Doc Martin actor Martin Clunes.

The Doc Martin actor answers questions about the hit series.

The fifth season of Doc Martin starting on ITV Choice (123) on Wednesday 13 July at 20:00 and we thought we'd share an interview with Martin Clunes who stars in the title role.

Read More: Doctor Thorne on ITV Choice

Here is what Clunes has to say:

Are you aware of how popular the show is all over the world?
Yes, and it’s very gratifying. We’ve had fans from Australia, the US, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa coming to Port Isaac in Cornwall, where the series is filmed, as a result of the show. People have really taken the show to their hearts.

So what do you think is the secret to the show's success?
It’s funny, well observed and beautifully played – and all against a glorious Cornish backdrop. But most of all I think it’s the quality of the scripts. I don’t think we’ve ever shot from the first draft. The scripts are revised and changed, sometime even while we’re shooting. Plus we make a series every other year and perhaps that helps, because we have a year to plan.

Given you're now into the Season 8 (Season 5 starts on ITV Choice  on Wednesday 13 July at 20:00), how have the people of Port Isaac adapted to having you in their town for so many years?
We’ve got a good relationship with Port Isaac I think, plus we’ve kept the Co-op alive. The Port Isaac Co-op was going to shut because it was such seasonal income, but now they get visitors year round so I think we’ve got a good relationship with that community.

Last year it was reported that you had lost a considerable amount of weight, through illness. How are you feeling these days?
Much better thanks. The illness was a while ago and is all sorted now, but I did lose quite a bit of weight. But it wasn’t the only reason for my slimmer form. I also discovered a new fitness regimen... if you want to get fit, buy a farm. On a hill! I acquired some land in Dorset, where the flatland was saturated, so we had to feed the animals by hand, which is hard work. So yes, if you want to get in shape, buy a farm, diet a bit, get ill – that’s the magic formula...
The fifth season of Doc Martin starts on ITV Choice (123) on Wednesday 13 July at 20:00.