There was only ever one actor fit to play Ross Poldark in the latest incarnation of the classic TV series, according to the show’s writer.
Being Human actor Aidan Turner was the controversial choice to take the lead role in the Poldark production – a remake of the 1970s series based on the books of Winston Graham and set in Cornwall.
Spooks star Richard Armitage had previously been tipped by fans to play the brooding hero but the series writer, Debbie Horsfield, said Turner was the only actor considered for the part.
Mrs Horsfield took part in a question and answer session with the Facebook group, Winston Graham - Author of Poldark And So Much More.
She said she had “a shortlist of one” when considering which actor would be best suited to take on the role first made famous by Robin Ellis.
She said: “We didn't screen-test anyone else. I normally don't think about casting while I'm writing the scripts but it became clear to me during the middle of last year that we would need someone pretty spectacular to take on the role of Ross.
“Someone who could convey the complexity of the part, look the part, be young enough to play a man in his early twenties but who could, if all went well and we were fortunate enough to be able to do all 12 books, convincingly play the Ross of later years.”
Mammoth Screen, the production company behind the new show, previously faced criticism from Val Adams, founder of Poldark Appreciation Society who said: “May I politely point out that the fans of Poldark - at least 85 percent of them - are not happy with the choice of Aidan Turner.
“I am sure he is a great actor, although most had never heard of him, and a very nice person, but Ross Poldark he ain't.”
But Mrs Horsfield said Turner was a perfect fit for Winston Graham’s description of Ross as having an “unusual face with its strongly set cheekbones, wide mouth and large strong white teeth”.
She said: “Who had the ability, the charisma, the look to take on such a formidable task? I had a short-list of one. Mammoth Managing Director Damien Timmer had had exactly the same thought.
“We didn't screen test Aidan. We knew his work. We knew he was perfect. We sent him the scripts. He loved them. There was never anyone else in the frame.”