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.