Sam Heughan.
Sam Heughan. PHOTO Jordan Straussaap

Sam the man we love

HE'S the hot Scot who has set millions of hearts a flutter, reinvigorated Scotland's tourism, and sent whisky sales through the roof.

He looks sensational in a kilt, melts hearts with one word - "Sassenach" - and gives new meaning to "nice".

He's actor Sam Heughan, and the phenomenon he is part of is Outlander, the series adapted from eight epic novels, the first written more than 20 years ago by American author Diana Gabaldon.

Heughan, adored by fans of both the books and the series, brings to life one of modern fiction's most loved heroes - James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser - the Scottish warrior who marries Claire Randall, a British nurse transported 200 years back in time to 18th century Scotland.

On the eve of the show's return, the Scottish heart throb was humble about his cult status, telling Weekend Magazine he felt overwhelmed by the support from Aussie and Kiwi fans.

In Sydney on a whistle-stop, world-wide promotion for the series' return, Heughan mixed with fans out and about town, happy to pose in selfies, loving the "fun nature and enthusiasm of beautiful Aussie women".

Heughan was relaxed and charming, speaking to Weekend Magazine not only about series two and the surprises in store as the action moves from the Highlands to high society Paris, but of his desire to return to Sydney and take in more of our vast land, which he admits had taken him quite by surprise.

That may include running the Sydney marathon, but having just completed a gruelling production schedule for Outlander, he has no firm plans before a series three announcement, due any time soon.

And with series two covering book two, Dragonfly in Amber, and six more novels on the shelves, a ninth under way, fans can feel comfortable that handsome Heughan could be gracing our TV screens for a very long time to come.

Outlander premieres on Soho, Sunday, 8.30pm.

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