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My Favourite Places: Actor Tristan Sturrock

Cornish-born actor Tristan Sturrock is back on home turf to film the new season of Poldark so we grabbed him for a chat about his favourite local haunts.

Unless you’ve been thrown in Bodmin Assizes for wrecking the past few months, you won’t need reminding that Poldark returns to BBC 1 this weekend.  Turns out Tristan Sturrock, who plays Zacky Martin, grew up on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

You’ll know Tristan from theatre (most recently in a touring production of Rebecca) and telly’s Doc Martin, Wycliffe, Bad Girls plus loads of radio work – he’s in a radio 4 thriller at the mo that Mr MC and I have on podcast – and this week he’s back in Cornwall filming Season 3 of Poldark.

I caught up with him while he has having his beard fitted (spoiler alert – he’s not that hairy in real life!). He was as refreshingly as pragmatic as the salt of the earth Cornish pioneer he portrays – no unicorn meat sandwiches or peacock feather dressing gown on Tristan’s rider!

While he can’t spill the beans on any filming locations (one of those ‘I’d have to kill you’ situations), being local, he’s uber qualified to give us the low down on some Cornwall’s hidden gems.

Sterts Theatre, Upton Cross

An obvious choice of course, since I grew up here. My parents created Sterts Art and Environment Centre back in the 80’s fulfilling a need for a creative centre in the area. I wasn’t ever pushing into acting though, I enjoyed creative arts and thought perhaps I’d end up in graphic design. Dad’s influence on me was far more subtle, we were all encouraged to do what we enjoyed.  I remember when Sterts was just a pig farm. Every time I go back, I’m amazed by the planting, how the trees and site have matured.

Hannafore Beach, Looe

Image: Visit Cornwall

Before we moved to Upton Cross, Dad taught English in Looe, and we spent many happy times times down on the beach at Hannafore. When there’s a low spring tide you can walk across to St Georges Island. Its great for rockpooling.


I’d helped Charles Causley (the poet and writer) with his shopping when I was younger and spent alot of time in Launceston – we used to go to the cinema there as kids. We all have our pasty favourites, and mine is without a doubt Malcolm Barnecutt in Launceston. There’s also a fantastic newish independent burger bar Firebrand – we piled down there with the kids recently for my niece’s birthday.


Padstow Harbour

I bought my first house in Padstow with my wife Katy, also an actor and producer. It’s where I spectacularly broke my neck after falling from a wall during may day celebrations in 2004. [Tristan later wrote a play about his recovery]. The north coast line around Padstow is breathtaking and there are plenty of fantastic walks between Rock, Padstow and Polzeath.

Vault Beach, Gorran Haven

Vault is really special to me for a number of reasons. First, my son was born near by. Above the beach is Lamledra Barns, home to the Knee High Theatre Company I joined at 18 and have been involved with ever since, though now mostly on the R&D side. This part of the Cornish coast is beautiful, comparatively unspoiled and well looked after. The beach changes in quite a spectacular way depending on the tide – sometimes rocky, sandy at low tide.

So what can we expect from Zacky in Season 2? “He continues to be a real rock for Ross: strong, somewhat standoffish. He represent voice of reason, offering drops of wisdom at just the right time.To me, he’s a real Cornish hero.”

Me too Tris!

3 comments on “My Favourite Places: Actor Tristan Sturrock”

  • Ian Pemberton June 6, 2018

    We first caught sight of Tristan at a local comprehensive, where he had been schooled yet was returning to perform with Kneehigh, not the most common reason for revisiting an alma mater. His performance verstility in that show was striking. When he took over, as an emegency understudy at short notice, in his late dad’s production of ‘The Recruiting Officer’ at Sterts Theatre, which I was in, I cannot to this day be sure whether he really learned the lines or skilfully improvised his parablagged way through. It was a tribute to his Kneehigh (and other) training.

    I don’t think the audience noticed or knew either so we’ll all be turning on Poldark on Sunday, regardless!

  • Nanastig September 5, 2016

    I live in Upton cross so know what he’s talking about

  • Nanastig September 5, 2016

    What a thoroughly nice bloke


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