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Midlands lands a starry TV drama; ENTERTAINMENT: Region chosen to shoot series on unsung heroes of war.

Byline: Roz Laws

THE Midlands has gone back in time by 70 years as the setting for a new TV drama.

Land Girls is the latest BBC series to shoot in Birmingham and the surrounding area, after Survivors and Hustle also relocated to the city.

The star-packed, five-part drama has been made to mark the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.

Screened in September, it will follow the lives and loves of four young girls away from home, doing their bit for Britain in the Women's Land Army.

They are played by West End star Summer Strallen, who replaced Connie Fisher in The Sound Of Music, Hope Springs star Christine Bottomley, Jo Woodcock and Becci Gemmell.

They are sent to the Hoxley estate, working on run-down Pasture Farm - in real life a farm near Henley-inArden, in Warwickshire.

The opulent Hoxley Manor, home of Lord Lawrence Hoxley (Inspector Lynley star Nathaniel Parker) and his wife Lady Ellen (Sophie Ward), has been recreated using Arbury Hall in Nuneaton.

Other locations used in the sevenweek shoot include the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, Stoneleigh Abbey, the Elizabethan Fleece Inn in the Worcestershire village of Bretforton, and the Gloucestershire Warwickshire steam railway.

All the crew usually work on the daytime drama Doctors, filmed at the BBC drama village in Selly Oak, Birmingham. The last period drama series made in the region was Martin Chuzzlewit in 1994.

Liam Keelan, controller of BBC Daytime, said: "Land Girls is a warm and vibrant drama celebrating the unsung heroes from the Second World War."

Producer Erika Hossington said: "Drama production has fantastic roots in Birmingham, but it's all happening again now with shows like Doctors, Survivors, Hustle and now Land Girls.

"It's brilliant for Birmingham."


Digging for victory: The real Land Girls in action during the Second World War. Starring roles: (From left): Sophie Ward as Lady Ellen Hoxley, Summer Strallen as Nancy Morrell and Nathaniel Parker as Lord Lawrence Hoxley in Land Girls. Success: The casts of Survivors, Hustle and Doctors, which have all been filmed in Birmingham .
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 8, 2009
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