Danny and the Human Zoo, coming soon by Lenny Henry
For the past year or so, Lenny Henry has been the driving force for diversity in the British media industry – criticizing the efforts (or even, the lack of) of the BBC and other major broadcasters and even guest editing the Today Program on Radio 4 alongside a team made up entirely of men and women of color – but now, Lenny Henry returns to British television with Danny and the Human Zoo.
Written by Henry, Danny and the Human Zoo fictionalizes Henry’s teenage years in 1970s Dudley (so Everybody Hates Chris or Fresh off the Boat, but in Birmingham).
Lenny Henry described how he was ‘so excited about bringing my fictional teen memoir to the nation! I’ve crammed the first two years of a very long career into ninety minutes – it’s gonna [sic] rock.’ Henry continues, stating that, ‘although it’s not exactly what happened…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.’
Danny and the Human Zoo stars Kascion Franklin as the eponymous Danny, Cecilia Noble as Danny’s mother, Doctor Who’s Arthur Darvill, Richard Wilson who has previously starred in Merlin, and Lenny Henry himself playing Samson, Danny’s dad.
With Danny and the Human Zoo Henry continues his push for greater diversity in media; the show will be directed by Gone Too Far director, Destiny Ekaragha, one of only four Black British women to have had her work released in British cinemas.