London Zoo and its sister wildlife park Whipsnade Zoo are to open their doors to ITV cameras during lockdown to reveal how animals and staff are coping with coronavirus.
October Films and Circle Circle Films are making the two-part documentary, London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year, which will reveal how the Zoological Society Of London institutions are caring for 20,000 animals without any visitors.
As well as revealing what is going on behind the scenes when the parks are eerily quiet, the series will also delve into the 192-year history of London Zoo, during which it has only ever closed for two weeks during the Blitz in World War II.
London Zoo: An Extraordinary Year is series directed by Barnaby Peel, while the executive producers are Matt Smith and Emma Goddard. It was commissioned by ITV controller of factual Jo Clinton-Davis and Sue Murphy, the head of factual entertainment.
Clinton-Davis said: “The story of what’s happening behind the scenes at ZSL at this unique moment is a fascinating and compelling one. The familiar world of the zoo but as we’ve never seen it before.”
Smith added: “With intimate access to the zoo, its keepers and animals we’ll follow real-life drama as it unfolds whilst recounting extraordinary nuggets of the zoo’s rich backstory.”