Poldark star Aidan Turner happily picked his horse for the hit TV drama – after discovering it would make him appear bigger.
The heartthrob actor, 34, is returning for the fourth series of the Cornwall-set saga with his trusted horse Seamus, who has been with him since the first episode of Poldark.
Turner told Radio Times: “When I first went up to Yorkshire to choose a horse, Seamus wasn’t my favourite.
“Initially, I preferred a horse called Jonny Wilkinson because he’s a lot bigger and quite a goer. The two of us together made trainer Mark (Atkinson) quite nervous, so he persuaded me to go with Seamus.
“Cleverly, he said, ‘You look great on Jonny, but you look better on Seamus – he’s smaller, so he makes you look bigger.’ I immediately switched horse!”
Turner, who plays Captain Ross Poldark in the BBC1 period drama, said of his affection for the animal: “I do pet and hug him a lot. And sleep on him. Between scenes I sometimes have a snooze. We really are close.”
But the actor, who said he and his horse have “similar personalities”, admitted his co-star Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) is the better rider.
“So much for Poldark saving his damsel in distress – in reality it’s more than likely the other way around!,” he said.
Turner said of plans for a fifth series, rumoured to be the last: “More riding, less House of Commons, please! Because I don’t know if anything will ever beat riding along that beach for me.”
A recent shot of the star in the new, fourth series showed him without his shirt on once again – sparking controversy about double standards for men and women in TV dramas.