Daniel Radcliffe was keen to wallow in blood for his latest role in Sky Arts’ series A Young Doctor’s Notebook.

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The 23-year-old Harry Potter actor told the Radio Times: “It’s very, very funny, and equally grotesque and gruesome. I was worried that Sky would tone down the blood, but after we did the script read-through they said, ‘Keep the blood – it’s necessary to the story’.”

The series – which also stars Mad Men actor Jon Hamm, 41 – is based on the semi-autobiographical stories of Radcliffe’s favourite author, Mikhail Bulgakov.

Radcliffe added he wanted to tackle a different type of role after being inundated with scripts similar to his horror film The Woman in Black, which topped the UK box office earlier this year.

He said: “I went through four thrillers in a week and they were all kind of the same. Not that they were bad, they just didn’t interest me.

“Then I read this and I knew this was absolutely what I was going to do next, because it’s the most interesting and original thing that I’ve read. I’m essentially playing my favourite author, because it’s his story.”