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Keeley Hawes has been cast as the mother, Louisa, in ITV’s six-part comedy drama The Durrells, based on Gerald Durrell’s memoirs which include My Family and Other Animals.

The Durrells, based on Gerald’s three classic Corfu memoirs, will start filming on the Greek island next month.

Kelley said: “I’m delighted to be playing Louisa Durrell. As a lifelong fan of Gerald Durrell’s wonderful books, I can’t wait to start filming and telling his stories through [writer] Simon Nye’s hilarious and poignant adaptation.”

The story focuses upon Louisa’s traumatic life following the death of her husband and descent into debt. Her four children Larry, 21, (played by Josh O’Connor – Ripper Street), Leslie, 18, (newcomer Callum Woodhouse), Margo, 17, (played by Daisy Waterstone – Silent Witness) and Gerry, 11, (Milo Parker – Mr Holmes) are going off the rails.

Gerry is obsessed with animals and about to be thrown out of school; Larry is a would-be novelist, but the worst estate agent in Bournemouth; and the middle two are hitting adulthood like a car-crash. It is the 1930s and a woman’s options are limited, so Louisa decides to make a radical change… She uproots the family and moves to Corfu.

 

The six episodes will explore the Durrells adapting to their new life, with a cast of colourful characters led by renowned French actress Leslie Caron, who plays the exotic Countess Mavrodaki, who employs Margo as her companion.

The Durrells will most likely screen on ITV in early 2016.

Gerald Durrell became a world renowned conservationist and founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.