Shark tales: Martin Clunes dives off Western Australia

Magical creatures and remote communities excite the actor and writer, who immerses himself in Australia’s coastal waters for his new TV series

There are lots of remote communities in Australia, but there’s something different about an island. Maybe it’s the water, a kind of moat mentality. I’ve lived in a village and they can be pretty back-stabbing, whereas on a small island, if you have a problem you sort it out because you can’t run away. You can’t ignore things. We were in the Abrolhos Islands, off the west coast, for Anzac Day, and there were lots of drunk Aussies playing [traditional gambling game] Two Up. But it was a terrific atmosphere. There’s wild abandon, but also a lot of money raised for charity.

Filming for the Islands of Australia series was a big task. It involved journeys to and from 16 islands. It wasn’t until we stopped that it sunk in how enormous an undertaking it was. I don’t think we ever went from one to another. There was always a hub involved, and the loading of kit on and off planes and cars, but it was worth it.

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