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GOOD TO BE BACK ON THE LAND; Popular drama series returns for another run.

BECCI Gemmell didn't need to be persuaded to return to the Midlands countryside for a second series of Land Girls. The 27-year-old says even though she's a "city girl, really", it was a joy to get back to the fresh air and stunning landscapes of the country, especially as she'd been hoping the wartime drama would get recommissioned ever since she started filming the first one.

"It was brilliant news. They established so much in the first series, with the girls arriving, that I really wanted to learn what then happened to them. And it's a bit of a page-turner this series, it's great to be back," the Leicester-born actress says cheerfully.

The original five-parter, broadcast in 2009 to mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the war, was about a group of young women drafted in to the Women's Land Army to keep agriculture going during World War II. Gemmell's character Joyce was one of four women sent to work the land of the fictional Hoxley Estate, made up of the run down Pasture Farm, and the opulent Hoxley Manor.

Series two picks up several months after the last series ended, with land girl Bea now a farmer's wife to Billy and mother to William, who is the result of a one-night stand with an American GI. Joyce spent the last series trying to remain positive despite her parents having been killed in a German bombing raid and her husband John being posted abroad.

At the start of the second series, she finds her devotion rewarded when John pays her a flying visit - arriving in the farm on an RAF Tiger Moth training plane and taking her flying for a birthday treat.

"Unfortunately they wouldn't really let me fly in it, although I was taxied around, which was hilarious as I was wearing half a wig and it's open top," she giggles.

"But the views at the opening of series two are incredible. This original Tiger Moth flies over our heads. It was amazing to film as we had to have complete silence on set so they could talk to the guy on the plane."

Sadly, Joyce's joy is short-lived, and John is soon off to battle once again. Gemmell also reveals her character is "thrown completely out of her comfort zone" after stumbling upon a crash-landed German.


Becci Gemmell as Joyce Fisher (above) and left with Seline Hizli as Connie Carter, and Jo Woodcock as Bea Finch
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 15, 2011
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