MARTIN CLUNES: I learned to dive about 10 years ago with my wife Philippa when we went on holiday to Belize. We stayed at Ambergris Cay, and it was fantastic. I remember our instructor was Wonder Woman - well her name was Linda Carter, anyway. Very patient, she didnt even get cross when I ran out of air.
I think I made her a bit nervous after that, but I wasnt going to admit that I was sucking up all the air in my tank quicker than everyone else.

TIM ECOTT: Where have you been diving since
MC: We went to Hawaii, to Maui, where you swim through caves and into a volcanic chimney. It was like a circular library stretching up to the surface, except that it was lined with turtles rather than books. Fantastic.
Then we went to Grenada, which wasnt great. Philippa gets seasick, and the weather was rough and we all struggled to get in and out of the boat.
After that the next trip was to Bequia, St Vincent, which all got a bit dramatic.

TE: What happened
MC: Well, we did a couple of dives, and then Philippa started to feel a tingling sensation
in her hands and elbows.
We contacted the dive centre and they didnt want to know. They said we hadnt dived very deep, and really couldnt care less.
Anyway, the feeling didnt go away, and I started to get worried that this could be something serious.
Luckily I had a credit card, and we chartered a small plane to fly - at low altitude - to Barbados, where there was a chamber, and she was put in the pot for a few hours.
They gave her a saline drip and oxygen before that and it seemed to make things better, so we were sure it was the bends.

TE: Was that very frightening
MC: It wasnt nice, and it did put Philippa off diving, but I found it quite exciting and Ive got video of the whole experience.
While she was in the hospital I went and got a room at the famous Sandy Lane Hotel. I was quite thrilled because I spotted Bernard Matthews (the turkey farmer) in the lobby. I told the taxi driver who took me back to hospital, but hed never heard of Bernard Matthews - obviously.
I had to try to explain about the TV ads and where Norfolk was and all that. At the end of the conversation the driver eyed me in the mirror and said: So. He got a lot of turkeys, huh

TE: Did the incident put you off diving
MC: No, weve been to the Maldives a few times and Ive dived there. I love it. I love the turtles there, but Ive never had the crystal-clear waters anywhere that I experienced in Belize that first trip. The great thing about the Maldives - we stay at Soneva Fushi usually - is that you can dive in trunks and a T-shirt, its so lovely and warm.

TE: What about UK diving - do you want to try it
MC: I just have - up on Islay in Scotland. I was filming a series about the islands around Britain, and we thought it would be interesting to dive on the wreck of a puffer, one of the local boats that sank in 1917.

TE: How did that go
MC: Not very well. A complete disaster, really! They put me in a thick wetsuit and a full-face mask, which Id never used before. And the vis was rubbish and my buoyancy was all over the place. I couldnt really see the wreck and
I couldnt wait to get back to the surface - I doubt whether any of it will make it into the series.

TE: Did you go down again
MC: No way. I was very relieved to be back on the surface, and thankfully there wasnt enough time to shoot it again!

TE: Do you have any diving heroes
MC: Well, Cousteau of course. And I never forget his friend, ze group-air!

Watch out for a new ITV three-part documentary in which Martin Clunes visits some of the hundreds of Islands Of Britain and, in programme two, dives the Clyde puffer wreck off Islay.