Since hitting our screens in 2015, Poldark has become one of the most talked about shows on the BBC. While the scripts and acting are both fantastic of course, some fans find themselves tuning in because they've got a crush on a certain Ross Poldark. Remember Aidan Turner's Poldark photo that went viral three years ago? Yeah, the topless one. People are still talking about it.
But while some fans might feel incredibly grateful that the picture in question made it into the public domain in the first place, not everyone was so happy about it behind the scenes. In fact, 34-year-old Turner has revealed that there was a bit of tiff that took place on set the day the snap was taken. During an interview on The Graham Norton Show on Friday, the actor admitted that he was subjected to a little telling off just moments before he got in front of the camera.
"The chairman of the Scything Association came to give me lessons but I didn't think the proper way to do it looked very impressive so I just went for it," Turner told Norton. "He tried to give me notes but I didn't take any notice and he left in a bit of a huff." Oh dear. Hopefully all has been forgiven now.
The shirtless picture caused controversy back in 2015 after becoming one of the year's most talked about images. Opening up a conversation about the objectification of men on TV, Turner was forced to explain why he needed to be topless to perform the agricultural task. "Apparently it was common law at the time that when you were scything you had to take your top off. So I did," he told Newsbeat, admitting that it was "a bit strange" that the BBC used it for promotion.
Despite the fiasco, the BBC have used the same tactic for the fourth series which will be airing later this month. Instead of getting sweaty in the fields, Poldark is seen walking out of the sea wearing nothing but a pair of trousers.
However, Poldark bosses have said they did take the objectification viewpoint on board and believe they have been tasteful compared to the original books, which regularly depict the main character naked. Speaking at a screening of the first episode of series four, the Evening Standard quoted executive producer Karen Thrussell as saying: "In the novels Ross Poldark goes swimming quite a lot, and he doesn’t wear anything at all. We’ve been true to the books and the novels and we’ve also been quite modest."
Producers have confirmed that Poldark Series 4 will premiere on BBC One on Sunday June 10 at 9pm. The new season, which is set in Cornwall, will begin with the aftermath of Poldark's wife's affair. In the third series, viewers saw Demelza, played by British actress Eleanor Tomlinson, cheat on her husband and fall into the arms of young Hugh Armitage.
In an interview with Radio Times, Turner praised the realistic portrayal of the couple's marriage. "I think we tackle it in a very real way. It's something an audience will understand," he told the magazine. "[Poldark and Demelza] might start off a bit rocky and they might try to figure things out. It's a very real relationship, these things can happen in a marriage."
If you're a Poldark fan, you'll be glad to know that a fifth series has already been commissioned by the BBC. You might want to hold back the tears of joy, however, as it is believed by many to be the last.
Turner was joined by fellow acting talent Ethan Hawke and Toni Collette on The Graham Norton Show along with ex-One Directioner Liam Payne and comedian Jo Brand. Along with plenty of Poldark gossip, the actor, who rose to fame as vampire Mitchell in supernatural series Being Human, also mentioned his ballroom dancing past. "That is a bit of a secret," he said. "I should have stuck at it but it was too disciplined."
Could a spell on Strictly Come Dancing be in the pipeline? Here's hoping.
The Graham Norton Show airs on BBC One, Fridays at 10.35 p.m.