‘Doc Martin’ Star Martin Clunes Explores Islands Of America For New Documentary

Clunes discovers American island life in his latest investigative documentary.

Martin Clunes seen at the BBC
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Clunes discovers American island life in his latest investigative documentary.

Martin Clunes, the star of Doc Martin, is a big deal in the U.K. and his appeal is growing in the United States, which he is exploring in his latest documentary into island living. Clunes has toured the islands of Britain and Australia by land, sea, and air, and now he’s heading to the States to “muck around.”

The Bournemouth Echo caught up with Clunes for an interview, and journalist Gemma Dunn asked him about his American adventure. Clunes says that heading to the U.S. seemed like the next big adventure after his tour of Australia, but he says he never thought the trip was going to be as fabulous as it was.

Clunes and his team covered 10,000 miles from west to east, and he confides that it’s not at all what he expected, and he thinks even some Americans will be pleasantly surprised at the island adventures available within the United States. He explains to his European fans that this is not all about Hawaii, Alaska, and the Florida Keys.

“Everyone has an image of America: A land of big shops, bright lights, and asphalt highways stretching right across the continent,” he muses. “But there is another America – and I set out to find it.”

Clunes explains that he took three months to see as many of the islands as possible, and he shares that almost every coastal state has its own islands. After touring the British, Irish, and Australian islands, he said it was interesting to see how each culture adjusts to the challenges that islanders face.

“You just get a very different slant on a nation from its islands; you get people living with island challenges, and doing them in an American way.”

The Doc Martin actor says they started the tour in Hawaii, which holds a special significance to him as it is the location where he proposed to his wife of 23 years. He got the chance to fly over an active volcano in a helicopter, and it was amazing and a bit scary, but it wasn’t his most heart-pounding moment of the tour.

He explains that his fear of heights kicked in when he flew in a biplane over the San Juan Islands of Washington state. Right after takeoff, they hit turbulence “in a plane which has no roof!”

But Martin Clunes says that as a man who has horses of his own, it was a great adventure to be joined on the Virginia island of Chincoteague by his wife and daughter, Emily, for the annual wild pony swim.

He says the trip and the last year were very busy but wonderful.

Martin Clunes: Islands Of America debuts February 5 on ITV and then will be available in the U.S. on Acorn TV.