Lenny Henry

‘My Name Is Leon’ commissioned for BBC One

BBC One’s adaptation of Kit de Waal’s award-winning novel ‘My Name Is Leon’, produced by Douglas Road Productions, has been announced.

Lenny will join an incredible cast for this 90 minute film, including Malachi Kirby (Small Axe; Devils; Black Mirror; Roots), Monica Dolan (A Very English Scandal; Talking Heads), Olivia Williams (Counterpart; The Father), Christopher Eccleston (The A Word; King Lear) and Poppy Lee Friar (In My Skin; Ackley Bridge). 

Cole Martin will play the lead, Leon, in his first TV role. Lynette Linton, Artistic Director of world-famous home for new plays and playwrights, the Bush Theatre, will direct, her directorial debut on a television drama.

Shola Amoo’s first screenplay for television is set in 1980s Birmingham and tells the uplifting and incredibly moving story of nine year-old Leon, a mixed-race boy, and his quest to reunite his family after being taken into care and separated from his blond and blue-eyed baby brother.

Set against the backdrop of the race riots in the 1980s, this tender and inspiring tale balances gritty realism with charm and gentle humour, exploring the issues of identity and belonging with both urgency and wit.

Lenny, who is also an executive producer of the production, said: “It is my honour to be part of the squad bringing Kit De Waal’s ‘My Name Is Leon’ to BBC Television. I discovered the book whilst performing the audio book and was so moved on the first day’s work that I rang my office at lunch time and said, we’ve got to try and do this. Thankfully, after five years, we’ve pulled it together with a great writer, director, cast and crew. I can’t wait to see the results.”


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