British Comedy Guide

ITV orders Doc Martin Series 8

Wednesday 13th January 2016, 8:01pm

  • ITV has ordered another series of Doc Martin
  • Ian McNeice - aka Bert Large - confirmed Series 8 will be filmed in 2017
  • It could be the last run of the hit show
Doc Martin. Dr Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes). Copyright: Buffalo Pictures / Homerun Productions.

ITV has ordered an eighth series of Doc Martin.

The hit comedy drama stars Martin Clunes as a grumpy medic living in a picturesque Cornish fishing village.

Ian McNeice, who plays Bert Large, confirmed the news whilst speaking to The Mirror.

He explained: "We were all invited by ITV to a dinner to thank us for the ratings we have had in October and November and they were the best we have had so far with seven million viewers - on a par with Downton Abbey and everybody was thrilled about that.

"Everybody in the cast was there and then the Head of ITV gets up and says 'We love Doc Martin and as a vote of confidence we would like to give you one more show'."

He concluded: "So there will be Series 8 and we will make it in the year 2017, because we always have a break in between. The future is rosy. We would all like to do more with Martin and God bless them ITV have said they are going to do more."

It is not clear whether the "one more show" quoted from the ITV executive means that the next series of Doc Martin will be the final run. As one of the highest rated shows on TV it seems unlikely the network would willingly axe the format at present, however the cast have been worried for some time that the show will end soon.

Talking about Series 7 - which concluded an eight-episode run in November - Ian McNeice said: "We all thought that was going to be the end.

Doc Martin. Image shows from L to R: Dr Martin Ellingham (Martin Clunes), Bert Large (Ian McNeice). Copyright: Buffalo Pictures / Homerun Productions."At the end of the series we had a wrap party with the best drinks and food ever and we were thinking 'this is looking pretty - is this a goodbye?' We were getting a little nervous. Then we had a cast and crew photograph and we had never had that before, and it was slightly unnerving that the end of this series we wrap things up nicely. But it is not over, and we are thrilled."

The last series of Doc Martin launched with 5.88 million viewers, but that figure rose to 6.23 by the end of the run. McNeice, who has been in every series since Doc Martin began in 2004, told the newspaper he thought the success of the format was down to the fact the show appeals to older generations.

"It is that, the old thing. If you look at the demographic of the show you are looking at people - 50, 60, 70 - who appreciate the fact that there is no swearing, no aggression, and its gentle humour."

He also said the cast and crew play a big part in the show's success. "It is the people themselves. It starts with Martin Clunes, who is a delight; nothing like the character he plays. He is so funny and warm and that spreads out throughout the cast.

"It has been said by him that it is the best job on TV. It is beautiful to film in Cornwall, we are there for four months and we all live together down there and it is stunning. Now we have the world coming to see us. We have four to five hundred people a day come to see us film. It is like doing theatre."

ITV have reportedly confirmed the recommission whilst attending the US launch of Series 7. Some US networks will begin showing Series 7 from the 14th January.

Series 8 is expected to be shown on ITV in the autumn of 2017.

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