David Threlfall – best known for playing feckless Frank Gallagher in TV’s Shameless – is to star as Noah in a new BBC drama.
The actor will swap the epically bibulous for biblical epic in The Ark, which has begun filming this week in Morocco.
It comes just weeks after Darren Aronofsky’s big-budget retelling of the story, Noah, starring Russell Crowe, was released in cinemas.
David, who recently starred as Tommy Cooper in ITV’s well-received biopic about the comedian, said: “The story jumped off the page at me from the first reading.
“It’s not just a family saga, but the first family saga. It takes its inspiration from many faiths and speaks of values which should be shared across all cultures. It was something I immediately wanted to be part of.”
He will be joined in the cast of the BBC One film by Joanne Whalley – recently seen in Jamaica Inn – who will play Noah’s wife Emmie, as well as Ashley Walters, who has featured in Top Boy and Truckers.
It has been written by Tony Jordan whose previous dramas have included Hustle and The Nativity.
The Ark’s executive producer Belinda Campbell, from independent production firm Red Planet Pictures, said: “The Ark is a timeless tale which will touch those who are both familiar with the story from the Bible, as well as those who are seeing it for the first time. Warm and humorous, it tells the tale of the impact on a family when an ordinary man undertakes to do an extraordinary thing.”