Our Zoo, which starts on the 3rd of September at 9pm, is a six-part BBC One drama based on the real story of the Mottershead family who established Chester Zoo in the 1930s.
The show stars Lee Ingleby (Inspector George Gently), Ralf Little (The Royle Family), Anne Reid (Last Tango in Halifax), Liz White (Life on Mars), Stephen Campbell Moore (Ashes to Ashes) and follows George Mottershead’s adventure to transform a run down stately home into a world renowned tourist destination.
George’s story starts when he discovers an unwanted squirrel monkey and camel about to be put down whilst he’s delivering goods to the docks. Not wanting to see them suffer, he takes them to the home of his parents and embarks on an amazing journey to build the first British zoo without bars.
The production used several key filming locations around Cheshire including Walton Hall in Warrington which was used as the exterior of the stately home.
Other filming locations you may recognise are Rochdale Town Hall, Lyme Park and Stockport Town Hall which doubled as Chester Council offices.
Scenes were also shot at the caves in Frodsham, at the church on the Arley Estate, Great Budworth in Cheshire, the Swan Inn in Garston and The Swan with Two Necks in Stockport.
Filming locations in and around Liverpool were also used including the Cunard building on Water Street and St George’s Hall.
Street scenes were shot in Bolton on Eustace Street and our Production Services team facilitated a road closure in Ancoats where, using special effects, the production transformed Redhill Street into a bustling 1929 Liverpool dockside.
We also worked closely with our Film Friendly Partnership networks across the region to make sure the shoot went as smoothly as possible and that the production team at Big Talk Productions had a positive experience of filming in the Northwest.
Marketing Cheshire said “We have worked closely with Creative England on this and other projects to profile Cheshire & Warrington’s wonderful locations to production companies, and ensure that their experience of filming in the destination is as seamless as possible. We are delighted that Great Budworth and Walton Hall were included as locations in ‘Our Zoo’ and look forward to working with Creative England on future productions.”
Our Production Services team provide a free film office service to those wanting to film in England. We liaise with local authorities, gain filming permissions and source filming locations, crew and film and TV Studios for productions.
Mags Conway, Line Producer (Big Talk Productions) said: “Creative England are an important part of the production process when filming on location and their assistance was extremely important in securing one of our main locations. Their support, advice and guidance they provided throughout Our Zoo proved invaluable and they not only have a great deal of experience and knowledge of the industry but there links and relationships with local authorities is excellent. It makes a production run much smoother with this support available”.
For more information about how we help those wanting to film in England or information about filming in Cheshire, Filming in Warrington or elsewhere please visit our Production Services pages
To read our exclusive interview with Our Zoo star Lee Ingleby click here.