Martin Clunes reveals Christmas lunch plans after ‘fattening up’ Noel the calf

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Martin Clunes has revealed he and his family will be having turkey for their Christmas lunch after a calf he was “fattening up” for the occasion “didn’t quite come right”.

The 61-year-old English actor, best known for his role as the titular character in ITV’s Doc Martin, owns, and works on, a farm in Dorset with his wife Philippa.

Speaking to Radio Times for their Christmas issue, Clunes was asked what he would be eating on Christmas Day this year, to which he said: “Turkey. I had a calf called Noel that I was fattening up, but he didn’t quite come right.

ITV Gala 2015 – London
Martin Clunes and his wife Philippa (Ian West/PA)

The actor revealed he will be hosting Christmas lunch for 15 family members, while also taking care of his various horses, dogs, cattle and hens.

“Everybody comes to us for Christmas and we have a big party,” he said.

“We’ll have the whole extended family in the house, about 15 people.

“It’s fantastic, we’ve always taken it seriously.”

The actor, who also starred as Gary Strang in Men Behaving Badly, revealed that he makes sure all the staff who work on the farm are given Christmas Day off, which leaves him and his wife to keep it running.

He said: “We always give everyone [on the farm] Christmas off, so it’s hard work as well.

“It’s knackering, especially when we had sheep. Bloody hell, lambing.”

Clunes spoke to Radio Times about his plans for Christmas (Radio Times/PA)

“We did it for about five or six years, but it just wasn’t washing its face. The lambing and the lambs are the only good bit about sheep farming, because you only wade in when they’re in trouble.”

Clunes also reflected on how his childhood experience of Christmas has shaped his view on the celebrations as an adult, telling the magazine: “My father died when I was eight, so I remember they were a little bit grim when I was in my mid-teens, because it was a bit of a thin family – the three of us, then my sister was off with friends.

“But there were presents, so that made up for it.

“I’m a big fan of my family now, quite possibly because of that. It’s the most important thing to me.”

The full Q&A with Martin Clunes is available now in Radio Times.

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