Poldark gets second series as BBC confirms Aidan Turner to return as Cornish hero Ross

Ross and Demelza will continue to cheer up our Sunday nights

Be still our beating hearts. Aidan Turner is set to make a return as Ross Poldark after the BBC signed him up for a second series of the hit Sunday night drama.

The Cornish saga which follows the fortunes of two sides of the Poldark family in their endeavours to keep the declining copper mining industry profitable has been a ratings success for the BBC, pulling in an average audience of 8 million.

Eleanor Tomlinson will also return as as Demelza in a new eight-part series written by Debbie Horsfield that will cover books three and four of Winston Graham's series.

Poldark’s appeal has been largely credited to Turner himself who, as brooding soldier-turned-businessman Ross who returns from war to find his beloved engaged to his cousin, has won legions of female fans.

Scenes showing him swimming naked in the sea and then working topless with a scythe in a field have drawn plenty of attention and The Independent's critic hailed his "credentials as television’s new romantic hero " adding "Darcy’s wet shirt now looks so prudish by comparison".

But Turner criticised the BBC for releasing a photograph of him without a top on – which subsequently went viral – telling Newsbeat: "I don't know why the BBC are releasing photos of [me]. It's a bit strange. It's not a stripper show."

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Aidan Turner said it was 'strange' the BBC posted topless pictures of him on Twitter

A question and answer session online saw Turner bombarded with questions such as "How do I refrain from licking my flatscreen TV?" and "Can you scythe my lawn topless?"

The drama, based on Winston Graham's novels, was originally made for TV in the 1970s when it attracted audiences of 15 million and the remake has helped BBC One to its highest share of an audience in a decade.

Figures released by the corporation show it won a quarter (25.2%) of viewers in peak times in the first three months of the year with strong showings from programmes including EastEnders, Still Open All Hours and Call The Midwife.

BBC One controller Charlotte Moore said it had been "an outstanding start" to the year.

She said: "We aim to maintain that momentum and continue to move with the times and bring audiences a range of distinctive, high quality programmes that feel relevant and reflect the diversity of modern Britain.

"It's exciting to see BBC One being recognised today as the most nominated channel in this year's Bafta TV Awards.

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