities. [44] In January 2011, Clunes became a patron of Animal Care in Egypt (ACE). [45] [ clarification needed ]

Clunes was a patron of the Born Free Foundation, and had filmed several adverts for the charity. However, he was dropped by the foundation in May 2019, after he was filmed riding an elephant in an episode of the ITV documentary series My Travels with Other Animals. [46] He has also been involved in the Comic Relief charity which funds Survival International and African Initiatives, two organisations working with the Maasai on indigenous land rights issues. He is a celebrity supporter of The Dog Rescue Federation. [47]


1982 The White Guard Unknown
1983 Doctor Who Serial: Snakedance Lon
1983–1986 No Place Like Home Nigel Crabtree
1986–1987 All at No 20 Henry
1990–1994 Harry Enfield's Television Programme Various characters
1991 Jeeves and Wooster Barmy Fotheringay Phipps
1992 Inspector Morse James Balcombe
1992–1998 Men Behaving Badly Gary Strang British Comedy Award for Top TV Comedy Actor (1995)
BAFTA Award for Best Comedy Performance (1996)
1993 Demob Dick Dobson
1993 Lovejoy Anthony Drury
1994– Have I Got News for You Guest presenter/panellist
1994 Under the Hammer Hector Bovington
1995 Moving Story Earl Pangbourne
1996 Over Here RAF Commanding Officer
1996–2000 Roger and the Rottontrolls Narrator
1997–2000 Kipper Kipper (voice)
1998Touch and GoNick WoodTV film
2001Doc MartinMartin Ellingham
2001Merlin the Magical PuppyMerlin (voice)
2002 A Is for Acid John Haigh
2003 Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie Martin Ellingham
2003–2005 William and Mary William Shawcross
2004–2022 Doc Martin Martin Ellingham British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Drama (2004)
2006Losing ItPhil MacNaughtonTV film
2007 The Man Who Lost His Head Ian Bennett
2008Martin Clunes: A Man and His DogsPresenter
2009 Islands of Britain PresenterThree-part series
2009–2010 Reggie Perrin Reginald "Reggie" Perrin
2010Martin Clunes: HorsepowerPresenterMini-series
2011Martin Clunes: Man to Manta
2012Martin Clunes: The Lemurs of MadagascarMini-series
A Mother's Son Ben [48]
The Town Len Robson
2012 Room on the Broom Dog (voice)
2013 Strike Back: Shadow Warfare Sebastian Grey
Martin Clunes: Heavy HorsepowerPresenterOne-off episode
2013–2017 Secret Life of Narrator
2014Martin Clunes & A Lion Called MugiePresenterOne-off episode
Kids with Cameras: Diary of a Children's WardNarratorThree-part series
2015 Arthur & George Arthur Conan Doyle Drama series
Carry On ForeverNarratorThree-part series
Man & Beast with Martin ClunesPresenterTwo-part series
2016Rising Damp ForeverNarrator
Secrets of Growing OldOne-off episode
Secrets of Growing Up
Britain's Favourite Dogs
Les Dawson ForeverTwo-part series
2017 Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia PresenterMini-series
Morecambe & Wise ForeverNarratorTwo-part series
Tommy Cooper Forever
2018 Vanity Fair [49] Sir Pitt CrawleyDrama series
2019–2021 Manhunt [50] DCI Colin Sutton
2019Martin Clunes: Islands of America PresenterFour part series
Warren [51] Warren ThompsonSitcom
2021Scotland: Escape to the Wilderness [52] HimselfEpisode one of series
2022Martin Clunes Islands of the Pacific [53] Three-part series
Farewell to Doc Martin [54] One-off special
1990 The Russia House BrockFilm debut
1992 Carry On Columbus Martin
1993 Dancing Queen Donald
1993 Swing Kids Bannführer
1994 Staggered Neil PriceAlso director
1998 The Acid House Rory
Shakespeare in Love Richard Burbage
The Revengers' Comedies (a.k.a. Sweet Revenge) Anthony Staxton-Billing
1999 Hunting Venus Simon DelancyTV film
1999Sex 'n' DeathBen Black
2000 Saving Grace Martin Bamford
2002 Global Heresy James Chancellor
2002 Goodbye, Mr. Chips Mr Chipping
2014 Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? [55] Jeremy Shepherd



Clunes was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Civil Division on 13 June 2015 in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List. [56] [57] [58] [59] He was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of the County of Dorset on 19 June 2019. [60] [61]

Bournemouth University awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts (D.Arts) on 9 November 2007. [62] [63] He has been president of the British Horse Society since 1 June 2011. [64] [65]

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