Poldark’s new villain Unwin Trevaunance is modelled on Roald Dahl’s Veruca Salt

Hugh Skinner reveals that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory's ghastly brat was his inspiration for the character who has joined the second series of the BBC1 drama


Hugh Skinner has been amusing Poldark fans as one of the new characters, prospective MP Unwin Trevaunance.


He’s a fortune hunter who wants to bag another Poldark newbie, the lovely Caroline Penvenen (Gabriella Wilde).

“He’s deeply unlikable, almost beyond redemption,” says Skinner who also played W1A’s posh, thick work experience Will Humphries, on-off boyfriend Harry in BBC2 comedy Fleabag and a buffoonish “Wills” in Channel 4’s royal satire The Windsors.

“Unwin is arrogant, needy, self-obsessed,” added Skinner. “I’m sort of a George Warleggan puppet, really. He’s very much the chief baddie. He just sort of uses Unwin to sort of further himself, really. Unwin’s an impressionable idiot, so he’s of use to George.”

But Skinner didn’t draw on any of today’s pantheon of political personalities for inspiration.

Oh no.

“To be honest, I thought more about spoiled, self-entitled brats. I thought about people more like Veruca Salt.”


If you need your memory jogging, here is Roald Dahl’s brattish creation from the famous 1971 American musical version of his book, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Poldark continues on BBC1 on Sunday nights at 9pm