Express & Star

First images released of Sir Lenny Henry series inspired by spirit of Windrush

The first images of Sir Lenny Henry's new series about the post-Windrush boom have been released.

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Rochelle Neil and Bobby Gordon who play Leah and Shelton

Three Little Birds, which features Rochelle Neil, Yazmin Belo and Saffron Coomber, will officially launch on ITV and ITVX on Sunday October 22, with all episodes available to stream as a boxset in addition to airing weekly.

The series is produced by Tiger Aspect in association with Sir Lenny Henry's production company Douglas Road Productions and is inspired by the stories of Sir Lenny’s mother and all those who have travelled to make Britain their home.

Set in 1957, post-Windrush, Three Little Birds will introduce Dudley and the rest of the world to gregarious sisters Leah, played by Neil, and Chantrelle, played by Coomber, and their virtuous, bible-loving acquaintance, Hosanna, played by Belo, as they board a cruise ship from Jamaica bound for a new life in Blighty.

Saffron Coomber who plays Chantrelle

Lured to the UK in search of new beginnings and by their older brother Aston, played by Javone Prince, who asks Leah and Chantrelle if they’ll bring him a potential wife from back home, they convince Hosanna to give up her job as a trainee nurse and embark upon the journey to ‘the mother country.

An effervescent mix of strong personalities, they all have very different reasons for leaving their family and friends behind in Clarendon, Jamaica, though they soon discover it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, not least the dramatic change in weather.

Audiences will learn shocking truths about the lives they left behind the voyage of discovery, which is not smooth sailing for the trio, but will also see they are determined to succeed and overcome the many obstacles of integration and build a new life in Britain.

The series also stars Bobby Gordon as the sisters’ new factory-worker colleague Shelton, and Arthur Darvill and Beth Hayes as Chantrelle’s employers Mr and Mrs Wantage, who expect far more from her than just cooking shepherd’s pie and minding their three children as their new live-in Nanny.

Yazmin Belo who plays Hosanna

Three Little Birds was filmed in The Midlands and has been commissioned for ITV by Head of Drama, Polly Hill, working alongside Nana Hughes who is overseeing production for ITV.

Tiger Aspect Productions produces the six-part drama, written by Sir Lenny Henry and guest episode writers Carol Russell and Avril Russell, in association with his production company Douglas Road Productions.

The series is co-produced by BritBox International, with Diederick Santer as Executive Producer. Banijay Rights handle international distribution.

Charles McDougall, Yero Timi Biu and Darcia Martin will direct two episodes each and Sir Lenny Henry, Lucy Bedford, Kate Crowe, Russell T Davies, Charles McDougall and Angela Ferreira serve as Executive Producers with Stella Nwimo producing.