Doc Martin actor and local celebrity Martin Clunes was spotted helping out at a local butchers shop in west Dorset this month.

The star was pictured holding cuts of beef at Framptons of Bridport, at Market House on East Street on Friday, November 3, which was posted on the shop's Facebook page.

Martin, who owns Meerhay Farm near Beaminster, was curing his own meat in the photos with Billy Follett, Phil Frampton’s son-in-law and co-manager, ready for his Christmas lunch.

The post said: “Part-time actor, farmer and now butcher's apprentice Martin, visited us earlier today. Helping us stock the air dryer with his Dexter beef ready for Christmas.”

Mr Frampton said that Martin is a ‘really good’ friend of the shop and has regularly visited in the past.

South West Farmer:

“He’s a right character,” he said.

“I see him most weeks, we’ve known each other for 20 years - he pops in regularly to stock up on our steaks and sometimes even a cheeky pie,” Mr Frampton joked.

The Dexters beef in the photos were from a bull at Martin’s farm. The meat was about to go through the dry ageing process.

This means the meat will be stored with a salt cap filled with Himalayan salt that matures the beef better.

South West Farmer:

Mr Frampton revealed that people could have been buying meat from Martin’s farm in the past, but the celebrity has ‘started to cut back on the farming side of it’ at Meerhay.

“We sold his lamb in the past, back when he had a flock just outside Beaminster, now we just get the occasional Dexter beef,” he said.

Mr Frampton went on to say that he always takes care of Martin’s Christmas order.

Martin’s relationship with the butcher has been so longstanding that the actor has regularly referenced them on radio and TV, according to Mr Frampton.

“He’s always used our friendship as a two-way thing, he told us once he mentioned us on Radio 2 and when I said I didn’t believe him he said, ‘Have a listen’," he said.

Mr Frampton said that everyone always wants to know what Martin is up to, and described him as 'such a nice, genuine guy'.