British actor Martin Clunes called upon the medical knowledge he picked up while playing a fictional Tv doctor to stop surgeons carrying out an unnecessary operation on his wife.

Clunes played Dr. Martin Ellingham in British drama Doc Martin for seven years and used what he'd learned from the show's medical expert to step in and question surgeons' decision to operate on his wife, Philippa Braithwaite, who was a producer on the ITv series.

Doctors determined that Braithwaite needed surgery to remove her appendix but Clunes' basic medical knowledge made him realise that the operation was "nonsensical" and he decided to seek different treatment.

He tells Reader's Digest, "She had an infection in her gall bladder and the surgeon was minded to take out her appendix. There was no infection in her appendix and instinct told me it would be the wrong thing to do. So I took her home instead and she was treated there.

"You have to remember that British medical dramas are obliged to be accurate. You can't just make things up as they do on American shows. So we have a medical expert on the series and I have learned about certain conditions and procedures."