IRISH actor Aidan Turner is set to play the lead in the BBC One remake of 1970s hit drama Poldark.
The Clondalkin native will bring the adventures of the 18th century Cornish hero Ross Poldark to a new generation, but admits that when he first joined the series he wasn’t aware of its popularity.
"I'd never heard of it, but when I told my parents I was going to play Ross they nearly had a fit," said Turner.
"The previous series was popular in Ireland. I guess because people could relate to it - the farming, the scenery, the horses."
Turner (The Hobbit Trilogy, Being Human) also admits that the role meant he needed to spend a significant amount of time getting physically fit ahead of filming.
"I was going to the gym a lot the first couple of months as I had a couple of topless scenes," he said.
"They didn't actually wear underwear at the time so it made it quite difficult to shoot some of the stuff we did.
"They would just wear the shirt and then tuck it in and around."
The eight-part series follows Ross Poldark as he returns to Cornwall from the American War of Independence, to find that his father has died, his fiancee Elizabeth is engaged to someone else and his house is in disarray.
Poldark – based on Winston Graham's books - will also star Alice in Wonderland actress Eleanor Tomlinson.
Turner will also next appear in Jim Sheridan's film The Secret Scripture.