Doc Martin actor Martin Clunes helps on-screen baby

image captionMartin Clunes donated one of Doc Martin's suits, photographs and a signed script

A baby from Cornwall with a rare medical condition has been helped by the actor who plays his on-screen father and a fictional GP.

Martin Clunes plays the title role in ITV's Doc Martin, which is filmed in the Cornish village of Port Isaac.

Alfie Cane, from Truro - one of several babies to play the doctor's child - has a misshapen skull and is unable to support his own head.

His parents said Clunes had donated memorabilia to help fund a helmet.

The £2,000 helmet will help protect the six-month-old baby's head - which is already the size it should be for a child of four.

The NHS classes the misshapen skull as largely "cosmetic" and it could take up to a year for treatment.

Actor's script

However if the condition is left untreated, it can sometimes lead to complications.

Alfie's parents Tilly, 31, and Adrian, 40, who live in Truro and have three other children, decided to pay for private treatment.

Alfie, who played James Henry - the son of Dr Martin Ellington and his partner Louisa, appeared in every episode of the latest series which finished recently.

The fundraising campaign has already raised £1,400 and there have been donations from Doc Martin fans in the United States, who can access the programme on the internet.

The Doc Martin memorabilia arrived on the day Alfie was fitted for his helmet.

image captionDoc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac, Cornwall

"After a long tiring day out we came home to a big box of goodies from Martin Clunes," Mrs Cane said.

"It was just the tonic we needed."

It included Doc Martin's suit, the actor's signed script from episode eight, with a letter testifying it was his, photographs and a signed book.

Collectively the memorabilia could be worth thousands of pounds to fans who follow the show around the world.

Mrs Cane said Clunes was a "lovely man" and the family was so grateful for his generosity.

"He has actually played a part in the first three months of Alfie's life," she said.

Anything raised above the amount needed for Alfie's treatment will go to a charity which deals with his condition.

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