Martin Clunes rose to the top of the U. K.'s comedy scene in the 1990s on the groundbreaking situation comedy "Men Behaving Badly" (ITV/BBC, 1992-99) and went on to equal his success as the title char...
Acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey is among the big contenders at Britain's upcoming National Television Awards. The TV show has scored a nod in the Drama category along with Call The Midwife, Broadchurch and sci-fi series Doctor Who, while Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith is up for the best Drama Performance prize.
The veteran actress will compete against Doctor Who's Matt Smith as well as Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) and Miranda Hart (Call The Midwife).
Other big names in the competition include Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch, who will battle Luther's Idris Elba for the top TV Detective title, along with Broadchurch co-stars David Tennant and Olivia Colman, who will compete against each other for the prize.
Law & Order UK star Bradley Walsh is also included in the category, along with Suranne Jones (Scott & Bailey).
The awards will be handed out in a cermeony at London's O2 Arena on 22 January (14).
British actor Martin Clunes called upon the medical knowledge he picked up while playing a fictional TV doctor to stop surgeons carrying out an unnecessary operation on his wife. Clunes played Dr. Martin Ellingham in British drama Doc Martin for seven years and used what he'd learned from the show's medical expert to step in and question surgeons' decision to operate on his wife, Philippa Braithwaite, who was a producer on the ITV series.
Doctors determined that Braithwaite needed surgery to remove her appendix but Clunes' basic medical knowledge made him realise that the operation was "nonsensical" and he decided to seek different treatment.
He tells Reader's Digest, "She had an infection in her gall bladder and the surgeon was minded to take out her appendix. There was no infection in her appendix and instinct told me it would be the wrong thing to do. So I took her home instead and she was treated there.
"You have to remember that British medical dramas are obliged to be accurate. You can't just make things up as they do on American shows. So we have a medical expert on the series and I have learned about certain conditions and procedures."
The Shakespeare In Love star has joined forces with Humane Society International/UK in writing an open letter to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Minister Richard Benyon urging him to champion the cause.
Fellow British actors Brian Blessed and Martin Clunes have also signed the I'm There For The Polar Bear petition in a bid to end the killing of polar bears for their parts, which are traded on the global market as rugs, trophies and ornaments.
In the letter, the signatories call on Benyon to support a U.S. proposal to increase protection for the animals.
The plan will be unveiled at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Thailand in March (13).
Fiennes says, "Polar bears are having a hard enough time surviving the challenges of climate change. Surely we humans can give them a break by ending the commercial hunting of these magnificent creatures. A world without polar bears would be very bleak indeed, so I for one proudly stand with Humane Society International and declare I'm There For The Polar Bear!"
Blessed adds, "Polar bears are such awesome creatures, we must do everything we can to protect them. They face such an uncertain future with immense threats from oil exploration and climate change, and we are only making their survival harder by allowing them to be killed and sold around the world. The polar bear is in great danger of becoming extinct. We must save them, before they are gone forever."
Made feature film debut in "The Russia House," starring Sean Connery and Michelle Pfeiffer
Made British TV debut in the "BBC Play of the Month" presentation of "The White Guard"
Cast as the Bannführer in the Nazi Germany period drama "Swing Kids"
Appeared on four-part episode "Snakedance" of long-running adventure series "Doctor Who" (BBC)
Starred as the socially challenged title character on ITV series "Doc Martin"
Portrayed English actor and theater owner Richard Burbage in Oscar-winning film "Shakespeare in Love"
Co-starred on the romantic comedy series "William and Mary" (ITV)
Martin Clunes rose to the top of the U. K.'s comedy scene in the 1990s on the groundbreaking situation comedy "Men Behaving Badly" (ITV/BBC, 1992-99) and went on to equal his success as the title character of the network's light drama "Doc Martin" (2004- ). A third-generation thespian, the London-born Clunes cut his teeth in the theater and on some short-lived sitcoms in the 1980s before beginning a running collaboration with comic mainstay Harry Enfield. In 1992, he and Enfield were paired on ITV's comedy of ne'er-do-wells, "Men Behaving Badly," and the show kicked into more ribald gear once picked up by the BBC in 1994, with Neil Morrissey taking over as his flatmate. It made Clunes a crossover star, expanding his CV with dramatic turns in telefilms such as "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (ITV, 2002) and periodic supporting parts, as with his turn as small-town doctor in the sleeper indie hit "Saving Grace" (2002). The film spawned two spin-off telefilms prefiguring his character, Doc Martin, as a London physician simplifying his life; he would reinvent the character as an inveterate curmudgeon for ITV in 2004 in what would become the long-running series franchised into international phenomenon. He kept his hand in series comedy with the well-regarded sitcom "William and Mary" (ITV, 2003-05) and the less successful outing "Reggie Perrin" (BBC, 2009-2010). From behaving badly to being one of his country's better regarded personalities, Clunes made a career spinning ratings gold for U.K. broadcasters.