Actor Martin Clunes has been dropped from a car insurance campaign after being disqualified from driving.

The Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin star had featured in Churchill Insurance's television adverts alongside the company's trademark nodding dog for almost a year.

But it is understood the 50-year-old, who lives with his family in Dorset, was deemed no longer compatible with car insurance advertising.

The decision was taken after he informed the company he had reached 12 points on his licence for speeding offences and was banned by magistrates under totting up rules.

A spokesman for Churchill said: "We have worked with Martin Clunes in a brand advertising campaign since December 2011.

"Martin Clunes recently informed Churchill Insurance that his driving licence has been suspended after he accumulated penalty points for four speeding offences.

"Churchill Insurance currently has no adverts with Martin Clunes on air and will be moving forward with new advertising in the New Year."

It is not clear where the offences happened or how fast Clunes was travelling.

His agent, Independent Talent Group, has not responded to requests for comment.

During a 2004 appearance on the Star In A Reasonably Priced Car feature on the BBC's Top Gear programme, Clunes was described as an "incredibly brave" driver with "no experience of track driving".

At the time he said he was driving a BMW 6 Series but that his real love was for campervans.

According to Marketing Magazine, the ads were part of a marketing exercise thought to cost in the region of £50 million.

Clunes and an animatronic version of the Churchill dog travel together on a Triumph motorbike and sidecar through the English countryside, helping out neighbours in trouble.

Referring to Clunes, marketing director Amanda Walker told the magazine: "He is highly credible and consumers have grown up with him, so he lends extra trust to the campaign."

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