Sir Lenny Henry's new historical drama Three Little Birds is about the trials and tribulations faced by those who came to Britain in the '50s.


The beloved actor and comedian spoke to at this year's National Television Awards and shared the inspiration behind the series and its importance for audiences today.

"It's based on stories my mum and my aunty told me about coming to Britain in the '50s," Sir Lenny Henry explained.

"It's about overcoming, it's about women and feminism. They literally came to this country and they worked hard, got their kids and men over here, and the show is about that.

"It's happy, it's moving, it's sad at times, and it looks beautiful."

Three Little Birds will air on ITV in October, with Rochelle Neil, Yazmin Belo and Saffron Coomber in the lead roles.

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Henry will be working with Russell T Davies on the series. The comedian told when he was asked by Davies why he wanted to write this show, he said: "I want to write about the post-Windrush generation."

He continued: "I was very moved by the Windrush scandal, and I just thought we need to honour those people who came here and walked cold streets in the '50s and earlier.

"We need to talk about their stories and what they went through. We have created a fictional narrative that tells some of those stories. As we were working on it, we realised it wasn't just my story. It was everyone's story."

As per the synopsis, Three Little Birds centres on the adventures of "gregarious sisters" Leah and Chantrelle, from the St Anne's district in Jamaica, and their "virtuous, bible-loving acquaintance", Hosanna, as they board a cruise ship heading for a new life in Great Britain.

Yazmin Belo as Hosanna in Three Little Birds wearing a brown hat and cream jacket
Yazmin Belo as Hosanna in Three Little Birds. ITV/Tiger Aspect/Douglas Road

The synopsis continues: "They are an effervescent mix of forceful personalities, and have very different reasons for leaving their family and friends behind in Jamaica.

"Unquestionably, they are embarking on a voyage of discovery, as the ladies leave the Caribbean island in search of new horizons and beginnings.

"At the instigation of their older brother Aston, who asks if they'll visit him in Britain and bring him a potential wife from back home, Leah and Chantrelle put his unusual proposition to Hosanna, who is prepared to give up her job as a trainee nurse and embark upon the journey 'to the mother country'.

"On arriving in London's Notting Hill ,they quickly realise the capital is not the home for them and flee to the Midlands.

"The road ahead is not a smooth one for our trio, and although we learn some shocking truths about the lives they left behind in Jamaica, we will also cheer them on to succeed, as they overcome the obstacles of racism and integration and build a life in Britain."

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Three Little Birds will air on ITVX later this year. Looking for something to watch? Check out our TV Guide or Streaming Guide, or visit our Drama hub.
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