Actor David Threlfall, the star of Shameless, is to play Noah in a new BBC One drama, The Ark, which has begun filming this week in Morocco.

Threlfall said of The Ark: "The story jumped off the page at me from the first reading."

He continued: "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."

The cast of the new production also includes Joanne Whalley (Jamaica Inn) and Ashley Walters (Truckers).

Threlfall previously played Joseph in the TV film Mary, Mother of Jesus.