Alexander Martin Clunes OBE DL (born 28 November 1961) is an English actor, 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.

Martin Clunes

Clunes in April 2019
Alexander Martin Clunes

(1961-11-28) 28 November 1961 (age 62)
Wimbledon, Surrey, England
EducationRoyal Russell School
Arts Educational Schools
  • Actor
  • director
  • television presenter
Years active1982–present
Lucy Aston
(m. 1990; div. 1997)
Philippa Braithwaite
(m. 1997)

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 edit

Clunes was born on 28 November 1961 in Wimbledon (then in Surrey, now in Greater 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's uncle[5] or cousin.[6]

Career edit

Clunes played 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 British Academy 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.[4] 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).[18] From 2004 until the conclusion in 2022 Clunes 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.[19]

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).[20] In 2019, Clunes return to sitcom with the BBC1 series Warren, saying "It was just so funny, I couldn't turn it down".[21]

Film edit

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?.

Documentaries edit

In 2008, Clunes presented Martin Clunes: A Man and his Dogs, which was aired on 24 August 2008.[22] 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.[23][24] In January 2011, Clunes presented documentary Martin Clunes: Man to Manta.[25] 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.[26] 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.[27] 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.[28] In April 2015 Clunes narrated Carry on Forever, a three part documentary series for ITV3. It was shown over the Easter weekend.[29]

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.[30] 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."[31] In 2019, Martin Clunes: Islands of America was released as a four-part documentary where he traveled to remote islands across the United States.[32]

Personal life edit

Clunes's first marriage was to actress Lucy Aston in 1990.[33] They divorced in 1997 and Clunes married future Doc Martin producer Philippa Braithwaite late that year.[34] In 1999, Braithwaite gave birth to their daughter Emily.[35][36] As of 2013, Clunes and his family live in Beaminster, Dorset, where they run a farm with heavy horses.[37][38]

Traffic offences edit

In 1995, Clunes was fined £350 for being about 1.5 times the legal limit for alcohol while driving.[39] 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 him being suspended from driving.[40]

Charity edit

A sponsor of numerous charities, Clunes made a short on-line film with Stephen Fry about HIV discrimination for the Terrence Higgins Trust.[41]

Clunes supports Weldmar Hospicecare Trust in Dorset and is a Patron of Julia's House, the Dorset and Wiltshire children's hospice.[42] The Buckham Fair is organised in support of these charities.[43] In January 2011, Clunes became a patron of Animal Care in Egypt (ACE).[44][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.[45] 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.[46]

Filmography edit

Year Title Role Notes
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 Never Come Back Luke
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 Rottentrolls Narrator
1997–2000 Kipper Kipper (voice)
1998 Touch and Go Nick Wood TV film
2001 Merlin the Magical Puppy Merlin (voice)
2002 A Is for Acid John Haigh
2003 Doc Martin and the Legend of the Cloutie Martin Bamford
2003–2005 William and Mary William Shawcross
Little Robots Stripy Robot (voice)
2004–2022 Doc Martin Martin Ellingham British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Drama (2004)
2006 Losing It Phil MacNaughton TV film
2007 The Man Who Lost His Head Ian Bennett
2008 Martin Clunes: A Man and His Dogs Presenter
2009 Islands of Britain Presenter Three-part series
2009–2010 Reggie Perrin Reginald "Reggie" Perrin
2010 Martin Clunes: Horsepower Presenter Mini-series
2011 Martin Clunes: Man to Manta
2012 Martin Clunes: The Lemurs of Madagascar Mini-series
A Mother's Son Ben[47]
The Town Len Robson
2012 Room on the Broom Dog (voice)
2013 Strike Back: Shadow Warfare Sebastian Grey
Martin Clunes: Heavy Horsepower Presenter One-off episode
2013–2017 Secret Life of Narrator
2014 Martin Clunes & A Lion Called Mugie Presenter One-off episode
Kids with Cameras: Diary of a Children's Ward Narrator Three-part series
2015 Arthur & George Arthur Conan Doyle Drama series
Carry On Forever Narrator Three-part series
Man & Beast with Martin Clunes Presenter Two-part series
2016 Rising Damp Forever Narrator
Secrets of Growing Old One-off episode
Secrets of Growing Up
Britain's Favourite Dogs
Les Dawson Forever Two-part series
2017 Martin Clunes: Islands of Australia Presenter Mini-series
Morecambe & Wise Forever Narrator Two-part series
Tommy Cooper Forever
2018 Vanity Fair[48] Sir Pitt Crawley Drama series
2019–2021 Manhunt[49] DCI Colin Sutton
2019 Martin Clunes: Islands of America Presenter Four part series
Warren[50] Warren Thompson Sitcom
2021 Scotland: Escape to the Wilderness[51] Himself Episode one of series
2022 Martin Clunes Islands of the Pacific[52] Three-part series
Farewell to Doc Martin[53] One-off special
2023 Mel Giedroyc & Martin Clunes Explore Britain by the Book[54] One-off travelogue special with Mel Giedroyc
Martin Clunes: A Dog Called Laura[55] One-off documentary
TBA Out There[56] Nathan Upcoming drama series
Year Title Role Awards Notes
1990 The Russia House Brock Film debut
1992 Carry On Columbus Martin
1993 Dancing Queen Donald
1993 Swing Kids Bannführer
1994 Staggered Neil Price Also 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 Delancy TV film
1999 Sex 'n' Death Ben 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?[57] Jeremy Shepherd

