Photo gallery: Children and Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston cuddle baby animals at pop-up petting zoo

Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston brought star power to a pop-up petting zoo where disadvantaged children cuddled fluffy baby rabbits and squealing piglets.

The 51-year-old, of Archway, spoke of his passionate support for Highgate charity the Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation, which put on its annual Spring Fling yesterday for vulnerable children living in Camden.

The charity was set up four years ago in memory of 17-year-old Channing schoolgirl Alexandra Wylie, known as Allie, who tragically died of cancer in late 2010.

He said: “When I first got here, the young people were standoffish with the animals, and now I think we’re going to struggle to get them to leave!”

The father-of-two added: “The story of the charity is one which anybody, whether you’re a parent or not, is both devastating and hugely uplifting. “Lindsey [Wylie, Allie’s mother] has taken her unimaginable grief and benefited other people, and I’m sure her daughter would be hugely proud.”

Dozens of youngsters from Camden-based vunerable children’s charity Kids Company and from Parliament Hill School attended the annual fair at the school near Parliament Hill Fields.