Lee Ingleby and Liz White are to star in new BBC One drama, Our Zoo based on the inspiring real story of the eccentric Mottershead family who established Chester Zoo in the 1930s.
Written by award-winning playwright Matt Charman, and made by Big Talk, the series sees Lee Ingleby (Inspector George Gently) play George Mottershead, an ex-serviceman with a dream to build the first British zoo without bars, with Liz White (Life On Mars) playing his loyal wife Lizzie Mottershead, mother to Mew and June.
BAFTA-nominated actress Anne Reid (Last Tango In Halifax) takes the role of Lucy Mottershead, whose world is turned upside down when her husband, Albert (Peter Wight, The Paradise), sells their shop to help fund George’s plans for the zoo and both are forced to live with their son and family in the country.
The series also stars Ralph Little (The Royle Family) as Lizzie’s mischievous brother Billy Atkinson, Sophia Myles (Underworld) playing Lady Katherine, the mysterious aristocrat who lives next door, and Stephen Campbell-Moore (The History Boys) playing Reverend Aaron Webb.
Upcoming actors Amelia Clarkson and Honor Kneafsey play George and Lizzie’s children, Mew (Clarkson) and June (Kneafsey).
The drama is being supported by June Williams (née Mottershead) and the world-renowned Chester Zoo. Marcus Wilson (Doctor Who) will produce with executive producers Luke Alkin, Kenton Allen and Matthew Justice for Big Talk Productions and Adam Kemp for Aenon. Andy De Emmony (The Bletchley Circle) is lead director.