Why Nico Mirallegro was itching to finish filming The Ark

Nico Mirallegro says he enjoyed filming his latest role but wasn't quite so enamoured with the costumes that he and the other actors had to  wear.

The former Hollyoaks stars appears in the the  BBC1 drama The Ark  – an the adaptation of the Biblical tale – and can be seen wearing an outfit made of  rough, sack-like material.

He said: “It was so itchy, especially in the heat. I was the only one who said, ‘No, it’s coming off, I’m taking it off.’ But to take it off I had another kind of towel wrapped around me and then I had a radio mic on, so to take it off required 20 minutes of preparation.”

The drama, which also stars Shameless actor David Threlfall and Wolf Hall's Joanne Whalley, was filmed in a desert area of Morocco which meant that the actors got to try a lot of the local food…

He said: “We tried to eat out most nights. We had half an English crew and half a Moroccan crew on set so one of the Moroccan guys brought me a bin bag full of spices on the day I was leaving.

The Ark

Nico Mirallegro as Kenan in The Ark (BBC)

“I still don’t know what any of them are, but I’ll just think, ‘I’ll put a bit of that on my chicken tonight and see what that tastes like’.”

The Ark

The cast of The Ark (BBC)

Nico also starred in period drama The Village, and in both that series and The Ark had to film scenes splashing around in the water – although he said the experiences couldn’t have been more different.

“In The Village, it was November in Buxton at the highest possible peak of a mountain, where I think the water could have killed a man. This was Morocco in 30 degree heat, it was so perfect,” he explained.

“I’m a really good swimmer, so if they do make The Ark 2, I might have survived. I’ve got to take swimming off my CV and put Olympic swimmer.”

The Ark begins on Monday 30 March on BBC1 at 8.30pm.

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