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Durrells actor Milo Parker fears young prefer Xboxes to plight of wildlife

Published 08/05/2016

Milo Parker, who plays Gerald Durrell on TV, was named ambassador for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust
Milo Parker, who plays Gerald Durrell on TV, was named ambassador for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

The Durrells star Milo Parker admitted fearing that children his age are more interested in Xboxes than the plight of endangered species.

The 13-year-old actor, who stars as Gerald Durrell in the hit ITV adaptation of the famous conservationist's childhood memoirs, said he wanted to inspire a new environmentally-minded generation as he was named ambassador for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

He said: "I think with all the technology these days kids are more interested in Xbox than realising what's out there and how we really need to play a part in helping to conserve and save these species that are endangered.

"I think it's important that the message to young people is given that Xbox or PlayStation isn't all we need to focus on, it's what out there."

He said he was "truly humbled to have the opportunity to contribute in my small way" to the work of the Jersey-based wildlife park and charity, founded by Durrell in 1963, which works to save species from extinction.

Parker joins Superman star Henry Cavill as an ambassador and he has his eye on the actor for a role in the second series of The Durrells.

"If he's up for it, it would be a dream!" he said.

The Durrells, which tell the story of the young Gerald and his childhood on the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s and also stars Keeley Hawes, was an immediate hit with Sunday evening audiences.

Parker said working with all the animals in the series as he played wildlife-enthusiast Gerry bolstered his enthusiasm for the new role, although it did not come without its hazards.

"In the scene where I bury a bat, I had to sprinkle soil over the tin that the bat's in and the pelican thought that was food and started nipping my shoulder and trying to snatch this tin off me," he said.

A second series will begin filming in the autumn and Parker said he was excited to get back to Corfu and his "family" of fellow cast members, including Hawes, who was like the "protective" mother of the group.

Speaking about the show's success, he said: "I never expected it to do quite as well as it did but after reading the scripts I thought, I'm part of an amazing experience and I'm really chuffed it's done so well and I think it deserves it."

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