A Hollywood star has featured in an episode of Doc Martin written to raise awareness of homelessness, inspired by Cornish charity St Petrocs.
Actor Danny Huston, who has starred alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in films such as The Aviator, appeared in an episode of Doc Martin which was broadcast on ITV last week.
Doc Martin creator and executive producer Mark Crowdy developed the storyline into the ninth series of the hit television show after learning about the work of Cornish homelessness charity St Petrocs.
Both Huston and Crowdy have offered St Petrocs exclusive interviews to speak about what motivated them to develop this storyline and to appear in this British TV show.
The episode focusses on a character (Danny Huston) who is being accused of stealing eggs. Later in the episode we understand this person has become homeless. The episode shines a spotlight on the issue of homelessness and challenges common misconceptions, helping audiences to understand that homelessness could happen to anyone.
Crowdy, a supporter of St Petrocs, attended the charity’s ‘Inspiring Cornwall’ conference at the Eden Project in 2017 and came away motivated to include a storyline to raise awareness of homelessness in Cornwall, a place often viewed primarily as a holiday destination.
He said: “Those who are homeless out there can be your brother, it can be your sister, it can be your best friend, it can be whoever, and it’s so easy to walk past these people. I ask, how can we not walk past? How can we help? What can we do to help these people who could so easily be us out there?”
“So that was really why we wanted to do this episode and when I talked to Philippa the Producer and the writers about it, they were all very quickly on board to try to make this work. It was a really really difficult one to make work because we didn’t want in any way to say there’s a sticking plaster for this situation.”
Huston added: “It means a lot to Mark and I, for me as an actor and for Mark as a film maker. It’s very important to us to feel that our work carries meaning, and if it can shed a little light, with St Petrocs’ help, on this very relevant subject about human dignity, then hopefully we’ve done our work.”