We have a release date for Lenny Henry's anticipated new drama, Three Little Birds, which will air on ITV.


Speaking to RadioTimes.com on the red carpet at the BAFTA TV Awards 2023 last night (Sunday 14th May), the actor and comedian delivered an update on the ITVX historical drama he's written in collaboration with Russell T Davies.

Introducing his special guests, the cast of Three Little Birds, Henry said: "It's a television show I've written which is on in October on ITV." He then introduced the three leading women of the series, Rochelle Neil as Leah, Yazmin Belo as Hosanna and Saffron Coomber as Chantrelle.

He said: "They're these three feisty women who come to Britain in the 50s to build a new life and who basically come up against the brick wall of patriarchy, racism and sexism and all that stuff. It's basically a series about how they overcome that or if they overcome it."

Henry continued: "We wanted to write a show that was about our parents and grandparents because we see so many people and cultures getting lionised on British television and I really wanted to. Inspired by Steve McQueen's Small Axe and various shows like that, I really wanted to tell the story from my perspective using the stories of my family."

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He reflected on the editing process for the series, adding: "I've been watching these guys in the edits for the whole year and it's so moving and I just cry every time, it's just lovely, they're really great. I can't wait for you to see them in action."

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Henry then once again confirmed that the series is set to air on ITV this October, adding: "It's a personal project and I have to be very clear – it's not based on my family, it's based on my family's stories and experiences."

As per the synopsis for the series, the drama centres on the adventures of "gregarious sisters" Leah and Chantrelle, who hail from 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.

Sir Lenny Henry
Sir Lenny Henry David Levenson/Getty Images

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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