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Born lippy

Having garnered cult status with only a handful of episodes, it's little wonder fans of BBC Three drama Lip Service have been getting a bit twitchy of late.

Finally, after a hiatus to rival that of Mad Men – 521 days and counting since you ask – the show will return to our television screens for a second series this week.

For those who missed the first series – or were feebly swayed by its detractors (see Damien Love in our television section) – here's the crib notes version -

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Set and filmed in Glasgow it follows the lives and loves of twenty and thirty-something lesbians in the city. There's bad girl Frankie (Ruta Gedmintas), unflappably sensible Cat (Laura Fraser), loveable and ditsy Tess (Fiona Button) and hot cop Sam (Heather Peace).

Central to the plot is a love triangle between Cat, who is torn between her new girlfriend Sam and first love Frankie. The action picks up with a loved-up Cat and Sam arriving back in Glasgow after a month-long break in South Africa.

New faces include straight-talking Australian doctor Lexy (Anna Skellern), Tess's self-obsessed co-star Nora (Sinead Keenan) and homegrown Scottish talent Laura McMonagle as Frankie's love interest, Janice.

On the next few pages we catch up with McMonagle, who previously played femme fatale turned high-class hooker Zoe Cullen in River City, and look at the Merchant City locations which make Lip Service look so effortlessly cool.

How would you describe your style?

It depends on the mood I'm in. My wardrobe is so eclectic. One day I'll wear a 1960s two-piece with a mini skirt and Dr Martens, the next a ball gown.

Who are your biggest fashion influences?

I love Anna Dello Russo, Daphne Guinness and Helena Bonham Carter – people whose style is, well, mental.

Your outfit at last year's Scottish Fashion Awards saw you labelled "worst dressed" by US Cosmopolitan magazine.

That didn't bother me one bit. I always expected to end up on one of those lists because I know the way I dress isn't to everyone's taste. I never play it safe and I love that an American magazine has picked up on that. It got me noticed.

What do family and friends make of your dress sense?

My mum and dad are used to it, but now and then I still see them look at me as if to say: "What has she got on now?" One of my best friends, Mary Ann King, runs Mr Ben Retro Clothing in the Merchant City. She is amazing because she knows what I like and will keep things aside for me.

Favourite item in your wardrobe?

My huge pink ballgown. It's got big ruffles on it and is hand embroidered. I have a red military jacket that is about 100 years old which I love too.

Biggest fashion faux pas?

There have been a fair few. When I was younger I did the whole Timberland boots thing. I owned a pink suit from Morgan when I was 15. I begged my mum to get me it after I saw Madonna wearing one.

What is the story of your role in Lip Service?

I play Janice and was written into the first episode to play a love interest for Frankie. It was just a small part. I thought that was it, but then I got a call from my agent to say they were writing me in again later in the series. It's a much bigger part. I won't say too much because I don't want to spoil the plot but I'm absolutely delighted. I was standing on the beach in Barcelona when I got the call. How did I celebrate? I had some more cocktails ...

You play opposite Ruta Gedmintas in the show – what was it like doing love scenes with another woman?

It doesn't matter whether you are doing an on-screen kiss with a boy or a girl, it's always awkward. I thought it would be totally different with a woman, but it's not. There are still 10 other people in the room watching, so you just get on with it. Ruta is an amazing actress. I first met her on the set of the T in the Park movie, You Instead, so I knew her before I did Lip Service.

What is it like to be part of such a cult show?

I'm so proud. Lip Service has a wonderful cast and fantastic storylines. It is refreshing to play this role after all the heavy stuff my character on River City endured. It is a fun part with lots of humour.

How to you plan to mark the first episode airing?

I will probably watch it by myself rather than with friends or family. I don't really like watching myself on screen.

What response have you had from fans of the show?

None yet, but I know Lip Service has a huge following. I'm going to join Twitter so I can chat with the show's fans.

What next for Laura McMonagle?

I have the lead female role in The Wee Man [playing Paul Ferris's ex-girlfriend Anne Marie] which is out in August. My part in Lip Service has been left open so if they do a third series, I would be up for that.

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