Long-running medical comedy-drama Doc Martin has been on our screens since 2004 and gathered a loyal fan base. But alas, now the end is near – and Martin Ellingham is facing his final curtain.


Doc Martin's 10th and final season aired earlier this year, marking Martin Clunes's last stint as the cantankerous, haemophobic GP. But fans will be delighted to learn that the Doc will be back on our screens for one last time in this year's Christmas special.

In an interview about the episode, Clunes told ITV: "You can imagine the doctor isn’t too keen on Christmas for his own tortured reasons."

Alongside Clunes, Caroline Catz and Eileen Atkins are returning for the special, as well as a handful of guest stars including Ron Cook and Claire Bloom.

As we prepare to say goodbye to Clunes and his co-stars, why not read on for a refresh of the central cast and who they play?

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Who’s in the cast of Doc Martin?

Martin Clunes plays Dr Martin Ellingham

Doc Martin with his arms crossed stood by the coast

Who is Dr Martin Ellingham? Martin is a former GP, known for his grumpy demeanour and fear of blood. At the end of the last season he quit his job following a investigation into his career by the General Medical Council, but now as he makes efforts to tackle his blood phobia he also wonders whether he made the right decision. He's married to former teacher Louisa, with whom he has a young son, James Henry, and a new daughter, Mary Elizabeth.

Where have I seen Martin Clunes before? Clunes, who has played the eponymous 'Doc' since 2004, has starred in both television and film, including the role of Richard Burbage in the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love and the laddish Gary in all six series of Men Behaving Badly. More recently, he has appeared in series such as Manhunt, Vanity Fair and Warren.

Caroline Catz plays Louisa Ellingham


Who is Louisa Ellingham? Louisa is Martin's long-suffering wife and a former primary school teacher, who is now children's counsellor. She is now using the Doc's former surgery for her work. The couple have shared a tumultuous history, but their relationship is finally back on track.

Where have I seen Caroline Catz before? Catz has previously played detectives in DCI Banks and Murder in Suburbia, and portrayed a policewoman in The Vice and The Bill. She has recently appeared in The Canterville Ghost and McDonald & Dodds.

Ian McNeice plays Bert Large


Who is Bert Large? In season 9, plumber-turned-restaurateur Bert found himself struggling with his lack of influence over business dealings – and the cash register - since the family business was handed over to Al.

Where have I seen Ian McNeice before? You may recognise McNeice from Edge of Darkness and Rome, in addition to his role as former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Doctor Who back in 2010 and his recent small roles in The Sandman and Foundation.

Joe Absolom plays Al Large


Who is Al Large? In season 9 Al was struggling to keep things afloat now that he's overseeing the family business, but at the end of the season he got married to Morwenna, in a wedding officiated by Joe Penhale.

Where have I see Joe Absolom before? Absolom previously appeared in The Bill and Casualty, and is perhaps best known for playing Matthew Rose in EastEnders. In more recent years he has also appeared in The Bay and Death in Paradise.

Dame Eileen Atkins plays Aunt Ruth


Who is Aunt Ruth? Martin's aunt, a retired forensic psychiatrist, has a formidable reputation in the sleepy Cornish village of Portwenn.

Where have I seen Eileen Atkins before? You'll no doubt recognise prolific actress Dame Eileen Atkins from her BAFTA-winning performance in Cranford to Upstairs Downstairs, Psychoville and, more recently, her depiction of Queen Mary in The Crown and Madame Kozlova in Paddington 2.

Selina Cadell plays Mrs Tishell


Who is Mrs Tishell? Pharmacist Mrs Tishell has long carried a flame for Martin and has not been afraid to let it be known.

Where have I seen Selina Cadell before? The actress has appeared in (among other things) Love, Nina, Lab Rats, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, and as a teacher in the 2008 teen movie Wild Child.

John Marquez plays PC Joe Penhale


Who is PC Joe Penhale? Scatter-brained policeman Joe recently officiated his friends Al and Morwenna's wedding, and is now back to trying to keep the peace and the streets clear.

Where have I seen John Marquez before? Marquez has appeared in series such as In the Club, in which he played Ray Wilson, as well as long-running shows including Death in Paradise and EastEnders. In 2019 he played Felix in Britannia.

Jessica Ransom plays Morwenna Newcross


Who is Morwenna Cross? Morwenna was Martin's loyal secretary before he quit his job, and is now working at the local estate agents. She's now married to Al Large after their wedding at the end of season 9.

Where have I seen Jessica Ransom before? Ransom is best known for her long-running part in much-loved children's series Horrible Histories, for which she won a BAFTA for playing Mary, Queen of Scots.

Robyn Addison plays Janice Bone

Robyn Addison Doc Martin
Robyn Addison Getty

Who is Janice Bone? Martin and Louisa's former nanny, series eight saw Janice get married to PC Joe and then they later split. But as the series draws to a final close, could love be back on the cards for the former couple?

Where have I seen Robyn Addison before? Addison has starred in Survivors, Casualty and has voiced the companion Sera in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

Ron Cook plays Leonard

Doc Martin Christmas Special 2022
Martin Clunes as Doc Martin, Caroline Catz as Louisa, James, Mary and Ron Cook as Leonard. ITV

Who is Leonard? Leonard is a guest star in this year's Christmas episode as Santa Claus. After Martin suspects that he may be contagious, he shuts down his grotto but it's not long before Leonard and the Doc cross paths again, with Leonard imparting some festive wisdom to the beloved doctor.

Where have I seen Ron Cook before? Cook has starred in a variety of well-known roles in Mr Selfridge, Death in Paradise, The Salisbury Poisonings and Andor.

Claire Bloom plays Margaret Ellingham

Claire Bloom Doc Martin
Claire Bloom Getty

Who is Margaret Ellingham? Margaret is Martin's mother, who we learn is one of the more pivotal parts of this year's Christmas episode for a variety of reasons.

Where have I seen Claire Bloom before? Bloom has appeared in Doc Martin before as Margaret but the well-known English actress has had a long career in stage productions, film and TV. She starred in Limelight, The King's Speech, Doctor Who and New Tricks.

Also starring in the Christmas 2022 special is Elliott Blake as James, Angela Curran as Caitlin and Emma Amos as Agatha Higgins.

The Doc Martin Christmas special 2022 will air on ITV1 at 9:05pm on Christmas Day. Doc Martin is also available to stream on BritBox. Sign up for a 7-day free trial.

Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide or Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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