Awards edit

Honours edit

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.[58][59][60][61] He was appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of the County of Dorset on 19 June 2019.[62][63]

Bournemouth University awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts (D.Arts) on 9 November 2007.[64][65] He has been president of the British Horse Society since 1 June 2011.[66][67]

In 2024, Clunes was named as the inaugural Chancellor for Hartpury University and Hartpury College.[68]

References edit

  1. ^ "Martin Clunes". Desert Island Discs. 18 September 2011. BBC Radio 4. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ (8 October 2009). "Martin Clunes". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  3. ^ BBC. "BBC - Comedy - People A-Z - Martin Clunes". Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b Didcock, Barry (15 December 2002). "Chips Off The Old Bloke; He made his name behaving badly". Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on 9 January 2008.
  5. ^ Palmer, Camilla (28 March 2014). "Martin Clunes: My family values". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (25 February 2015). "Martin Clunes to star as Sherlock creator in Arthur & George". The Independent. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  7. ^ Between The Sheets – No More Mr Nice Guy Archived 2 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine National Theatre
  8. ^ Morgan, Laura (7 September 2022). "Martin Clunes — things you didn't know about the Doc Martin star". Retrieved 31 December 2022.
  9. ^ "Martin Clunes 'was approached to be Dr Who'". The Daily Telegraph. 27 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2021.
  10. ^ "DVD247 – The World". 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  11. ^ Martin Clunes Playlist Archived 28 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "– All at No 20 cast list". Archived from the original on 4 February 2009. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  13. ^ Martin Clunes – Drinking Songs on YouTube
  14. ^ Abbott, Kate (18 March 2013). "How we made Men Behaving Badly". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2023.
  15. ^ "Television - Comedy Performance in 1996". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 15 December 2018.
  16. ^ "BBC One – Have I Got News for You, Series 46, Episode 10". 13 December 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  17. ^ "BBC One – Have I Got News for You, Series 47, Episode 4". 25 April 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  18. ^ "Dirty Tricks". 24 September 2000. Retrieved 16 March 2017 – via IMDb.
  19. ^ "A close encounter with Martin Clunes". The Sunday Star-Times. 28 August 2007. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2011.
  20. ^ Houghton, Rianne (20 September 2017). "Martin Clunes to star in drama about Milly Dowler case". Digital Spy.
  21. ^ "Sitcom too funny to turn down". Digital Spy. 18 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Martin Clunes: A Man and His Dogs". 24 August 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2017 – via IMDb.
  23. ^ "Horsepower With Martin Clunes" Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine ITV web site, 22 August 2010
  24. ^ "Martin Clunes admits work worries – News, Entertainment". 4 June 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  25. ^ Alice-Azania Jarvis (7 January 2011). "Last Night's TV: Martin Clunes: Man to Manta/ITV1The Sinking of the Laconia/BBC2How Drugs Work/BBC3 – Reviews – TV & Radio". The Independent. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Secret Life of Babies Episode 1 | presscentre". 3 June 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  27. ^ "Martin Clunes & A Lion Called Mugie Episode 1 | presscentre". 4 April 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  28. ^ "Kids With Cameras: Diary of a Children's Ward Episode 1". Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  29. ^ "ITV3 plans Easter Carry On weekend with new documentary". British Comedy Guide. 12 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  30. ^ "Man & Beast with Martin Clunes Episode 1". Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  31. ^ Knox, David (3 December 2013). "Martin Clunes to front Seven doco series". TV Tonight. David Knox. Retrieved 3 December 2013.
  32. ^ "Watch Martin Clunes' Islands of America on Acorn TV". Acorn TV. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
