Doc Martin star Martin Clunes used medical knowledge gleaned from his time spent playing the GP to stop surgeons operating on his wife.

Clunes, who is married to the show's producer Philippa Braithwaite, intervened when doctors said they wanted to perform what the actor insists was a "nonsensical" operation.

"She had an infection in her gall bladder and the surgeon was minded to take out her appendix. There was no infection in her appendix and instinct told me that it would be the wrong thing to do. So I took her home instead and she was treated there."

As Philippa's husband, Clunes explained, it was his prerogative to take his wife home. "But when I was chatting to hospital staff they handed me her medical notes to look at in a way they might not have with an ordinary member of the public. I do wonder whether there wasn't some confusion between me and Doc Martin."

The full interview is in the Reader's Digest September issue, just gone on sale.