Why did Pauline leave Doc Martin?

Why Pauline Lamb left Doc Martin and Katherine Parkinson’s career updates

The actress portrayed Doc Martin's receptionist between 2005 and 2009

Grouchy TV GP Doc Martin has been through his fair share of receptionists in the past 17 years, but why did Pauline Lamb leave the Portwenn Surgery?

And what has the actress Katherine Parkinson been up to since?

Here’s everything you need to know!

Why did Pauline leave Doc Martin?
Katherine Parkinson appeared in the popular Malteser advert with Amanda Abbington (Credit: YouTube)

Read more: Pandemonium on BBC: Are Katherine Parkinson and Amanda Abbington related?

Why did Pauline leave Doc Martin?

Pauline Lamb was a beloved cast member of the ITV1 show for three series.

She appeared from 2005 to 2009 in series two, three and four.

The character replaced that of former receptionist – and famously incompetent – Elaine Denham in series one (played by Motherland‘s superb Lucy Punch).

However, without warning Pauline did not return for series five – something some fans felt miffed about!

Instead, Pauline was replaced by Jessica Ransom as new receptionist Morwenna Newcross.

At the time, one fan wrote: “Pauline has apparently been kidnapped by aliens, as she vanishes completely from the face of the earth.

“By far the strangest and most jarring bit of series five episode one was the sudden disappearance of Pauline.

“Pauline literally just vanishes, after we had multiple scenes of her in series four discussing her plans for new organisational systems at the surgery.”

Of course, in real life, receptionists come and go but Pauline was a popular character and many fans believed she deserved a send off!

In fact, new doctor Diana Dibbs (Joanna Scanlan) asks her husband to replace Pauline, who had moved on to a job in Bristol.

Why did Pauline leave Doc Martin?
Katherine and husband Harry attend the BAFTA TV awards at The Theatre Royal in London (Credit: Splash)

Why did Pauline leave Doc Martin? What were Pauline’s biggest storylines?

One of Pauline’s key storylines saw the receptionist decide to leave her job.

However, she is annoyed that the reference Doc Martin has given her states she is merely “competent”.

Pauline retaliates by staying at the surgery and ruling it with an iron fist!

The character, who dated Al Large, wasn’t just a secretary either.

Because of Doc Martin’s fear of blood, Pauline trained in Phlebotomy (testing and drawing blood) which gains her a promotion.

In series three, viewers discovered that Pauline suffered from a gambling problem.

As a result, she had put her own mother in debt.

Pauline’s gambling addiction finally came to a head when she was so distracted that she mixed up patient records, and her scooter was repossessed.

After an explosive confrontation, Martin insisted that Pauline get professional help with her addiction or be fired from his employ.

Other storylines saw Pauline taken prisoner by Jonathan Crosier (Chris O’Dowd).

He took Martin, Louisa, Terry and Pauline prisoner, demanding Al pick up a shipment of explosives, so he and Terry could carry out a planned robbery.

Why did Pauline leave Doc Martin?
Katherine Parkinson has appeared in Sherlock (Credit: BBC/YouTube)

Read more: Martin Clunes’ daughter Emily once popped up in Doc Martin – blink and you’d have missed her

Who played Pauline in Doc Martin?

Katherine Parkinson played Pauline in Doc Martin from 2005 to 2009.

Before winning the role, the actress was struggling to find work and was barely earning enough money to live on.

She has admitted that she was not far from giving it up and getting a ‘proper job’ when she got her lucky break playing the receptionist.

What else has Katherine Parkinson been in?

Katherine Parkinson has been on our TV screens since 2005, when she popped up in the TV movie Ahead of the Class.

That year, she won her big break as Pauline in Doc Martin – a role she played until 2009.

She is perhaps most famous for her role as Jen Barber in The IT Crowd, which she played between 2006 and 2013.

Katherine has also appeared in Inside No 9, The Honourable Woman, Humans, Defending the Guilty and Pandemonium.

Why did Pauline leave Doc Martin?
Katherine starred Rachel Jessop in Pandemonium (Credit: BBC)

How old is Katherine Parkinson and where is she from?

Katherine Jane Parkinson was born on March 9 1978 in Hounslow, London.

She is currently 43 years old.

Although her mum is English, her dad is the Northern Irish historian and author Alan Parkinson.

Does Katherine have a husband?

Katherine is married to fellow actor and comedian Harry Peacock.

They wed in 2009, and have two children together – daughters Gwendolyn, six, and Dora, eight.

Harry is best known for his role in Gulliver’s Travels and his recurring role as Ray Purchase in Toast of London.

The married couple starred together in the 2015 TV series The Kennedys.

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Doc Martin series 10 is set to air on ITV1 in 2022. Fans can stream series one to nine on BritBox.

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Helen Fear
TV Editor