Our Zoo, the BBC1 TV show about the origins of Chester Zoo, has gained an army of new fans on the other side of the world as the show currently airs in New Zealand.
The six-part series based on the story of how George Mottershead built the first ever zoo without bars in 1931 was a huge success with UK viewers when it ran towards the end of last year, drawing in audiences of around five million per episode.
Fans couldn’t hide their disappointment when the BBC decided not to renew the show , which starred Lee Ingleby and Ralf Little, for a second series – after many had described it as ‘the best thing on TV in ages’.
Such was the strength of feeling, The Chronicle decided to set up a petition asking the broadcaster to reconsider which quickly gathered more than 1,000 signatures in less than a week, but despite sending the petition off to the BBC as promised, we did not receive a reply.
However, the petition has recently received a flurry of new activity since the show has started being broadcast in New Zealand, with Kiwi fans also taking to the internet to demand the BBC make a second series.
Some comments include ‘Even New Zealand signed this!’, ‘Love this program, bring us more great family watching’ and ‘One of the few good TV shows that has aired in a while and a great show my whole family watches together – the BBC made a horrid mistake of cancelling this.”
Another fan suggested another series be made in memory of June Williams, George’s daughter, who died last month aged 88.
June, who had been heavily involved with the production of Our Zoo and even made a cameo in one episode, had herself signed the petition and told The Chronicle that she would love to see the show return.
“I think it should come back, because the zoo hadn’t even opened by the time the first series ended – it left a lot of the story untold, such as how the zoo coped through the war years,” she said at the time.
“Lots of local people are upset and I know Honor, who played me, was upset too. I’m getting a bit long in the tooth for it all now but I had a wonderful time on the show, I got to meet so many new people and I got to relive the past. I had to dig deep into my memories but it was worth it.”
A BBC spokesperson told The Chronicle last year that it had been a ‘hard choice’ not to renew Our Zoo for another series.
“We’re very proud of Our Zoo and wish to thank all those involved. However, in order to create room for new shows and to keep increasing the range of BBC One drama we sometimes have to make hard choices and it will not be returning for a second series.”
You can view The Chronical’s petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-back-a-second-series-of-our-zoo