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Poldark star Aidan Turner: ‘I have to fight to keep my clothes on!’

(Image credit: BBC/Mammoth Screen)

The wait is finally over for Poldark fans, as the second series arrives on BBC1 this Sunday (9pm). What's On TV were incredibly lucky to spend a day on set with the Poldark cast, where we had a revealing chat with Aidan Turner, who plays 18th century Cornish hero Ross Poldark...

Aidan Turner reveals what happens to Ross Poldark during the second series, and how he now has a big fight to keep his clothes on…

So where does the second series start? “It picks up almost immediately where it left off with Ross getting arrested at the side of the cliff. In the first episode Ross is having trouble with his company, about to go on trial and potentially having to face execution. It’s as bad as it’s ever been for them both. We cover three or four years during this series so Ross and Demelza go through quite a lot of ups and downs, as in any marriage.”

Are Ross and Demelza (Eleanor Tomlinson) still mourning the loss of their baby Julia, who died of putrid throat at the end of the first series? “Ross is trying to rally on and get through it. His way is just to plough on and convince himself it hasn’t really happened, keeping the mine going and keeping people fed. The industry’s on its knees and he’s trying to get everything going again. The death of his child has had a huge affect on him but he tends not to show it. He tries to hide it but eventually it all just blows up.”

There's a rocky road for Ross and Demelza in the second series of Poldark

There's a rocky road for Ross and Demelza in the second series of Poldark (Image credit: BBC/Mike Alsford)

Does Ross still have his eye on his former fiancée Elizabeth? “It’s that thing with first love, he doesn’t know quite how to let go. I don’t know if he’s fully aware of what their relationship is any more. There are times when he flirts with the notion of what could have been. But he’s a loyal guy and he’s committed to Demelza so he does everything in his power to stay good on that one.”

Can Ross ever get over his former flame Elizabeth?

Can Ross ever get over his former flame Elizabeth? (Image credit: BBC/Adrian Rogers)

Did it take long to get back into character? "I just put on the hat and got on with it! As soon as you jump on the horse or start running into scenes with people or you see them in costume, it just happens.”

Will there be more action this series? “Yeah, there’s a lot going on. There’s a big fight between Ross and George Warleggan, played brilliantly by Jack Farthing, and that was a big choreographed scene. It happens in the Red Lion pub and we were throwing digs at each other! And there’s a big ‘face in the fire’ moment. I love a good fight sequence.”

Poldark

Ross will be having a scrap with Warleggan (above) later in the series (Image credit: BBC/ Ellis Parrinder)

What’s happening with the mine? “Last year, the copper company Ross set up failed quite badly. He now decides to resurrect his father’s old mine and start digging a new tunnel that his dad had left unfinished. But it never really works out for Ross and the mine.”

He gets involved in smuggling this time, too. Is that a risk? “It seems to be in his blood and he just can’t let it go. He’s not out to make a bucket load of cash and go on the run. I think salt was something he wanted to smuggle in for the pilchards and for the markets.”

So does Ross get his shirt off and take another dip in the sea? “They were trying to make me do it but if it’s not in the books, I have a good excuse not to do it. I’m fighting the cause to keep my clothes on for this series!”

Are you surprised by the popularity Poldark achieved during its first series and when shown around the world? “I was very surprised the show was so successful. It’s so hard to make a hit TV show these days and I was really taken aback by the amount of people who tuned in. But I guess he’s a modern man in many ways. There’s something kind of enthralling and exciting about Ross. He makes decisions based on his gut response and feelings towards things and it’s generally for the good of the people.”

What did you think of those rumours about you being the cast as the next James Bond? “Oh I did read that! My mate and Hobbit co-star Luke Evans got GQ and he sent me a text. That was kind of fun.”

* Poldark series 2 begins on BBC1 on Sunday September 4 at 9.00pm