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More madness for Selly Oak's Chosen One.

ROZ LAWS THE hit comedy series Yonderland is back - which means a return to a magical kitchen in Selly Oak.

The Birmingham suburb features heavily in the Sky1 series, which stars the cast of Horrible Histories.

Birmingham actress Martha Howe-Douglas stars as Debbie Maddox, who is whisked to a fairytale land by Elf through a portal in her kitchen cupboard.

"I'm just a mum from Selly Oak!" she cries when told she is the Chosen One and snatched from surburbia into a world of puppet creatures and extraordinary people.

The series, which starts again on Monday, was a big hit last year, which one critic calling it "a rare thing - a comedy that's funny to both children and adults".

Martha, 34, went to Edgbaston High School and had her big TV break playing receptionist Donna in the Birmingham-made soap Doctors.

We caught up with her to find out more.

Why is Yonderland set in Selly Oak? It's my hood! I was born and brought up just down the road in Moseley and a lot of my family are from there.

I lived in Moseley until two years ago when I moved to London but I still come back all the time to see my family.

We were talking about where Debbie should live and I mentioned Selly Oak, and the others thought it was amusing.

There are lots of northern comedies but not many shows have the lead character from Birmingham. We thought it would be a nice thing to give props to Brum.

The outside of the house filmed in London but I've never been there, as we filmed in Elstree studios.

How is Yonderland written? We all sit in a room together and bash out the ideas, then people go off in singles or pairs to write the episodes. Then they come back with a script and we go through it as a group. It's very collaborative.

For the second series I wrote episode five of eight with Larry Rickard.

He's an amazing writer, it was my first time and I couldn't have done it on my own. It doesn't come very naturally.

What is in store for Debbie in the second series? At the end of the first series she came face to face with her twin, the evil Imperatrix. That's explored in the second series.

Debbie needs to find out who she is and why she looks exactly like her.

She meets the lady who looked after her when she was young. Nanny Laroo is a ridiculous Kangaroo Lady played by Matthew Baynton.

There's all the usual silliness, in fact I think it might be even sillier.

No-one ever goes 'no that's too stupid', we don't have any boundaries. No-one tells us no so we just carry on!

Is it really the end of Horrible Histories for the original cast? Yes. We all met on that and had such an amazing time, we loved it. But it was time to move on.

Yonderland returns on Sky1 at 8pm on Monday.



Martha Howe-Douglas as Debbie |Maddox, The Chosen One, with Elf

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 11, 2015
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