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24 September 2014
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Ian Kelsey plays Matt Brewer


Ian Kelsey plays Matt BrewerIan Kelsey is sporting what he describes as an actor's tan - "face and arms only, the rest of me is pasty white" - which he caught after spending weeks filming in the glorious Devonshire countryside last summer.


The new series of the popular family show sees the return of the Brewer family who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a new baby and, after struggling to adapt to life on the farm, are optimistic about their new business venture.


Ian couldn't wait for filming to start and was thrilled at the prospect of returning to Devon.


"We were shooting in Dartmouth on four separate occasions over the summer and I felt like I was going on holiday every time. I just love the countryside, the pace of life and there are so many beautiful places to visit on days off.


"I have to admit I'm always tempted to buy myself a little place there and often find myself looking in estate agents' windows."


However, life on the farm isn't always idyllic. The loss of the baby in episode two results in Frankie becoming withdrawn and lost in her own world, leaving Matt confused and unsure how to deal with the situation.


A dispute with a neighbouring farm over crop spraying also puts a strain on the family and temporarily disrupts their new enterprise.


"Nothing ever seems to go smoothly for them," sighs Ian, "although their wide variety of produce is proving a hit with their customers, a neighbourly disagreement results in them losing custom and being the subject of some vicious rumours."


As if that's not enough Matt's father David, who he hasn't seen since he was child, returns out of the blue. Matt is angered that his father assumes he can stroll back in to their lives and pick up where they left off.


"It's been 20 years since his father walked out of his life, and Matt is very bitter that David has waltzed back in and assumed he has a right to befriend his grandchildren."


Ian insists that it's not all doom and gloom and the storyline gave him the opportunity to work with one of his heroes, John Alderton.


"I grew up watching John on telly, so you can imagine my delight when I discovered I'd be working alongside him."


Ian struck up a great friendship with Ricky Tomlinson: the pair often disappeared on days off to go fishing and became quite competitive.


"Ricky insists that he caught more crabs than me but I can tell you that isn't the case. He was such an amateur he had to ask for help in getting a fish he'd caught off his line!"


Viewers will be treated to a number of storylines featuring Matt and Tony. Although Matt often complains he hasn't the time to get involved with any of Tony's scams, it doesn't take much to persuade him otherwise.


As a result, Matt ends up agreeing to bottling the farm's fresh water supply and selling it to locals for a reasonable price, helping Tony train a greyhound after a night out at the dogs, and buying a pony he can't afford for Lucy.


"Matt is a really gullible creature, he knows that Tony is a bit of a scam merchant but like Tony, Matt is keen to try anything if it results in making a few extra pounds.


"I think the decision to throw Ricky and me together throughout the series was a fantastic idea and it has been a laugh a minute."


After a short break, Ian is now filming the second series of Blue Murder with Caroline Quentin for ITV1.


He's had little time to himself this year but Ian's not complaining: "I've been very lucky and working back to back for almost seven years."


In between filming the first series of Blue Murder and the forthcoming series of Down To Earth, Ian returned to the stage for a two week stint in Windsor and starred alongside former Casualty co-star, Sandra Huggett, in Same Time Next Year.


"We did a two hander comedy, it was just the two of us on stage for two hours each night and it was brilliant."


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DOWN TO EARTH CAST AND PRODUCTION CREDITS


RICKY TOMLINSON PLAYS TONY MURPHY


DENISE WELCH PLAYS JACKIE MURPHY


ANGELA GRIFFIN PLAYS FRANKIE BREWER


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