A CELEBRITY known for his love of Dorset will appear in a television programme exploring the county's literary links.

Actor Martin Clunes, who lives in Beaminster, will team up with actress, comedian and writer Mel Giedroyc for Britain by the Book

It will be screened on ITV1 on Wednesday, September 6 and will see the pair exploring the spectacular scenery and iconic locations made famous by some of Britain's favourite books and films.

In this funny, revealing and heart-warming travelogue, the two friends walk in the footsteps of Meryl Streep’s French Lieutenant’s Woman in Lyme Regis, stoke up the engine on a steam train ride through Enid Blyton country and having worked up a thirst, Mel and Martin sample Dorset’s finest cider on a farm overlooking magical Corfe Castle.

A boat trip to the world-famous Durdle Door on the breathtaking Jurassic coast proves challenging for the sea-sick Mel despite Martin’s best efforts at distracting her by reading bursts of Thomas Hardy and they meet, walk and talk with Raynor Winn, author of the blockbuster No. 1 best-selling novel The Salt Path.

Throughout this revealing and joyful episode Martin shares his love for Dorset, takes Mel to his favourite secret spot, explains how Peter O’Toole inspired him to get into acting and talks about the precious book his dad gave him as a boy, before his untimely death.

Martin, known for starring in Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin, says his relationship with Dorset happened 'incrementally and kind of organically.'

He said: "First we went to Corfe for a wedding and then the next day we were driving around slack jawed at the beauty of the place and the way it made us feel, so we casually started looking.

"Then, two years later, we bought a very handsome Georgian vicarage and started spending our weekends down here. Then we had Emily and everything changed when we decided that she would go to school down here. She’s 23 now and we can’t imagine living anywhere else."

  • Mel Giedroyc and Martin Clunes Explore Britain by the Book will be on ITV1 on Wednesday, September 6 at 9pm.