The hairy-chested REAL star of Polbark! Barley the heart-stealing lurcher has become so popular that filming of the new Poldark series has to be scheduled around him
- Five-year-old lurcher cross Barley plays Garrick on the hit BBC show Poldark
- He has been given a pay rise and the crew film the show around his schedule
- Star of the show Aidan Turner said: ‘‘He’s a lovely dog – he just works more than me so I’m slightly jealous!’
He is the hairy-chested star of Poldark who melts hearts whenever he’s out in the fields, feeling the sun on his back.
No, not Aidan Turner, but the one co-star able to steal a scene from the heart-throb actor: Barley the dog.
Now the five-year-old lurcher cross, who plays Demelza’s beloved pet Garrick, has been given a pay rise which befits his status. The dog is now in such demand that producers of the hit BBC1 drama have had to hike the fee to make sure he doesn’t defect to rival projects.
Even so, shooting of the fourth series, which airs this summer, had to be scheduled around his availability.
Five-year-old lurcher cross, who plays Demelza’s beloved pet Garrick, has been given a pay rise which befits his status
Barley with actor Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) on the set of the BBC programme
Executive producer Karen Thrussell said: ‘He is never, ever off-screen, but he’s quite often not available. We have to schedule around him. We’ve had to agree with his agent to put up his fees’
Turner, who plays smouldering Captain Ross, joked: ‘He’s a lovely dog – he just works more than me so I’m slightly jealous!’
But he admitted his canine co-star could be difficult, saying: ‘I do love him, you know… But he’s a working dog so you just don’t get affection. He’s just hunting for the treat all the time and he’s a little bit snappy.’
Barley, who was discovered at Battersea Dogs Home, is a talented stunt dog who can bark on cue and walk on his hind legs. He cut his acting teeth on adverts for Asda and Sainsbury’s, while his recent big-screen credits include the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
BBC bosses are keeping the plotlines of the new series of Poldark a closely guarded secret. But The Mail on Sunday can reveal there is ‘catastrophic happening’ in the first episode which will have fans reaching for their tissues. Readers of the original novels will know what to expect but we are remaining tight-lipped to avoid spoiling the surprise.
On a happier note, the romance between Demelza’s brother Drake and Morwenna is going strong, even though it sometimes seemed doomed last series.
Morwenna Chynoweth (Ellise Chappell) and Drake Carne (Harry Richardson) in Poldark
In an exclusive interview with Event magazine today, Harry Richardson and Ellise Chappell, who play the two lovers, insist their love is too strong to be broken.
Chappell said: ‘The last series ended with a feeling they still love each other really deeply.’ Richardson added: ‘It says a lot about their love that being kept apart strengthens them. Drake is like a dog with a bone.’
Barley’s agent Gill Raddings last night admitted the dog was now earning more than he did for the first series of Poldark in 2015.
Ms Raddings, who has also supplied dogs for Doc Martin and Midsomer Murders, said: ‘My costs have changed.’
Screen dogs can earn small fortunes. Moose, the Jack Russell who played Eddie on US sitcom Frasier, reportedly earned £6,000 per episode.
But Ms Raddings has previously said Barley doesn’t earn ‘anywhere near’ £1,000 a day.
Aidan Turner, who plays smouldering Captain Ross, joked: ‘He’s a lovely dog – he just works more than me so I’m slightly jealous!’
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