DORSET’S Doc Martin star Martin Clunes has turned down the chance to earn mega-bucks in America – so he could stay on his farm in Beaminster.

Martin was in the frame to play the grumpy doc in a US version of the hit ITV series but has said that the idea of relocating to the States did not appeal.

He said: “I’m more successful than I ever expected or planned to be and I didn't think I needed to go overseas just to improve my career. Maybe if the opportunity had arisen a few years earlier it would have been a different story.

“When my wife Philippa and I first met, and we were mucking around with movies, we talked quite seriously about upping sticks and just spending a year or so in America.

“But neither of us would entertain the idea now – not for a moment – because we have too nice a life in Britain.”

Mr Clunes isn’t even taking on any work in this country for the summer so he can really settle down to enjoy a break with his family and his beloved animals.

The Clunes family moved to Buckham Down from Power-stock three years ago having found somewhere with 20 acres of land to indulge the family passion for horses – having 12 at the last count.

Not content with their own horses the couple have taken on two rescue horses.

“Philippa knew about the Amersham horses there was such a fuss about 18 months ago.

“We wanted a yearling to go out with our foal when she’s weaned and thought we might be able to help them.

“But those horses are too traumatised with what they’ve been through so we went to this place in Blandford.

“We found an Appaloosa X New Forest yearling and then there was Oliver the miniature Shetland.

“It’s hard thinking about the ones you leave behind and you wonder if you can have just one more but no that’s enough,” said Mr Clunes.

Martin did have to spend almost three weeks in the US filming the two-part ITV1 documentary Horsepower, which airs a week on Sunday.

But travelling to film it – not only in America but in Mongolia, France and Ireland – and was a labour of love for the man now equally famous for his love of dogs and horses as for his TV characters.

The first part of Horsepower is on the same day as Buckham Down Fair on August 22 – now an annual fixture that last year made more than £11,000 for Julia’s House children’s hospice charity appeal.