Stephanie Cole Reveals Why She Left Doc Martin

Auntie Joan was one of the most beloved characters on ITV’s hit series Doc Martin, but if you’ve been paying attention to the news surrounding the series, you’ll know that she won’t be returning when series 5 commences. The series, which premieres on ITV next month in the UK, will instead feature Joan’s sister, Auntie Ruth, who comes to Portwenn under unknown circumstances.

But why is Auntie Joan departing? Actress Stephanie Cole says it’s because she doesn’t want to stay in one place for too long: “With TV, after four series I always say, ‘Thank you, that’s the end of it!’ That’s why I left Doc Martin – there are other mountains to climb, other rivers to swim,” Cole shared with the TV Times magazine. “I absolutely respect people who spend a long time doing one thing, but I’m not made like that.”

The 69-year-old Cole will move on to a role in the British soap Coronation Street, in which she will play “mother-in-law from hell” Sylvia Goodwin.

It’s sort of hard to understand how she felt limited, considering Doc Martin‘s every-other-year filming schedule, but we wish Cole the best. It’ll be interesting to see how Auntie Joan is written out come series 5.

Series 5 premieres September 12 on ITV in the UK, and will air on PBS in the U.S. in 2012.

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  • Regina

    Even as a Yankee from the U.S. I have always been a fan of Miss Cole and I will miss her on Doc Martin. Hope to see you again soon. Good luck and God bless.

  • Brenda johnston

    I have always enjoyed Stephanie Coles acting since I first saw her in waiting for god. I will miss her feisty character in doc Martin. Good luck in your next adventure

  • Vixter

    LOVED LOVED LOVED when she shuts the brat tormenting her chickens into the coop.

    Bye Joan!

  • Joanne Kundra

    I am sorry that she left since she seemed more excited about the upcoming birth of her first great-nephew than her own nephew, Doc Martin himself. To find out she left (or died) on the series before seeing the baby was a real bummer but I wish her all the best.

  • Lynda

    what a shock last night ! all of a sudden you were gone !thank you for your time on doc martin. i also loved your locking the child in the chicken coop !

  • Angie

    I’m sad to see you go, I thought you were the best thing for the Doc. I will miss you very much. I hope to be able to see you soon;) Thank you very much!

  • Margaret Scarborough

    I loved Auntie Joan and though I understand now why she was written out of the story, I miss her. And it almost broke my heart that she died the very next day after James Henry was born. Best of everything to you, Stephanie Cole!

  • http://n/a Victoria M.

    We loved your acting on Doc Martin and we wish you all the stars possible in your future endeavors.

  • kman

    People don’t realize how good they have it, till it’s gone. Well at least she wasn’t like her coun’ter part’s in the U.S.A. where everything is money or i’ll quit!

    • Katkins

      That’s hogwash! Not everyone in the US is motivated by the desire for money. You are casting stereotypes of the American people. Most people enjoy their trade, and the paycheck is often secondary to their craft. Shame on you!

      • Brian_R_Allen

        Envy does that to a man.

        Bit pathetic, actually.

  • Dan Pieniak

    I always enjoyed Stephanie’s Auntie Joan character on Doc Martin….. But Auntie Ruth seems to be quite a hoot, so I’m enjoying her right now :-)

  • Barbara Fowler

    Aunt Joan was my favorite character on Doc Martin. I will really miss her! She reminds me of former president’s wife, Barbara Bush! Love her too :-)

  • Just me

    I wish if she had known that they would have written her out at the end of the season rather than her just being gone. They tend to do that with this series characters are just gone in the next season with little explanation. Dissapointing.