Express & Star

All eyes on Dudley Zoo after appearance in TV drama written by Sir Lenny Henry

Dudley Zoo & Castle was the backdrop for the latest episode of Sir Lenny Henry's ode to his mother's journey.

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The poster brings back the feeling of the zoo in 1957. Photo: Dudley Zoo

The sights and sounds of the Black Country attraction were present during the latest episode of "Three Little Birds", the drama series written by Sir Lenny Henry and inspired by his mother's stories about leaving Jamaica in the 1950s for Great Britain.

The crews gather around one of the period buses. Photo: Dudley Zoo

The scenes, which included period clothing, buses and stalls, were filmed in November last year, with Sir Lenny present with the cast to see the filming in action, with the episode airing on Monday evening on ITV.

Members of the zoo were even part of the action, with curator Richard Brown wearing 1950's keeper attire and shaved off his beard to keep the look of the era, with the drama taking place in 1957.

Zoo curator Richard Brown gets in on the act. Photo: Dudley Zoo

Dudley Zoo was pivotal to the beginning of Sir Lenny Henry's career, with performances at the Queen Mary Ballroom helping launch him towards New Faces and the start of his comedy career.

A spokesman for Dudley Zoo and Castle said: "Did you spot some familiar backdrops in last night’s Three Little Birds on ITV?

"Written by Dudley’s Sir Lenny Henry, we were delighted to welcome Lenny and the cast and crew of his new drama on-site last November, as they filmed scenes for episode five.

All care was taken to make the zoo look as close to the 1950s as possible. Photo: Dudley Zoo

"And regular visitors may have even caught a quick glimpse of Zoo Curator Richard Brown, who swapped his uniform for 1950’s keeper attire, even shaving off his beard for authenticity.

"It was performing here at Dudley Zoo and Castle in the former Queen Mary Ballroom (now the Queen Mary Restaurant) which helped launch Lenny's career.

"Lenny, who started out with weekly stand-up slots in the Queen Mary, also worked as a barman in the Safari Night Club in the early 1970s.

Sir Lenny Henry poses with cast members Rochelle Neil, Saffron Coomber and Yazmin Belo during filming. Photo: Dudley Zoo

"If you missed Three Little Birds, you can watch the whole series now on ITVX."