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Gemma’s career on the up and up!

PUBLISHED: 17:37 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:36 23 August 2010

LONDON - FEBRUARY 20:  Actress Gemma Arterton arrives at the Brit Awards 2008 at Earls Court on February 20, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

LONDON - FEBRUARY 20: Actress Gemma Arterton arrives at the Brit Awards 2008 at Earls Court on February 20, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

007 glamour girl Gemma Arterton has landed a lead role in a popular BBC costume drama. The 22-year-old s rise to stardom continues as the former Gravesend Grammar School for Girls pupil plays the lead in a TV adaptation of Tess Of Tthe D Urbervilles. S

007 glamour girl Gemma Arterton has landed a lead role in a popular BBC costume drama.

The 22-year-old's rise to stardom continues as the former Gravesend Grammar School for Girls' pupil plays the lead in a TV adaptation of Tess Of Tthe D'Urbervilles.

She secured the role just months after being chosen to play Agent Fields alongside heartthrob Daniel Craig in the forthcoming James Bond film, Quantum Of Solace.

Miss Arterton was born and raised in Gravesend and attended Gravesend Grammar School for Girls before winning a coveted place at the prestigious London drama school RADA.

After graduating last year she made her film debut alongside Maggie Smith and David Walliams in the Stephen Poliakoff drama Capturing Mary.

Since then she has played Rosaline in a Globe Theatre production of Love's Labour Lost, starred as head girl Kelly in saucy British comedy St Trinian's and worked with Guy Ritchie in his forthcoming gangster caper Rocknrolla.

The classic Thomas Hardy story about a seductive milkmaid has been adapted for screen by Cold Feet screenwriter David Nichols and will be shown as a four-part mini series on BBC One in the autumn with filming scheduled to begin later this month in Dorset.

Kate Harwood, the new series' executive producer, said Thomas Hardy is arguably "the most neglected of our great literary authors".

She said: "Hardy's novel explores love, betrayal and the emotional burden of secrets locked away at the heart of a passionate, loving relationship which, when unlocked, implode with heart-breaking consequences.

"David Nicholls' adaptation brings Hardy's tragic heroine, Tess, to life with verve, passion and sensitivity."

Jodie Whittaker, who starred opposite Peter O'Toole in Venus will play Izzy, while Gavin And Stacey actress Ruth Jones will be Tess's mother Joan.

Arterton's casting in the lead role cements her reputation as one of Britain's fastest rising young talents.

jason.goodyer@archant.co.uk

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