Irish star of Poldark Aidan Turner slams BBC for releasing photos of him topless
The internet has been swooning over photos of a topless Poldark taken during filming of the BBC’s new Cornish period drama.
But Aidan Turner, who plays the title character, was unimpressed by the pictures being released on Twitter by the broadcaster.
The 31-year-old told Newsbeat: "Apparently it was common law at the time that when you were scything you had to take your top off. So I did.
"I don't know why the BBC are releasing photos of it. It's a bit strange. It's not a stripper show."
Perhaps producers were hoping to attract more viewers by posting the images before the show’s premiere on Sunday night.
And the strategy may have worked, judging by tweets saying the topless pictures were the main reason for tuning in.
Turner plays Ross Poldark, who returns from the American War of Independence to find that the woman he's in love with is engaged to someone else, his father is dead and his estate has gone to ruin.
The series launched to 7 million viewers and positive reviews, with complaints about Poldark’s “mascara scar” being a minor blip compared to the drubbing handed to the BBC’s last Cornwall-set drama Jamaica Inn, over “mumbling”.
Turner, who is best known for his part as Kili the dwarf in The Hobbit films and as a vampire in supernatural drama Being Human, promised a couple of bedroom scenes in Poldark but nothing gratuitous.
“It's sexy as hell,” he previously told reporters. “I have a nude swimming scene - I get naked a couple of times in it.
“I wasn't allowed any Cornish pasties because I'd get fat and I have to take my top off so much.”