Lenny Henry to make film about his early life for BBC1

Danny and the Human Zoo will recount the comedian's early years growing up in 1970s Dudley and trying to find his feet as an entertainer

Lenny Henry is to fictionalise his early life in a new BBC1 film called Danny and the Human Zoo.


The 90-minute film sees the eponymous character – a thinly disguised version of Henry himself – growing up in 1970s Dudley and trying to find his feet as an entertainer.

“I’m so excited about bringing my fictional teen memoir to the nation,” said Henry. “I’ve crammed the first two years of a very long career into 90 minutes – it’s gonna rock.

“I think, although it’s not exactly what happened, that we’ll get a strong sense of what it might have been like for a young black kid from Dudley to be suddenly hurled into the maelstrom of this business we call show…Can’t wait!”

The film, which will be shown next year, has not yet been cast.

Also commissioned for BBC1 is a five-parter called Doctor Foster, from playwright Mike Bartlett. The as-yet-uncast drama tells the story of a village GP called Jenny Foster who investigates the lives of those around her after she becomes suspicious that her husband is having an affair.