Kit de Waal's tender novel My Name Is Leon has been given the onscreen treatment, with the award-winning tale soon to be seen on BBC Two.


Set in the '80s, the story follows a young, mixed-race boy named Leon who has been taken into care and is on a mission to bring his family back together.

The one-off, hour and a half long adaptation stars child actor Cole Martin in the lead role, and he is surrounded by a supporting cast stacked with British acting talent, including Christopher Eccleston and Sir Lenny Henry.

But when can you catch it on TV? Read on for everything you need to know about My Name is Leon on BBC Two.

When is My Name Is Leon on BBC Two?

Cole Martin in My Name is Leon
Cole Martin in My Name is Leon BBC/Douglas Road Productions/Ben Gregory-Ring

My Name is Leon will air at 9pm on Friday 10th June 2022 on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

The single-part drama was shot in Birmingham last year and will last for an hour and a half, meaning it will end at 10:30pm.

My Name Is Leon: What's it about?

Christopher Eccleston in My Name is Leon
Christopher Eccleston in My Name is Leon BBC/Douglas Road Productions/Ben Gregory-Ring

The official synopsis for the one-off drama states: "Leon, a mixed-race boy, and Jake, his white baby brother, are separated after their mother has a breakdown. Leon is determined to find him and gets unexpected support along the way."

If you've read Kit de Waal's internationally best-selling novel, you'll already be aware that the story is full of emotion, heart and triumph set against the race riots of the 1980s.

The book is told through the eyes of nine-year-old Leon who is on a quest to reunite his family after being taken into care.

Although his foster carer Maureen, with her wild hair and potty mouth, treats him well, Leon still longs to be back with his mum and younger brother, Jake. So he goes on a journey to figure out more about the world, about love and about what family really means - all with his favourite action figure Sergeant Smith by his side.

Tissues at the ready - it's sure to be a tearjerker...

My Name is Leon cast - Christopher Eccleston and Malachi Kirby star

Monica Dolan in My Name is Leon
Monica Dolan in My Name is Leon BBC/Douglas Road Productions/Ben Gregory-Ring

Child actor Cole Martin plays the lead character Leon in his first TV role. He will be supported by a strong cast, which features Malachi Kirby (Black Mirror), who said of the show: "It’s rare, in my experience, for projects such as this to be made and even more rare to be seen, so I’m really excited and grateful to be a part of it."

Monica Dolan (The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe) also stars. Of being involved, she said: "Rarely do you get the chance even to read a script of such heart, soul and wisdom... And it could not have come at a more appropriate time."

Other cast members include Olivia Williams (Ten Percent) Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Poppy Lee Friar (Ackley Bridge) and Sir Lenny Henry (The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power).

Here's the full cast list for My Name is Leon:

  • Cole Martin as Leon
  • Monica Dolan as Maureen
  • Malachi Kirby as Tufty Burrows
  • Olivia Williams as Sylvia
  • Poppy Lee Friar as Carol
  • Shobna Gulati as Salma
  • Lenny Henry as Mr Johnson
  • Christopher Eccleston as Devlin

Who else is involved?

Sir Lenny Henry in My Name is Leon
Sir Lenny Henry in My Name is Leon BBC/Douglas Road Productions/Ben Gregory-Ring

Screenwriter and director Shola Amoo – whose previous work includes films The Last Tree and A Moving Image – takes the writing reins in this, his first screenplay for TV.

The Bush Theatre's Lynette Linton will direct, while Lenny Henry executive produces. Speaking of his involvement, he said: "I discovered the book whilst performing the audiobook and was so moved on the first day’s work that I rang my office at lunchtime and said, we’ve got to try and do this.

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"Thankfully, after five years, we’ve pulled it together with a great writer (Shola Amoo), director (Lynette Linton), cast and crew. I can’t wait to see the results."

Is there a trailer?

There is and you can watch it right here now.

My Name Is Leon will air at 9pm on Friday 10th June 2022 on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer. While you're waiting, take a look at our other Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV guide.


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