Actor Martin Clunes, famed for Doc Martin and Men Behaving Badly, has gone globe trotting for ITV documentary Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific.

His voyage was inspired by reading a book given to him when he was a child by his father about the Kon-Tiki expedition across the Pacific.

Martin was hooked by their adventure – the unexplored desert islands and the amazing sea life.

The Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean on the planet, covering 63 million square miles, is strewn with tens of thousands of islands 

Martin says: “For centuries we’ve been sold the idea that paradise on earth is here in the Pacific Islands. But in our uncertain, changing world, how much of that paradise is left, and how long can it survive?”

Martin began his journey in 2019 for the first series of Islands of the Pacific. But his travels were halted by the pandemic. He resumed his travels in 2022 to discover more about the magical islands of the Pacific for a new series.

He said: “Three years ago, a worldwide pandemic brought my journey across the Pacific to an abrupt halt.  But, thankfully, I was able to return to do more exploring.”  

His journey began in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, followed by New Britain, which sits in the middle of the Bismarck Sea, just 250 kilometres north of the Trobriand Islands.  

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Martin in the PhilippinesMartin in the Philippines (Image: ITV)

The next stage of Martin’s journey took him to the Philippines.

He said: “I’ve absolutely loved my time in the Philippines, and even though I’ve only got to visit three of the 7,000 or so islands, I’ve got a real sense of this unique part Pacific island, part Asian, strong Spanish influences.

“Everybody works so hard for their church, their village, their community and their tribe, and all smiley, happy, laughing, welcoming people.  It’s a real gem.”

The final leg of Martin’s island-hopping journey can be seen on ITV1 on Monday evening at 9pm in which he journeys to Micronesia, a remote region of the Pacific east of the Philippines.

His first stop is the island of Guam, where he sees how the Ko’ko, a flightless bird driven to the edge of extinction by the Brown Tree Snake, is being re-introduced back into the wild.

On the tiny island state of Palau, Martin also hears about attempts to halt the decline in Hawksbill turtle numbers. Palau is also home to the only population of Dugongs, the shy, elusive, sea mammals, in Micronesia. Despite being declared extinct in China, numbers here look stable thanks to successful marine management and the pandemic.

*You can catch up with Martin Clunes: Islands of the Pacific on the streaming service ITVX.

Source link