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BBC TV series filmed at Dudley Zoo

By Black Country Bugle User  |  Posted: May 01, 2008

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IN LAST week's Bugle we printed a selection of photographs that had been taken at Dudley Zoo in 1983 by Mercy E. Jackson of Woodseaves, Stafford. One of the pictures showed the filming of a BBC TV series at the zoo and Mercy wondered if any readers could remember the name of the programme, and the name of one actor in particular who played a zookeeper.

Steve Packham of Sedgley emailed the Bugle with the details Mercy wanted:

"In answer to the query on page 3 issue 817. The programme being filmed by the BBC was called One By One. The zoo keeper in question is James Ellis, best known for his part as Bert (Paddy) Lynch in Z Cars. Other locations included Chester Zoo and Knowsley Safari Park."

The Bugle's own Dan Shaw also remembers the series well:

"It was based upon the Zoovet series of books by David Taylor; he used to appear with exotic animals on the ITV Saturday morning kids show No.73. The BBC made three series and 32 episodes of One By One, broadcast between 1984 and 1987. It was set in the 1950s, with Dudley Zoo doubling as the Great Northern Zoo, and followed the career of Don Turner, based on David Taylor himself, as he established himself as wildlife vet. Don Turner was played by Rob Heyland and James Ellis played head keeper Paddy Reilly. Other actors who appeared in the series included Peter Jeffrey, Peter Gilmore and Catherine Schell."

We were also contacted by R. Summerfield, Richard Ceney, and our TV historian Alan Keeling, who all identified James Ellis as the actor in Mercy Jackson's photograph.

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