  33. ^ "England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1916–2005: Marriage of Clunes to Aston 1990". Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  34. ^ "Telly talk: Clunes enjoys affairs of the heart". Manchester Evening News. 16 February 2007. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013.
  35. ^ Chloe Scott-Moncrieff in conversation with… Martin Clunes.(Interview) Geographical, April 2005 by Scott-Moncrieff, Chloe
  36. ^ Celebrity interview: Martin Clunes – Page2 Archived 12 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  37. ^ Around Dorset: Martin Clunes BBC Dorset – 11 October 2004
  38. ^ "Martin Clunes on Heavy Horse Power, tractors and being more James Herriot than Doc Martin". Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  39. ^ Limited, Alamy. "'Men Behaving Badly' actor Martin Clunes at the BBC TV Spring and summer programme launch. 16/10/95: Clunes was charged with drink-driving after being stopped by police in Covent Garden at around 2am. * R/I: 22/9/00 Stock Photo - Alamy". Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  40. ^ "Car insurance firm drops Clunes after driving ban". BBC News. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2022.
  41. ^ "Terrence Higgins Trust – Glopves Off – Video – Stephen Fry and Martin Clunes – The Scale of Mimsy". Archived from the original on 23 February 2008. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  42. ^ Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, Accessed 14 October 2022.
  43. ^ "Buckham Fair". Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  44. ^ Animal Care in Egypt web site
  45. ^ Young, Sarah (14 May 2019). "Martin Clunes Axed as Patron of Animal Charity After Riding Elephant for ITV show". The Independent. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  46. ^ "Supporters of The". Dog Rescue Federation. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  47. ^ A Mother's Son at IMDb  
  48. ^ McCreesh, Louise (25 September 2017). "ITV reveals its star-studded Vanity Fair cast". Digital Spy.
  49. ^ "ITV commissions new drama Manhunt, starring Martin Clunes". Press Centre.
  50. ^ "BBC - Martin Clunes' brand new comedy vehicle Warren set for BBC One - Media Centre".
  51. ^ "Scotland: Escape to the Wilderness". Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  52. ^ "Martin Clunes Islands of the Pacific". Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  53. ^ "Farewell Doc Martin". Retrieved 8 December 2022.
  54. ^ "Britain by the Book with Mel Giedroyc and Martin Clunes". Retrieved 23 July 2023.
  55. ^ "Martin Clunes: A Dog Called Laura". Retrieved 5 October 2023.
  56. ^ "ITV and ITVX commissions thriller, Out There, starring Martin Clunes and Louis Ashbourne Serkis". Retrieved 19 September 2023.
  57. ^ Vonledebur, Catherine (21 January 2014). "Coventry director Debbie Isitt starts filming Nativity 3: Dude Where's My Donkey?". Coventry Telegraph. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  58. ^ "Martin Clunes' OBE Citation". The London Gazette. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  59. ^ "No. 61256". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 June 2015. p. B11.
  60. ^ "Latest Devon News -". Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  61. ^ "Dorset's Martin Clunes awarded OBE". 12 June 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2017.
  62. ^ "Deputy Lieutenant Commissions DORSET LIEUTENANCY". The London Gazette. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  63. ^ "Vice Lord-Lieutenant and Deputy Lieutenants of Dorset". The Dorset Lieutenancy. 18 September 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  64. ^ "Martin Clunes' Bournemouth University Honorary Degree Citation" (PDF). Bournemouth University. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  65. ^ "'Doc Martin' awarded a doctorate". BBC News. 9 November 2007. Retrieved 10 October 2021.
  66. ^ "BHS President - Martin Clunes". The British Horse Society. 18 September 2022. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  67. ^ Mathieson, Amy (21 February 2011). "Martin Clunes to be new British Horse Society president". The Horse and Hound. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  68. ^ "Martin Clunes becomes Hartpury University and Hartpury College's Chancellor". FE Week. 15 February 2024. Retrieved 15 February 2024.

External links edit