Belfast Telegraph

Royal couple meet stars of Doc Martin

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on their tour of the South West
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on their tour of the South West

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall met cast members from ITV's Doc Martin during a visit to the picturesque Cornish fishing port where the hit TV show is set.

The Royal couple were introduced to actor Martin Clunes, who stars as Dr Martin Ellingham, Caroline Catz, who plays his wife Louisa, and other cast members including Joe Absolom, who is Al Large, and Ian McNeice, who plays his father Bert Large.

Charles and Camilla met the cast and crew inside Nathan Outlaw's restaurant in the picturesque fishing village of Port Isaac, which doubles as Portwenn - the fictional setting for the comedy drama - and posed for pictures outside.

The engagement was part of the Royal couple's three day tour to Devon and Cornwall to celebrate local food and drink and the region's stage and screen talent.

The village has been described as "the jewel in the crown" of North Cornwall and draws visitors from across the globe.

Fishing has been the mainstay of Port Isaac although it is now the popularity of Doc Martin, which draws many new visitors, especially from overseas.

Earlier, Charles went to Port Isaac's harbour to meet members of the local RNLI, shop keepers and visitors to the area - and upon his arrival, he was welcomed with a performance by The Fisherman's Friends sea shanty group.

The Prince met the volunteers who run the service, together with Mrs Linda Sleeman - who lost her husband and had her son saved during a daring rescue in April 2012.

His Royal Highness was also introduced to members of Port Isaac Rowing Club - including a Jack Russell dog called Jenny Cook who accompanies her owner Michelle Pavey on their gig during training sessions.

Club member Stephanie Gardner said afterwards: "Jenny Cook loves going out rowing with us and comes with us twice a week and wears her own lifejacket.

"She is a popular dog and has her own Facebook page. She will be able to add the picture of herself and the Prince to her Facebook page alongside the one with Martin Clunes."

The Prince also took away with him a traditional Cornish pasty from Nicki B's Pasty Shop and asked staff: "Is this what the Fisherman's Friends eat between shows?"

Joking with Press photographers, he added: "It's only because they want one."

While Charles was walking through the village meeting wellwishers, his wife visited Port Isaac's village hall to meet local volunteers helping The Ideas Partnership, a charity which the Duchess encountered during a recent visit to Kosovo.

The charity, which is based in Port Isaac, helps the poorest children in Kosovo, many of whose families survive on what they earn from picking through rubbish for plastic and metal.

The Duchess spent a morning at the charity's main centre in Kosovo during an overseas tour of the Balkans with the Prince in March this year.

Later, the couple will also recognise some of the environmental and charitable work taking place across the South West.

They will mark the 25th anniversary of Taste of the West, a membership organisation for food and drink producers, at a food fair in Exeter.

Camilla will also attend a service of thanksgiving at Exeter Cathedral for more than 700 supporters, staff and families for Children's Hospice South West.

The Duchess, who became patron of the charity two years ago, will be invited to light candles in remembrance of those children who have died in the years of the charity's service.

She will also be presented with a posy by nine-year-old Hannah Sparkes, from Exeter, who suffers from a rare heart condition and has been using the charity's Cornwall hospice.

Meanwhile, Charles is to visit new residents on an affordable housing development in Bradninch, which has been delivered by The Guinness Trust in partnership with the Duchy of Cornwall.

He will meet representatives of community initiatives supported by the Duchy of Cornwall at Brimpts Farm.

On Monday, the Royal couple carried out a series of engagements in Penzance, Cornwall including visiting the Jubilee pool and Minack Theatre.

The visit will conclude on Wednesday, when Charles and Camilla will be in Plymouth.

Charles will attend a power plant which converts household waste into energy before meeting Naval personnel at Her Majesty's Naval Base, Devonport.

Meanwhile, Camilla will officially open the new headquarters of BBC South West.


From Belfast Telegraph