Doc Martin star Joe Absolom refuses to leave Cornwall after final show

Doc Martin to come to 'dramatic conclusion' says Martin Clunes

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Joe Absolom, 43, who stars in the ITV comedy series as Al Large, has declared he will be staying put in Cornwall, despite the beloved show coming to an end. The actor initially moved to the coast 14 years ago to film the show, and has since put down roots. 

Much has changed for the actor since then, as he is now a dad of three to Lyla, 16, Casper, 11 and Daisy, nine. 

Born in Lewisham, London had been Joe’s native stomping ground far longer than the Welsh coastline was, but his affection for London steadily wore off during the years. 

When he first started filming Doc Martin, Joe and his family would often return to London when he wasn’t working but this stopped over a decade ago when Lyla was just five. 

He recalled having a quiet, intimate moment with his eldest child on the Cornish coast, and returned to London the next day to face a dreadful comparison. 

Joe said: “I remember sitting on the beach in Cornwall with [Lyla] on a day off from filming. She was asking where the tide had gone. 

“I made up some sort of hare-brained father’s explanation.

“We drove back to London the next day and unfortunately a teenager had just been murdered outside our local supermarket.

“There were lots of floral tributes and my daughter said, ‘what does RIP mean?’ 

“Within hours we’d gone from talking about where the tide goes to what RIP means.”

Already, the actor began considering living outside the city, realising that “maybe there was more to life”. 

However, in 2013, Joe’s decision became final when their London home was burgled by a gang of teenagers, as he told The Mirror. 

To make matters worse, Joe’s wife, Liz Brown, was alone at home with their two eldest children at the time as Joe was filming in Romania. 

The moment made Joe recall having his childhood home burgled, noting: “We live in London, it happens.”

While Joe was more at ease about the situation, Liz “was really affected” and the family moved to Cornwall permanently the next year. 

He admitted that Cornwall does still have crime, and London is not an entirely “awful” place to live, but it was the proximity to a lovely beach and his work on Doc Martin that convinced him of the move. 

Joe and Liz had met in a bar in 2002, shortly after he first appeared on Doc Martin, but only married in 2019.

Even now that the series has wrapped, it doesn’t look like the actor will be going anywhere. 

He said: “My children’s lives are in Cornwall now. Daisy was born here – she’s got clotted cream in the blood.”

The final episode of Doc Martin airs tonight at 9pm on ITV. 

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