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Ground Force team revisit Mercury's tribute to Jill

Members of the Ground Force team have revisited a memorial garden for murdered TV presenter Jill Dando – who began her career at the Weston & Somerset Mercury.

The paper’s managing editor, Judi Kisiel, joined TV gardeners Tommy Walsh and Charlie Dimmock for the filming of the BBC programme Ground Force Revisited.

Jill began her career at the Mercury, where her brother Nigel, who later moved to the Bristol Evening Post, also trained. She joined the Mercury in 1979 and stayed there for five years before moving into radio.

Following her death, staff at the paper felt they would like to see a lasting memorial created and contacted Ground Force who, working closely with North Somerset Council, agreed to transform the sunken rose garden at the front of Grove House in Weston.

And Charlie and Tommy revisited the seaside town to see the garden they had created with Alan Titchmarsh in a programme aired in August 2001.

The follow-up programme, which shows how the garden has developed over the past year, is expected to hit television screens before the end of the year.

Judi said: “Charlie and Tommy thought the garden was beautiful. They were amazed how quickly everything has grown. It’s a fitting tribute to Jill.”

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