Interview with Buckham Fair founders Martin and Philippa Clunes


- Credit: Archant

Martin Clunes is the Doctor Dolittle of TV comedy. Acting might be his day job but animals are his passion. The Doc Martin stalwart houses a veritable menagerie at his Beaminster estate.

“We have 200 sheep, 18 cattle, 14 horses, three dogs, two cats and nine chickens,” he says, ticking them off on his fingers.

The Buckham Fair Dog and Pony Show, Martin and his wife Philippa’s annual extravaganza, is seven years old this month. A staple of the Dorset calendar, the event raised a record £66,000 last year for the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust. This year they are supporting the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance: “We still have the space to get bigger.”

He explains: “When we bought the farm, I immediately thought ‘What a great place for a fair’. We are so lucky and I get so many letters from charities. I can’t do everything but I can do this and support Dorset charities: if you can share, you should.”

Martin is, as ever, a busy man, en route for Asia to film a new ITV documentary entitled Man and Beast.

“I’m fascinated by Jainism – a religion whose followers wear masks so they don’t so much as kill flies by accidentally swallowing them. There are a few of them in Croydon apparently but Nepal sounded far more appealing.”


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